I’ve had months of planning, months of running through every possible thing that me, Gary, my family and the baby will need the day he arrives — even still, I feel like I’m adding things onto the list every few days. It has been super stressful trying to create a list of must-haves.. having never done this before. My goal now? To make it easy for you moms-to-be so that you’re not frantically brainstorming with baby brain like I am!
Step one: Set-up the car seat
Did you know that you can’t take the baby home without a proper car seat? I wish there was an instruction manual for this mama stuff. We went with this Primo Viaggio car seat which is just as safe as it is easy-to-install. Plus the shipping was fast and painless for mamas like me, who could have our baby boy any day now.
Step two: Consider comfort
I don’t want to jinx myself.. but labour can be a long… LONG, uncomfortable process. Bringing little things like your own pillow/blanket can make a big difference to your contentment during your big day. I can no longer go a day without my Casper pillow, so that’s the first thing I’m packing.
Step three: Pass it off
In terms of creating a relaxing environment, our Doula Jen has it covered. We found Jen through Blossoming Birth Services and she’s the best – you can enlist a doula here. Jen will be bringing a bunch of essentials including flameless candles, tens machine for back pain, apple juice, essential oils and a diffuser.
Step Four: Toiletry Bag
We are bringing the Labour Luxury Bag in addition to a custom made toiletry bag. These girls at Luxury Labour really do have everything covered to keep mama comfortable on her big day. To note everything you’ll need… I’m bringing all my travel sized La Biosthetique products for sensitive skin. I’m crazy about this Deep Breath Soothing Oil from K’pure. I want Gary to spray it all over me during labour — if it’s the only thing he does I’ll be happy. I’ll be tossing my everyday toiletry items from K’pure in here as well, including sleepy time, keep going, get closer deodorant and my personal fave settle down. I don’t want to deal with my hair falling in my face, so I’ll be packing my favourite scrunchie. Don’t forget your creams ladies, I’ll be bringing my face cream and nipple cream as well as my FAVOURITE lip balm from blistex. Last but not least, a vitamin C face mist and travel sized dry shampoo because you guys know I won’t be getting dolled up after delivery.
Step Five: Mom’s backpack
This bad boy just has the essentials, a nice comfy robe (mine is from Luxury Labour bags) goes in first. Next up, one tough mother postpartum kit – this covers everything from mesh underwear to ibuprofen and nursing pads. I’ll be tossing in a few of my favourite Kind Bars, because we both know that hospital food sucks, and, of course my trusty Swell Water Bottle.
Step Six: Last but not least.. Baby’s bag
Let’s start with packing all sorts of diaper essentials. We got (and LOVE) Studio Romeo’s Diaper Bag. Inside, we’re including the best (after much extensive research) diapers, super-soft water wipes, and Earth Mama’s diaper balm for our little guy. Now that the bum is taken care of.. Let’s get to the fun part. We’re packing this set of onesies, expecting one or two might get a little dirty ;). It’s Winter, so a onesie isn’t going to cut it. We’re also bringing three or four outfits. This one is my favourite and it’s actually the first thing I bought for baby on our trip to London with Saucony!!! I got it from Harrods (my first time going there), which made it extra special. If you’re wanting a full length onesie, this one is super soft. Oh and you can’t forget the little scratch mittens. Last but not least, pack a few swaddles to keep baby extra cozy. I love these ones from Lululjo.
I know there’s so much to digest, so I suggest getting this together a few months before your due-date. Trust me, if your pregnancy is anything like mine you’re more uncomfortable and vastly more sleep deprived the closer you get to meeting your little one. Gary and I had a lot of fun putting these kits together and they will now be our go-to travel kits, permanently living in the car because you never know when baby is going to need a change of clothes, or mama is going to need to slip into a comfy robe, haha.
Sending all the love in the world to the stressed to-be-mamas who are getting ready for their big day.
Already-mamas, is there anything I missed? Anything that made your delivery easier?
Photos by Brooklyn D Photography
Use my checklists
01 For Labour
- 2 copies of your Birth Plan/Preferences
- Educational materials from childbirth preparation class or favorite pregnancy/ labour reference books
- Lightweight cardigan, robe, nightgown
- Speakers/Earphones to listen to music
- Drinks: Electrolyte drinks like Ultima or Ener-C, favorite clear liquids like juice, raspberry leaf tea, miso soup, homemade labour-aid
- Water bottle with straw
- Honey sticks for quick energy
- Tens Unit device (provides nerve stimulation that helps to reduce pain)
- Easily digestible foods (yogurt, fruit, applesauce, trail mix, protein or granola bars)
- Lotions or oils for massage and massage tools
- Diffuser and essential oils if planning on using during labour
- Flameless candles and/or set of string lights to turn off overhead lights and create relaxing, dimly lit atmosphere
- Unflavored lip balm
- Toothbrush/toothpaste, breath freshener
- Hairbrush, barrettes or “scrunchies”
- Glasses/contact lens case
- Hot water bottle, heating pad for warmth comfort; hand-held fan, small electric or battery operated fan to stay cool
- Focal point such as favorite affirmation/mantra, photograph, ultrasound picture, baby’s first outfit
- Favorite pillow and comfy blanket or throw for comfort and to personalize your birth space
- Birth Ball (check if your hospital has one to use)
- Flip flops to easily slip on and wear in the shower
02 For mama post-birth
- Toiletries: toothbrush and toothpaste, hair care items, shower items
- Slippers with non-skid soles or extra socks
- Gowns that open in front for breastfeeding ease; nursing tank top or shirt
- Nursing bras, undergarments
- Arnica homeopathic tablets to help speed healing and reduce swelling
- Lansinoh or other nipple cream for sore nipples
- Snack foods such as fruit, nuts, favorite treats
- Breastfeeding pillow
- Clothing to go home in
- Witch Hazel (to put on sanitary pads). Helps perineum heal more quickly and with less pain; reduces swelling
03 For Dad
- Food such as sandwiches, fruit, cheese and crackers, protein bars; beverages
- Change of clothes
- Lightweight jacket or sweater (labor rooms are often very cool)
- Swimsuit so you can join mom in the shower or tub
04 For Baby
- Clothing to go home in and diaper bag
- Warm blanket and clothing, booties and cap (in cool weather)
- Receiving blanket
- Newborn diapers if you have chosen to do cloth or natural disposable diapers
- Car Seat
- BC Services Card
- Cell Phone and charging adapter; Laptop/tablet and power supply
- Camera and charging cord
- Change for vending machines