Hospital Bag Essentials!

So, a while ago, one of my lovely friends who is cooking a wonderful little peanut in her tum asked me what I would recommend she packed in her hospital bag. I remember starting to have this thought myself when I was about 28 weeks pregnant and trawling the internet for blogs, YouTube videos, lists...anything that could tell me what I needed to pack. Apart from all of the normal stuff like clothes, nappies etc, I found some real gems which I wouldn't have thought of but were super useful whilst I was having Bubba. So...this is my list (based on an overnight stay):

For Baby: 

  • Vests (4) - sleeve length depending on the time of year
  • Baby grows (4) - I can't stress enough helpful it is to get the ones that just popper up at the front. The ones that have diagonal poppers or just leg poppers may look cute but are a pain in the arse when you are tired out of your mind and have a tiny screaming baby who won't cooperate! 
  • Baby hats and scratch mits (2 hats, 4 pairs of mits) - doesn't matter what time of year as baby won't be able to control its temp and it can get chilly on the wards. 
  • Blankets - some hospitals provide them but you will need at least 1 for when you go home.
  • Nappies - we just took a carry pack as you can never have too many nappies!
  • Wipes - we used the water wipes to start with as they are as soft and gentle as water and cotton wool, just a lot less fiddly. 
  • Ready made bottles of milk - This differs depending on hospital but where I had Bubba had a rule that you couldn't use your own bottles because of hygiene reasons so they supplied the bottles and teats but you needed the milk. I wanted to breast feed but took milk with me just in case and it was a good job I did :)
  • Muslin cloths - no explanation needed really!
  • Dummies - I took 2 dummies with me and I am so glad I did. I remember it was about 1am and Bubba was fed and everything but just wouldn't stop crying. I actually asked the midwife if I could give him a duddy (don't know why I asked her) and it made everything better..for me and the rest of the tired new mummies on the ward. 

For Mummy: 

  • Black PJ bottoms (2) - just trust me...don't take any colour other than black!
  • Nursing bra's and comfy tops (2) - If you want to breastfeed then this is a definite. If not, just remember to take a comfy bra and your boobs might ache. In fact your whole body might ache (I remember feeling like I had been hit by a bus the next day) so you will want to be comfy!
  • Black high knickers (4) - I brought the most disgusting looking black granny pants into hospital which did the job perfectly. I wanted them quite high waist in case I had to have a C Section (you never know) and really didn't care if I have VPL!
  • Socks (2) - your feet will get cold. Not sure why it happens but it does :)
  • Slippers - buy a cheap pair of DARK coloured slippers. Wear them at hospital and when you get home just throw them straight away!!
  • Comfy trackie bottoms or leggings to go home in - when it comes to clothing for about the first month after having a baby just think comfort!!
  • Hair bobbles and hair grips - When you are in labour you won't care what you look like but you will just want that damn bit of hair off your face so these are essential!
  • Make up wipes - You never know when you will go into labour and I couldn't bear the thought of being all hot and sweaty in a full face of make up. They are also nice for a freshen up once everything's settled down if you can't get up to wash your face. 
  • Roll on deodorant - don't take spray..that's just inconsiderate of all the mummys and babies around you.
  • Lip Balm - gas and air makes your lips really REALLY dry and I remember hubby putting this on for me pretty much every hour when I was in labour.
  • Shower gel and shower puff/sponge/flannel - get a NON SCENTED, gentle shower gel. I took sanex 0% which basically has nothing it in that could possibly sting any cut or stitch I had. 
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste & hairbrush - buy a little travel one to stick in your bag as the last thing you want when your going to the hospital is to be remembering to pack last minute things.
  • Phone charger - as above, I brought a second one from Ebay to leave in the bag so I knew it was packed. 
  • Breast pads - I just got the cheap ones and to me they were all the same.
  • Maternity pads - Now, I took proper maternity pads into hospital with me and used them for the first day and then ran out as I was changing them literally every hour! My Mum then brought me in some Always pads that were massive. I can't remember what they were called but they were a HUGE pad that was so super absorbent and didn't come with the 'maternity pad' price tag.
  • Straws - such a strange one but when your in labour the thought of having to hold a cup and tip your head back to drink it can seriously be too much to deal with so grab a straw, get someone else to hold the cup and sip away.
  • Sports drinks & snacks - This is a top tip as you will get tired and if your on nil by mouth for any reason, sports drinks can give you the little pick me up you need.
  • Towel - take a DARK coloured towel with you as if you do have to stay in you will want a shower the next day. 
  • Pain killers - this also sounds like a strange one but it was the best tip I found online. Take your own paracetamol and ibuprofen and you will hurt after giving birth and sometimes if you were to ask any of the very over worked staff on the ward you may find that you are waiting for quite a while. I took my own and just kept myself dosed up to keep the pain at bay. 
  • Spare T-Shirt for Daddy - You might puke on him, baby might puke, poop or wee on him..just take a spare just in case :)
  • Empty carrier bag - for all your dirty clothes when you go home. 
  • Camera - obviously :)
  • Lot's of change - for care parking, mags, snacks..anything. I packed £20 worth of £1 coins in our bag so I knew it didn't matter if we had no change when we went in. 
So...I think thats it...I don't think I have forgotten anything and if I have forgotten anything glaringly obvious then apologies but it has been almost 9 months since I used all this stuff :)

Have you got any top tips for what you packed? Let me know in the comments :)

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