What’s in the bag?

Guys, in two weeks time we will be heading off to the hospital to HAVE A BABY! It never gets old, third time around and it still feels a little surreal. Perhaps even more so as we have just not had the time to really think about or process what is about to happen. I have had moments where I have felt completely inadequate and fearful of forgetting all that I need to know about newborns – which is a little concerning when you consider that people pay me to give them advice about their newborns. We’ll blame those totally irrational thoughts on the current influx of hormones, shall we?

Anyway, being so close to D-day means that bags need to be packed. For the first time ever, we are packing for a family of FIVE and so a lot of thought has gone into all of this. Also, it is important to note that I tend to overpack a little – I like to have everything that I need and I believe that in a time when one is in pain or very uncomfortable, we should allow ourselves the luxury of packing whatever it is that we need in order to feel more at home. If you want to pack a flamingo, you pack your flamingo (I didn’t pack a flamingo). Also, I have gone into a lot of detail in this post, giving as much info as possible while trying not to make it too long – I hope it helps!

I will be having a scheduled c\section which means that we will be in hospital for 3 nights and 4 days. Honestly, the idea of having a bag packed full of pajamas for a stay where I will be spending most of my time in bed, snuggling my newborn baby is sounding rather magnificent.


For myself, I have packed:


Pajama’s (x4) – although I will be in a hospital gown at first, I should be able to get up and have a shower as early as night number one. For this, I have packed a very soft and flowy night shirt, something that isn’t going to put unnecessary pressure onto my wound and something that is also easy to open up fully for breastfeeding. For the remainder of  our time I have packed 2 feeding tanks, 2 pairs of pajama pants and one extra set of button up pajama’s just incase.

I have also packed a pair of jogger pants and a t-shirt – just so that if for some absurd reason, I want to be in something other than pj’s.

Underwear – my hospital actually provides the carriwell mesh underwear which I know many mom’s swear by, especially after a c/section. Truth be told, I do not like them one little bit. It feels like I am wearing nothing when I wear those, which is probably the point. For me,  I would rather be wearing something that feels very very secure and definitely something that I know for sure is there. For that reason, I have gone with a spandex, boy short type of underwear and I have packed 6 pairs (one extra pair for every day). These are one size fits all which means that they have got ample space to stretch while still feeling comfortable and secure. Unfortunately, I could not find anything like this locally and ended up ordering these from amazon

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Gown – I have packed a very lightweight, cotton gown that I found at Poetry. I suspect that most of the time I will be in a feeding tank with my gown over it so I wanted something really soft, something that wasn’t at all bulky and also something that was relatively cool. I know people say that hospitals are kept cold… this is so not true for the maternity ward. Keep it light.

Socks – which I had to go out and buy specifically, because you know when every single pair of socks that you own suddenly all have holes in at the same time and you actually cant even find one decent pair to pack in your hospital bag? Well that happened and also, new socks feel good. I have packed 3 pairs for our stay.

Slippers – stick to something that your feet can literally just slip into. No one wants to be bothered with bending over for a a pair of slippers after a c/section.

Belly Binder – this is actually not something that I have made use of with my previous births, but something I am fairly excited to try out this time around. I can remember feeling like my insides were about to fall out every time I stood up, coughed, laughed or sneezed with the others. I’ve seen many hospitals in the States actually provide these for c/section moms and my doctor has said that while they don’t really do much for healing, they do make a significant difference to a mother’s comfort levels post op.

Breastfeeding Apparel – I recently posted on packing for breastfeeding. You can follow this link to see what I have packed in order to get our breastfeeding journey off to a good start.


Mommy & me washing bags – aren’t they gorgeous. My very special friend from sew much grace made these for us and I love them so so much. They are lined with waterproof fabric and they are perfect for our hospital stay as well as our many adventures to come.



Going home outfit – I am really not one to fuss over anything fancy for this. I have packed a pair of my maternity jeans, a t-shirt, a light jersey and I will wear the same shoes that I will be wearing to the hospital when we arrive. Honestly, if I’m going to spend money on an outfit of any sort, I’d rather spend it on an extra set of pajama’s for our first night at home. There is nothing quite as comforting as a new set of Pj’s and nothing like a first night at home with a newborn to warrant them.


  • non-scented shower gel (it is important that baby smells mom and not her shower gel)
  • non-scented body moisturiser (for the same reason)
  • dark coloured sponge, loofah or facecloth
  • dry shampoo
  • toothbrush & toothpaste
  • lightly scented deoderant
  • face care mini’s (face wash, toner, moisturiser)
  • smints
  • hand sanitizer
  • hair ties & clips / pins
  • hair brush
  • maternity pads (the hospital should provide at least one pack, but it’s a good idea to have extra)
  • lip balm
  • prenatal vitamins and other meds for the duration of our stay

Important Odds and Ends – I have packed a folder that contains all of our hospital admin. This includes copies of our ID’s, marriage certificate, medical aid card, hospital forms and two black pens. I have also packed our camera, chargers, plug adapters, a powerbank (for easy charging while I am in bed), all necessary charging cords, a book, headphones, a water bottle and I have downloaded a couple of my fave poscasts to my phone.



For Baby:

Now for the fun bit. In reality, the hospital will most likely supply most of what you need for baby (bar clothing). But, third time around I have really come to like certain products and I’d like to use those products right from the get go. With that in mind, this is what I have packed for our little guy

Outfits – each ‘outfit’ is made up of 1 x babygrow, 1 x vest and 1 x hat. Each set is then packed inside a ziplock bag to make it real easy for Phil to grab if he is changing baby or if I am unable to move around too much. We will be doing a lot of skin to skin care and so I’m pretty sure baby will be in nothing but a nappy most of the time. That said, I have packed 5 full outfits just to make sure we are covered in the event of the famous sprinkler system we have yet to experience as well as other unavoidable newborn incidents.



Blankets – I have packed a fresh swaddle blanket for each day that we are there as well as one spare and two warmer blankets. I have packed a variety of stretchy cotton, flannel and muslin blankets because I am really not sure what we are going to prefer this time around.

Baby Toiletries

  • cetaphil
  • nutraderm
  • aquaphor baby (an oily bum cream / balm is best to prevent meconium from sticking to baby’s skin)
  • alcohol swabs (for simple cord care)
  • pampers premium nappies (because they are just amazing at absorbing newborn poop)
  • scalp scrubbie
  • muslin wash clothes x2
  • large cotton rounds (because who wants to be dealing with all that meconium and the tiny kind of cotton rounds)
  • infant nail files (filing / tearing baby nails is way easier than cutting them)
  • suction bulb & saline drops
  • baby probiotics
  • nappy sacks (so that I can do everything in one place and contain the mess)
  • dummies (I’ve packed a couple of different kinds)
  • dummy sterilizing spray


Of course, we will be taking baby’s car seat and our milk snob car seat cover with us which we are installing this weekend – I think the purchase of our car seat was the one thing that made me feel most ready for him to arrive 🙂

And that friends, is what we deem necessary for our hospital stay. I have a list of snacks to stock up on and a couple of things to throw into Phil’s bag this week before we are officially good to go. I hope that it helps so many of you as you pack one of the most exciting bags you will EVER pack. Let me know if you have any questions.

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