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Choosing Between a Duffel, Suitcase or Sports Bag for Your Hospital Bag

Congratulations! You’re about to embark on the incredible journey of parenthood.  While there’s a lot to prepare for with a new little one on the way, packing your hospital bag doesn’t have to be another stressor.  

While many resources recommend bringing everything but the kitchen sink, packing light is actually a far better idea!  Yes, you’ll want to bring along the important stuff like insurance documents, phone chargers and clothing for the small person, but beyond that, focus on packing the things that will make you feel most comfortable during your hospital stay. 

So ditch the extras (and anything light-coloured—trust us!) and pack smart for a stress-free hospital experience. We’d like to help you understand the world of duffel bags, suitcases, and sports bags to find the perfect fit for your hospital adventure while ensuring you pack everything you and your newborn need. 

Let’s unpack the options (pun intended!)

The Duffel Bag: Champion of Casual Comfort

Duffel bags are a popular choice for hospital bags, and for good reason. Their spacious interiors can hold everything you and your little one might need, from comfy clothes to an abundance of baby essentials. They’re also incredibly versatile. After delivery, you can easily sling the duffel over your shoulder, keeping your hands free to cradle your precious newborn. However, if you’re someone who likes to have everything perfectly organised, a duffel bag’s open layout might not suit you.

Consider a duffel bag if:

  • You prefer a relaxed and casual style
  • Comfort is your top priority
  • You anticipate needing a lot of packing space

Shop Samsonite’s selection of stylish and durable duffel bags

The Suitcase: A Structured Choice for the Organised Mom

For the mom who thrives on organisation, a suitcase can be a lifesaver. Hardside suitcases offer superior protection for your belongings, while softside suitcases provide a touch of flexibility when packing. Suitcases often have compartments and dividers, allowing you to keep everything neatly separated and easily accessible. However, their structured form might feel a bit bulky when traversing hospital hallways.

Consider a suitcase if:

  • You love having everything compartmentalised
  • You appreciate the extra protection for fragile items
  • You plan on having a designated helper who can carry the bag for you

The Sports Bag: A Functional Option for Active Moms

Sports bags are a great choice for moms on the go. Many have multiple compartments, perfect for separating baby items from yours. They often come with adjustable straps for comfortable carrying, and some even have a ventilated shoe compartment (perfect for those comfy hospital slippers!). However, sports bags might not be the most stylish option, and their wider base can take up more floor space in a hospital room.

Consider a sports bag if:

  • You prioritise functionality and comfort
  • You appreciate having separate compartments for organisation
  • You’re an active mama who values a sporty aesthetic

What Should You Not Pack in Your Hospital Bag?

Knowing what to leave behind is probably just as important as knowing what to bring. Here are some friendly tips on what to avoid packing:

  • Valuables: Leave jewellery, large sums of money, and important documents at home. These items can easily get lost or stolen.
  • Excessive Electronics: Hospitals often have limited space and policies on electronic device usage. Stick to the essentials.
  • Strong-Scented Toiletries: Avoid bringing strong perfumes or scented products to maintain a hypoallergenic environment.
  • Too Much Clothing: Focus on packing comfortable, loose-fitting outfits and basic personal care items instead of overpacking.

Keeping your hospital bag simple and practical will help ensure a smoother experience. Remember, it’s all about your comfort and convenience during your stay!

Packing Like a Pro

Successful packing is all about planning. Here are some tips to help you pack like a pro:

  • Think light and versatile: Hospitals typically provide essentials like blankets and toiletries, so you feel free to leave these behind. Focus on bringing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that’s easy to nurse or pump in if you’re breastfeeding. Pack two or three changes of clothes for yourself and a comfy outfit for going home.
  • Make a list and check it twice: Create a checklist of everything you need to pack, including essentials like your insurance card, ID, phone charger, and a list of your current medications. This will help you avoid forgetting anything important.
  • Pack for comfort: Hospital beds aren’t always known for their luxury, so bring items that will help you feel comfortable. A soft robe, slippers, and a travel pillow can make a big difference. Don’t forget some entertainment options like a book or your favourite downloaded shows.
  • Pack space-saving essentials: Rolling your clothes instead of folding them can help you save space in your bag. Consider using travel-sized toiletries to minimise bulk.

What Kind of Bag is Best For a Hospital Bag?

Now that you’ve explored the pros and cons of each type of bag, you’re well on your way to choosing the perfect companion for your hospital stay. Don’t forget to consider factors like the length of your stay, the time of year, and your personal packing style. Remember, the “best” bag is the one that works for you!

We hope we’ve helped you choose the best hospital bag for mom and baby! For more options, head over to Samsonite’s website to browse our extensive collection of stylish and functional bags for every mom-to-be! We have everything you need to feel prepared and put-together for the arrival of your little miracle. 

Happy packing, and congratulations again!

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