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What’s in the Bag: Hospital Bag for Baby.

by | Jun 21, 2017 | Just Motherhood, Pregnancy | 2 comments

36 Weeks pregnant and time to get things done! Something no mama can escape is packing those hospital bags. A while back I shared my essential checklist for all things Mama will be needing during her hospital stay. Today we focus on baby and what to pack in that little hospital bag for baby…

hospital bag for baby

1st you’ll need a bag.

Baby goodies are tiny so you won’t need an entire suitcase. A large overnight or weekend duffle works well. My choice… The Alex & Marla Weekender! Perfect in size, with loads of handy internal pockets and also a gorgeous scratch resistant, genuine leather bag that you can use and keep forever. I love that this bag can be carried in hand or slung over the shoulder and the leather is fantastic quality with the zip and other finishes sturdy enough to handle easily. Baby’s 1st packing will be going down in style!

hospital bag for baby

What to have at hand on the day of delivery:

Usually when baby is born the hospital will swaddle, diaper and put on their own little beanies, diapers and blankets, just to keep your new little person warm and toasty. You can however provide your own, but make sure to have these at hand and give it to the nurse or doctor before the magic starts. After birth baby will be enjoying some valuable skin-to-skin contact and breast-feeding time with mommy and it’s only much later that someone will come and ask for baby’s 1st outfit and more.

Important goodies for the 1st day:
  1. Disposable Diapers: Even if you plan on using cloth nappies (best choice we ever made – future blog post to follow) that 1st meconium bowel movement can be quite damaging to a fresh cloth nappy and no new-mama needs to be worrying about washing nappies. You will have enough going on these 1st few weeks. I also found that cloth nappies only really fit well after baby’s 1st month. No need to use any chemically loaded nappies either. Mother Nature ProductsWellness Warehouse and Faithful to Nature sell Bio Baby Bamboo Eco Disposables and they work exactly the same as other popular nappies just without any of the bad stuff.
  2. Wet wipes. Being a “green mom” my choice has always been Pure Beginnings. Available at all the stores mentioned above as well as Baby City and online.
  3. Pure Beginnings bum cream – no surprise.
  4. Cotton wool, surgical spirits and graze and weeping wound powder for cleaning baby’s umbilical cord. Do this at every diaper change and also after bath-time. You don’t need to use the wound powder but I found that sprinkling it over baby’s umbilical cord after cleaning helped to keep it dry and fall off faster.
  5. 1 Receiver blanket to swaddle baby and 1 warm winter blanket, even if you are having a summer baby. It’s cold outside the womb!
  6. Then, every mom’s favourite – that 1st little outfit.

hospital bag for baby

Baby’s 1st outfit essentials to remember:

This is where mama can have some fun and go as classic, crazy or cute as she likes. I bought this Poogy Bear newborn outfit way back when I was expecting Eliana and have photos of all our little ones rocking the look so I decided to dress baby number 3 in it too. I love the winter theme for our winter babes and the sentiment of it all has me teary eyed already. Whatever you choose make sure to include the following:

  1. A beanie – Don’t just take newborn, add some 0-3months too. Both our girls had big heads and never wore newborn beanies.
  2. 1 Long sleeve vest  – My Favourite are the button down, Conscious organic cotton ones available from H & M. They are small (0-1 month) and you don’t have to try pulling it over baby’s head. #babybigheadproblems
  3. A pair of socks. Cape Mohair Ecokids have the softest infant socks. Buy yours at Faithfull to Nature.
  4. Lastly, a special baby grow of your choice. Keep it long sleeve too and consider buttons rather than anything needing to go over baby’s head. Putting on clothes for the 1st time EVER is a big enough experience for a new little human so try and keep it as easy and comfortable as possible.

hospital bag for baby

For the rest of your stay:

A lot of parents don’t know this but bathing baby in hospital is optional. We usually don’t give baby a bath for the 1st week or 2. It’s not really needed and we like making a big deal over the 1st bath and including siblings too, but it’s your choice. If you decide to bath baby in hospital you will need the following (I pack them anyway – just because with little ones you never know.)

