It's in the bag: what to bring to the hospital when your little one arrives

When the last days of your pregnancy are near, you'll be busy adding the final touches to everything from the crib to clothes in preparation for your baby’s arrival.

To prevent yourself from creating additional stress at this time, it's a good idea to prepare your hospital bag in advance.

Despite the fact that recovery times are becoming shorter, there are quite a few things that you'll want to have by your side after childbirth.

For mum

Mums-to-be should pack a couple of shirts, some underwear, a dressing gown, socks and a pair of comfortable shoes, especially if you plan on giving birth at a private clinic. If you’re going to breastfeed, make sure the tops open easily at the chest to make these first feedings easier.

Don’t forget to include a pair of nursing bras, as well as a wool sweater or jacket in case it gets cold during the night.

Also gather the toiletries and personal hygiene tools you'll need. The list can include deodorant, shower gel, shampoo, moisturiser, perfume, damp towels, compresses, toothpaste, a toothbrush, comb and hair dryer.

You may need to bring some documents to the hospital, too, like an ID, health insurance card, the results of your last genealogical check-up and any other details that your doctor or midwife has requested.

Some gadgets and entertainment are good to have on-hand as well.

Take a digital camera with a fully charged battery so you can snap those first photos for the baby album.

You may also want to tote along an mp3 player with relaxing music, a second mobile phone with a charger, a book, and a notebook and pen.

Don’t forget a credit card and some cash, because you never know when you might need them (taxis, vending machines, a last minute emergency).

For baby

For the newborn, pack weather-appropriate clothes, including pyjamas, five or six babygros, a sweater and a pair of booties.

Don’t forget that an outfit for the baby to wear when you leave the hospital is also necessary. If it’s winter, a little wool hat and a shawl or blanket will protect the newborn from the cold.

Even though the hospital supplies nappies, it won't hurt to pack some of your own, even if it's just to get used to always having them with you.

You also need to bring along some toiletries for the baby, like washcloths, a soft sponge, mild bath soap, ointment, baby oil and a small comb.

Small bibs and dummies made for newborns should also be included in your bag.

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