What to Pack in your Hospital Bag
I’m inspired by a good friend of mine who is expecting her first baby very soon. She asked me to put together a list of what I packed in my hospital bag. So I thought, why not share this little list I’ve put together on the blog, should it come in handy to any other lucky ladies about to enter motherhood.
Considering I travel A LOT with work and would consider myself quite the ‘professional packer’, I put a huge amount of thought and effort into packing our hospital bags. It’s one of those things you really want to get right isn’t it…not too much or you’ll look like the mad woman who’s clearly never done this before, too little and you’ll be unprepared.
Entering into the unknown territory of hospital wards, and motherhood at the same time is nerve-racking enough. Then you have the fact that you really don’t know what will happen to you at the hospital, it could all go ever-so-smoothly and you’re sent home in a few hours, or perhaps not so smoothly and you’re told to stick around for weeks.
I think I googled countless lists and asked all my mummy friends what they thought was necessary. Consequently, I had rather a lot of things I didn’t need, so I’ve left them off the list below.
I’ve also tweaked a few things on the list slightly to include what I wish I had packed.
I’ll admit it, I packed like I was going to a fancy B&B with a white waffle robe and slippers (no eye-rolling please, I was excited!). Now let me tell you, white is not a suitable colour post child birth!!!
So here is my little list. I haven’t packed for a week in hospital here (lets be optimistic) as hopefully you are not too far from the hospital and have someone who can nip out and get you other things you may need if you have to stay a while.
Experienced Mamma’s, if you have other things to add to this, please go ahead and comment below. Together we can build the ultimate list!
- Your Maternity Notes – Yep, there were ladies on my ward that forgot them!
- Decanted Toiletries – Rather than have to pull everything together at the last minute, I wanted my cosmetics to be ready to go. I decanted all my favourite skincare items into little pots and labelled them up
- Whatever you need to do your hair – Its amazing how much better you feel when you’ve washed and styled your hair isn’t it?
- Going home outfit – You’ll want to feel nice and together as you head home to start your new life with your little bundle, not to mention the obligatory ‘leaving the hospital pictures’. Now don’t be too ambitious here, I still looked 6 months pregnant leaving the hospital! I wore a maxi dress that fitted when I was pregnant and some comfy flip flops
- Nursing bra – Maybe just start with one bra, in case breast feeding doesn’t work out for you, you can always order more in a couple of days. I wouldn’t bother with breast pads that early on either
- Maternity pads – The bigger the better in my opinion! EAK!
- Knickers – Take ones that fit when you were pregnant. I would go for seam-free in case you’re a little sore
- A plastic jug – You may be glad you did
- Dressing gown – As I said, I packed a white waffle one, which just wasn’t practical on a post natal ward. I would go for a dark colour or a pattern. They’re great for adding warmth, keeping you cosy and also as a cover-up with visitors or between trips to the shower or loos.
- Slippers or Flip-flops – Just something easy to slide on and off.
- 2 or 3 Nighties – Just as with the dressing gown, go for a dark shade. I wouldn’t suggest PJs, they’re not practical.
Black/Navy bikini – If you’re hoping to use the birthing pool
- Cosy Socks – Weirdly, your feet get cold during labour. I was warned about this and was so glad I had them with me.
- A comfy pillow from home – Those hospital ones just don’t cut it.
- Massage Oil – I had a little bottle of almond oil mixed with Relaxing Roman Chamomile. Colin massaged this into my lower back during early labour and it really helped.
- Diffuser – If you’re into your aromatherapy. The hospital were happy for us to use this.
- Lip Balm – Gas and Air makes your lips so dry!! I like the Bobbi Brown one.
- Hot water bottle – I packed this in case the ward was cold, but it actually ended up being wonderful pain relief. I was induced, and consequently strapped to the bed unable to walk through the contractions to ease the pain. The hottie against my back really helped. I’m also using ours to warm Ollie’s bed on a cool night now too.
- Camera/iPhone – Instruct your birthing partner to take as many pictures as possible. I look hideous in almost all of mine but we got a few keepers. You can edit them later.
- iPad with films on. There may be a lot of waiting around.
- iPod doc and playlist – What music would you like your babe to be born to?
- A few straws – This is much easier than trying to swig from a bottle of water between contractions.
A Cooler bag containing:
- Frozen Water – The hospital water isn’t very cold, I wanted it to be icy!! We took the bottles out of the cooler bag one at a time to let them defrost. The freezing water could also be good to pour on a cool flannel for your forehead.
- Face mist straight from the fridge.
- Fresh fruit, Smoothies and any cold food you really love when you’re feeling a bit rotten or tired.
- Snacks – Energy bars will be great to keep you going. I was craving sweet things during labour. A friend also recommend I pack Jelly Babies….this was the best idea ever! The little fruity sugary shots were perfect!!
For baby (summer)
- 2/3 vests in a few sizes
- 2/3 sleep suits (with scratch-mitts built in) in a few sizes
- About 12 nappies
- 3/4 muslin squares
- A cosy hat – Some of the hospital ones are so ugly!
- 2/3 Blankets in different togs and weights.
- Going home outfit – Obviously you’ll want your little one to look lovely, but think of comfort too. It’s amazing how tiny and delicate they are fresh into the world.
- A little pack with a few nappy bags and cotton balls in case they’re not to hand in the hospital
For your man
- A Spare t-shirt/shirt – In case he’s there a while or gets messy
- Book/iPad, phone etc.
- Snacks he loves too – He’ll also need his energy
- An open mind, patience and nerves of steel – I can’t stress this enough. Whoever you have with you, chose wisely. Colin was absolutely incredible and kept me focussed and strong. If you are like me, you’ll need that love and support
Most importantly though, allow yourself to be excited. You are packing for what will likely be the best and most memorable day of your life. Be prepared for anything. I had my heart set on a birthing pool and was so so sad when we were told that it was out of the question due to my waters breaking without labour. All that matters is that they arrive safely in your arms and believe me, they are worth every second of what happens in that hospital.
I’m so excited for you!!