The whole family, and especially the expectant parents, are excited – the due date is approaching and nine months of pregnancy are about to culminate in the birth of a new family member. The family will have bought things for the newborn, but now it is time to pack a hospital bag ready for when labour begins.
We’ve put together a checklist of things to pack for hospital that both the newborn and the parents will need.
Pack these in a hospital bag for parents
Sometimes labour can begin rather suddenly and progress quickly, and your hospital bag may not yet even be packed. The most important thing is to grab your clinic card and picture ID, as well as any regular medication you take. Your clinic card will easily provide hospital staff with your health information, so it is wise to always carry it with you as your due date approaches.
Personal hygiene products, such as deodorant, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and a hairbrush are good to take with you, and if you like you can also bring your own shampoo and conditioner. Another good idea is to take some Finnish allergen-tested Vuokkoset sanitary pads with you to protect your underwear after the birth.
You will usually be given hospital clothing, but you can also take your own comfortable loungewear and sleepwear as a change of clothing. In addition to socks and underwear, you should also pack nursing bras and breast pads. If you are sensitive to the cold, take a long some woollen socks or slippers. Also pack a change of clothing for anyone who will support you during labour and delivery.
Sometimes you can spend several days in hospital, so a phone charger can be handy. Hospitals are not responsible for valuables, such as jewellery and electronics, so think carefully before you bring them with you. Headphones are a good option, however, so that you can try to relax with music or TV shows. If you would like to capture the special moment on the maternity ward, don’t forget to bring a camera.
The hospital cafe often sells sweet and savoury food, but pregnancy-appropriate (link to article) snacks to satisfy cravings can cheer you up in the hospital.
What to pack for the baby
After the birth, as much skin-to-skin contact with the newborn as possible is encouraged, and the most important thing to pack for the newborn is a season-appropriate set of clothing for the journey home. Make sure that the clothes are soft and easy to put on. The easiest outfit for a newborn is a long-sleeved romper and tricot trousers, a warm cap, mittens, and socks. Read more about baby clothing here (link to article).
In winter, pay extra attention to keeping your baby warm during the journey home by bringing a blanket or winter sleeping bag for the car seat. If the parents wish, they can also bring a sling for the baby.
What should we buy for the newborn at home?
Every family and every baby is different. Some babies enjoy being in their parents’ laps, others enjoy being in a baby chair, and some families fully decorate before the birth while others wait to get to know their new member of the family first. There are no right or wrong approaches, and it’s not worth stressing over purchases.
Babies vary wildly in size and how quickly they grow, so do not overbuy the smallest sizes of clothes. The most important thing to pay attention to is the season; dress the baby in light clothing during hot summer days and warm clothing in the cold winter.
In addition to the maternity package offered by Kela, it is a good idea to buy or obtain the following for newborns:
- A push chair
- Playsuits, rompers, or tights
- Short and long-sleeved babygrows or rompers
- A cap
- Muslin cloths
- A cot and suitable bedding
- Helmi Baby baby mats to go underneath the sheet
- A baby bath
- A changing mat
- Muumi Baby diapers for newborns
- Helmi Baby cleansing wipes
- Vuokkoset sanitary pads for mum