I still remember the time when my family and closest friends asked me how far along I am in my pregnancy, and my answer was just a single digit in terms of weeks. As I’m writing this, I’m already 35 weeks along and on my final stretch in my journey! This only means that my headspace is now around actually preparing for birthing.
Aside from reading more rigorously on labor signs and birthing techniques, I have been preoccupied with preparing our home and assembling our hospital bag. I didn’t realize that putting the hospital bag together was a lot of work in itself, starting from the researching, to the asking around, shopping, and actual packing. It took me weeks to prepare it! The internet offers overwhelming lists of what to put inside and what worked best for me is to ask mom friends and cousins what they placed in theirs. I picked their brains and worked on their tips. But most importantly, I made it a point to pack it the way it would work for me and my husband.
In this article, I share with you how I organized our hospital bag, in hopes that you will learn a thing or two from it!
Old habits die hard. Since I was in grade school, I have always preferred big bags where I can put everything safely inside without getting them folded or creased. The reason is I want to have a hassle-free travel from home to school, and vice versa. I carried that mindset until now, so I preferred to pack our hospital essentials in one piece of luggage. When the delivery time comes, that one big bag is all we’ll bring.
One big bag, however, can be a dumpsite if not properly organized. One thing I really don’t want to happen is for my husband to rummage through our bag looking for an item once we’re already there. To help him manage, I sorted our things into separate packing cubes: one for me, one for him, and two for baby. There are also separate cubes for our slippers and our toiletries.
Since baby’s clothes are tinier, the two packing cubes I intended for her contain smaller resealable storage bags for easier access. Her clothes are already sorted according to day from head to toe. Her linens, since they somehow look alike and can be confusing, are sorted in separate storage bags as well. I got resealable bags in different sizes to accommodate our little one’s different sets of things. This is one tip I got from my cousin who has just recently given birth.
My husband and I had this funny conversation one time I was preparing the hospital bag: he asked me what mittens are and I just had to laugh out loud! Anyway, I can’t expect him to know everything all at once, because it also took me time to learn the ropes during pregnancy, too. His question made me realize how important labeling baby’s things is. At least, he wouldn’t have to take so much time anymore once “mittens” are asked of him.
Clear books are made for the same reason the travel packing cubes were made: sorting. While I can always place all our documents in a single envelope, I chose not to because clear books will allow anyone in the hospital to easily locate what they need. I also placed the clear book inside the luggage’s flat side, and it’s just there together with a pouch where I keep my cards, pens, and paper. Lastly, I made sure that this clear book is labeled with our baby’s name so there will be no confusion with the spelling once it’s asked.
Since we’re still a few weeks away from delivery and there might be a last-minute addition to our bag, I have extra packing cubes ready so I maintain the system I initially set. Take note that it was easy for me to orient my husband with everything inside the bag because of how I sorted and labeled our things inside. I also involved him in the process, asking him what he thinks would work for him better. I accommodated his requests because he will surely do most of the leg work in the hospital. One of my best takeaways from this experience is to also enjoy and have fun because the pregnancy journey would definitely not be complete without it.