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Hospital checklist for baby bag

Hospital bag

By Burgie Ireland RN RM SANC

We tend to get carried away with baby paraphernalia that’s available in baby-stores and supermarkets. You may be wondering what to pack for baby’s needs while you’re in hospital.

Since COVID has dictated the shortest hospital stay possible, you only need to pack essentials.

  • Disposable nappies – newborn’s poop a lot, so plan for a nappy change after every feed. This means about 12 nappies a day. As your baby settles into a routine and sleeps for longer, you’ll need fewer nappies.
  • Baby wipes – I suggest the thickest, top quality, perfume free wipes.
  • Vaseline – you’ll need lashings of it on baby’s bottom with every nappy change in the first few days. Tip: spread Vaseline on baby’s back (even up to the shoulders) in preparation for baby’s first poop. It’s called meconium and is so dark green, it looks black, and is very sticky.  It’s also very soft and tends to ooze through the top of the nappy, and spread over baby’s back. If this meconium dries, it sticks like glue on baby’s skin.
  • Surgical spirits and cotton-wool pads – to clean the umbilical stump and keep it dry.
  • Soap and baby shampoo
  • Soft baby brush.
  • Smallest size orthodontic soother – for emergencies.
  • Beanie – have it with you in the delivery room for baby’s head as soon as baby is born.
  • 4 receiving blankets.
  • Vests – tip: turn them inside-out to keep harsh seams away from baby’s delicate skin.
  • Baby grow’s – about 3 a day.

If you’re planning to formula-feed, you’ll need to bring bottles, teats, bottle-brush, sterilising unit and a small tin of formula. I suggest that you research formula, phone the manufacturing companies and ask them about the benefits of their brand. Follow this up with advice from your ante-natal midwife, house-doctor or paediatrician. Breastfed babies only need MOM – Mothers Own Milk.   

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