I have been meaning to write this blog for a while as my hospital bag and baby’s has been packed and ready to go for what feels like a very long time now!
It was surprisingly difficult packing this as initially I was planning a home birth but the little munchkin had other ideas so plans had to be changed to the local midwife led centre. Of course, we all plan for a quick and easy labour and to be home as soon as possible but sadly there is no way of knowing how a labour will go so the advice is always to pack for every eventuality but how do you do this!
You don’t need to overdo this, however tempting it is. This is the fun one to pack though!
You will need:
. Nappies. We are going down the reusable nappy route but in the hospital bag I have just packed 10 disposable nappies for convenience sake. I didn’t even buy them, most freebie packs you are sent when you become pregnant from Emmas diary or Boots will contain a pack of newborn nappies.
.Wipes. Most midwives will tell you only to use cotton wool and water on a newborns bottom so I have packed a little bag of cotton wool as well but also a pack of waterwipes as these are super gentle as they contain nothing but water and a tiny bit of fruit extract.
.Clothes. This was the hardest to pack. There is no exact science to knowing how big or small your baby will be so I have packed different outfits for each eventuality, one outfit for if he is around 7lbs which apparently is unlikely looking at the growth chart, one for if he is around 8.5lbs and another for if he is around 10lbs! Obviously, each outfit I have put together with a matching bandana bib. Each outfit is nothing too complicated, just a vest and a baby grow and a pair of socks. I have also put in a couple of differently sized hats and a couple of cardigans in case it is cool.
.Muslin Square. These are the tea towels of baby care! They can be used for everything and then safely boil washed when dirty. Mopping up sick and dribble, popping over baby if they need another cover and as a breast feeding cover should you want one they really are a very versatile piece of baby kit!
.Car Seat. Obviously, this isn’t going to fit in your hospital bag but it is important to get it ready and know how to use it. I won’t lie to you, I have been outside practising with a large teddy bear!
.Snugglebundl. This was always a must for me, especially as our car seat is far too big and bulky to take in and out all the time. Snugglebundls are baby lifting blankets with a safe and cosy head rest for baby and they are perfect to safely lift your little one in and out of the car seat without hurting you back, putting any pressure on a c section scar and without waking baby! You can find more about them here: Snugglebundl
. Hospital notes and birth plan. These are essential so make sure they are with your hospital bag or somewhere you can easily find them. I keep mine right by the front door so they can be grabbed whenever I need them which is becoming more and more frequent the more overdue I get the more I see of my midwife!
.Comfy t shirt and bra for labour. I expect this will probably get messy so I have picked one I don’t mind throwing out afterwards.
.Warm socks. I suffer with bizarrely hot feet but everyone I have spoken to complain of getting really cold feel in labour so I have packed my favourite pair of fluffy jools socks just in case!
.Easy opening pj’s. I am planning on breastfeeding, all things going well so to make it as easy as possible I have bought a couple of really nice breastfeeding pj’s. They are light and super soft with an easy opening front panel. Hopefully I won’t be in hospital for too long but while I am there I may as well be comfy!
.Dressing gown and slippers. I have actually packed 2 dressing gowns. One is a towelling one for if I hopefully get my waterbirth and the other is a comfy stretchy one in case I am up for a wander around after the birth. Who knows!
. Lip balm. I have been told that gas and air makes your lips super dry and cracked so I have bought a lovely cherry lip balm from Lush.
. Hairbrush and hairbands. I have long and unruly hair so I will want it out of the way for labour and probably afterwards so these are a must.
.Things in case I get bored. I must admit, I am not expecting to be bored in labour! But I have been told that if I get an epidural then that can sometimes slow things down and potentially we will be waiting a while for things to get moving so I might be grateful of a couple of seasons of something funny on my tablet so that is packed just in case. Also my headphones so I can listen to my hypnobirthing tracks on my phone if I need to.
.Peppermint oil. This is great for me personally as it relieves nausea but also helps me feel cool of I dab a bit on my temples. Plus it makes the room smell nice!
.Drinks and snacks. I have no idea how long this process will take but it is important to keep hydrated and your energy levels up so I have some of my favourite breakfast bars as well as cartons of apple juice and orange juice with straws. Apparently, straws are easier when you are concentrating on birthing your baby.
.Really glamourous disposable knickers! No, I am lying, sorry ladies nothing glamourous about disposable pants at all but I have a feeling they are very sensible. I also have some dark knickers as well as massive maternity pads which to be honest look more like nappies! Yes I know Kate Middleton looked amazing after the birth of all her children but we all know she was wearing some enormous maternity pads underneath her luscious locks and perfect make up!
.Hand Sanitiser. I know this will be in the hospital anyway but it can’t hurt to have some in my bag. Plus Marks and Spencers sell one that smells like bubblegum.
.Toiletries. Just in case I have to spend a bit longer in hospital I have got little bottles of shower gel, shampoo, a toothbrush and toothpaste. Also deodorant because lets face it, giving birth sounds like quite hard work! Even if I am out quite quickly I will probably still appreciate a shower so some really nice toiletries will hopefully make me feel a bit better.
.Breast pads. For obvious reasons.
.Comfy clothes for going home. As much as I would love to slip in to heels and a bespoke Jenny Packham, that really isn’t going to happen so I have some super stretchy jogging bottoms, a maternity t shirt and a baggy jumper. You can tell I won’t be the most glamourous new mum but at least I will be comfy!
. Fully charged phone and camera. Your partner or you will probably need to alert family members and you will want pictures so make sure this is all ready to go. We also have a fully charged battery pack complete with charging cable in case of emergency.
.Cash. We are really lucky now and our local hospital has free car parks but some change is still a good idea for vending machines.
I would love to know how your hospital bag was different from mine so please let me know if you think I have missed anything out or included too much!