To pack or not to pack?

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First published: 2 May 2016

Every couple preparing for the birth of their jewel are usually faced with the task of what to pack in the hospital bag. It is not much of a problem these days, hospitals provide a list prior to the time and there are a lot of online resources to help you in deciding on what to pack for the hospital.

I religiously stuck to the list provided by my hospital but I still needed clarifications (if you ask the hospital staff they will assist you…….in Ghana it depends on the hospital and whether the nurses are friendly) plus I realised that some items which are equally useful were excluded from the list.

If you are not careful, you might end up buying everything sold to you at the hospital by staff and outsiders which might be at a premium price so adequate preparation is key to save costs. I would begin by listing what was provided by the hospital, discuss clarifications I needed and other stuff I found useful that were not on the list.


This is the list the hospital provided to us.

Baby List

  1. Cot sheets
  2. Feeding bottles
  3. Socks
  4. Diapers/Napkins
  5. Baby sponge
  6. Baby soap
  7. Baby pomade/oil
  8. Comb
  9. Baby blanket
  10. Towel (small and medium size)
  11. Baby dresses
  12. Jump suit (cotton)
  13. Sweat suit (cotton)
  14. Cap
  15. Wash clothes
  16. Cotton buds
  17. Glycerin
  18. Baby net

Mother list

  1. Nighties (2)
  2. Broad band bra (2)
  3. Cotton panties (6)
  4. Savlon
  5. Sponge
  6. Towel
  7. Soap
  8. Sanitary pad (Faytex)
  9. Hair net
  10. Milo
  11. Milk
  12. Plates/spoons
  13. Cups
  14. Flask (medium)



What is the use of the feeding bottle if I would be breastfeeding exclusively?

Breastfeeding is not a fairy tale story for all mothers. Some mothers end up with breast infections or struggle with breast milk production so I guess you just need a backup plan just in case. Get a steriliser, feeding bottles and breast pump to avoid any surprises.

What are wash cloths?

To put it simply, they are just like face towels. They are used for easy cleaning of the baby.



What will the cotton buds for used for?

They are dampened and used to clean areas that are difficult to reach with the sponge or towel. For instance the nose, ears etc.




  • Earrings for females
  • Steriliser
  • Breast pump
  • Breast pad: to minimise breast milk leakage
  • 2-3 comfortable dresses
  • Slippers
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Wipes
  • Skin barrier creams such as sudo cream etc
  • Body pomade
  • Comb/brush for hair
  • Pillows: Get comfortable pillows as the ones available at the hospital might be less fluffy.
  • Bed mat: can serve as a changing pad for baby and also useful for the mother to avoid soiling the sheets.

This is not an exhaustive list and can vary depending on the hospital and the mother. Take along items to make you feel very comfortable such as book to read, tablet to watch movies etc and be sure of yourself before heeding advice from anyone. I realised at the hospital that the nurses had different opinions, some might raise false alarms and as a first time you might end up with regrets. Listen to them but think through and consult before implementing them.

What items did you include in your hospital bag that was of use to you? It might be helpful to other would-be mothers.





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