Baby Toiletries:
  1. 2 Soft face cloths – one for baby’s bum and one for baby’s face.
  2. A hooded towel. Mother Nature Product sell the softest bamboo towels and face cloths, so worth it.
  3. Baby wash and shampoo – I like the new Probiotic Sensitive Cream Wash from Pure Beginnings. Gentle, organic and fragrance free. Babies smell good enough naturally.
  4. Baby lotion or cream. With so many good choices these days it’s up to mom. Once again the Pure Beginnings Probiotic Baby range is a win but I am such a huge fan of Pure Primal Skincare – I will definitely be trying their baby cream as well. Then I can’t forget about good old cold pressed, organic coconut oil. Lemcke is our number 1!

hospital bag for baby

Extras you may want to consider:
  1. Baby mittens or baby nail scissors. You’ll be surprised at how long those tiny nails can be and how easily they scratch.
  2. Non Petroleum Baby Jelly. (Also from Faithful to Nature). I’m not sure why this is essential but for some reason all hospitals include it in their baby hospital bag list. We have used it to clean off some left-over blood on baby’s body or just as lip balm for mommy. Taking it with, just in case, maybe this time we’ll learn why…

hospital bag for babyOPTIONAL: Telament Colic Drops to help with baby’s digestion as well as a good baby probiotic. Having c-section babes, we give a probiotic from day one and Infante Forte Spray has never let us down. Best thing about it, no need to refrigerate. Both of these are available at any good pharmacy. A pacifier. I leave this up to you. Some moms love them, others hate them.

USEFUL TIP: Invest in a small portable diaper caddy to keep all baby’s necessities handy. You’ll use it in hospital, at home and later in the car. Ours was bought years ago at Baby City.

hospital bag for baby

Blankets and burp cloths:

Natural fabrics are best and my top blanket picks include:

  1. My Little Dumplings organic cotton muslin swaddles. Not only are they “green” but also proudly South African. They come in a few cute designs too so pick your fav from Faithful to Nature or online at
  2. Another eco-friendly, local find is Mungo Organic Cotton Cellular Baby Blanket. Made to keep you a lifetime. Also from Faithful to Nature.
  3. Mr. Perfect adores the BabySense Cuddlewrap for easy swaddling.
  4. Woolworths and if you life in Pretoria, Oh My Baby also sell a nice selection of pretty and soft blankets.

We have never struggled with reflux so the BabySense shoulder burp cloths have worked wonderfully in keeping mommy and baby spit-free. The entire BabySense range is available at most baby stores.

hospital bag for baby

A little taglet, comforter of soft toy can do wonders for keeping baby calm now and in future.

We are HUGE, MASSIVE Ewan, the dream sheep supporters, it still is our number 1 baby must-have. (You can -and should- read why here) but will also be taking along our La Fede Pax SnowMonkey – he’s been with us this entire journey.

hospital bag for baby

Finally the adorable little clothes!!!!

Go wild mama. Enjoy planning and shopping for those Pinterest worthy looks. Who cares if no-one will see them because babies pretty much live in a blanket cocoon the 1st few weeks. Or keep it simple and sentimental with gorgeous hand-me-downs. Just enjoy and make sure your angel is warm and comfy.

The checklist below will give you all the details needed regarding what to pack. A few of the brands I’ll be taking with will be Earth Child, God’s Heartbeat, Sticky Fudge, Little Handmade (more to follow on them soon) and Boody Baby – a new eco lux bamboo baby clothing range available at Dischem and Faithful to Nature. I love bamboo for so many reason but mostly because it’s super soft, hypoallergenic, breathable and thermo-regulating. Everything I look for in baby clothes. The design is also cute and simplistic perfection.

USEFUL TIP: Buy a laundry bag just for baby’s clothes. You want to keep them separate from your own. Nostalgie Textiles sell the coolest collection for Mom, dad and baby – so many fun designs to choose from.)hospital bag for baby

ANOTHER TOP MAMA TIP: Dad will most likely be the one dressing baby at first – it’s something special to consider letting him do. Make it easy by putting all the items needed together in a little parcel. Include the socks, vest, booties, beanie, onesie, even a blanket if you like. Label when / what you want baby to wear for every day. We are planning to have each of the girls put together an outfit for baby too – wish me luck!

hospital bag for babyhospital bag for baby

A little something extra:

Once again I’ve tried to make things easier on mom and have included a checklist for you to download (just click on the link below this image for the high res version). You’ll see exactly what and how much of everything you will need to keep baby happy.

hospital bag for baby

Just a mamma baby bag check list

That’s it! All you’ll need during those 1st precious days. Now lets get packing the cutest bag ever!

Enjoy Mama!

hospital bag for baby

PHOTO CREDIT | Anje-Ilana Nel from Madison & West. With the exception of the flatlay shots taken by myself.

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  1. Hayley Thomson-de Boor

    I think the vaseline is used to help with the meconium.. If its put on the baby’s bum it’s much easier to clean the meconium off.

    • Mari-Louise

      You’re probably right. Never thought of that. Thanks for sharing Haley.


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