“ What would you recommend is taken to hospital for birthing? Use this space to give some personal advice and recommend things that don't appear on the standard list „
When i got p
regnant with my daughter i looked up what to put into my hospital bag. Here is a list of the things that i took with me and also a few things i didnt but now wish i did.
2 Pairs of pyjamas,
5 Pairs of underwear,
2 Packs of maternity pads,
Phone charger, before being able to use this you will need to take it to a member of staff and get an Electrical item test, without this you cant use plug in devices in hospital,
Few pairs of tshirts, jumpers and trousers, try bring loose fitted trousers to make yourself as comfy as possible.
Hand moistouriser, as your in a hospital your asked to wash your hands very well and very often and this can lead to them getting very dry and cracked,
Good fitted bra, once the milk comes in your boobs get very heavy and sore so its good to have a well fitted bra,
Hair band, hair brush, tooth paste and toothbrush,
Shampoo and conditioner,
If your going to use one a Tens machine, they can be borrowed from the hospital but usually have to be booked in advance.
As you dont know how long your going to be in hospital for i suggest you take about 5 of all clothing items, i ended up being in hospital and had to keep sending my partner home for more items.
*For The Birthing Partner*
No-one knows how long your going to be in labour for so its nice to pack your birth partner a bag of things,
A comfy pair of shoes,
Watch, this way your birthing partner can be as helpful as possible and time your contractions,
A phone book is always handy, this way once youve had the baby you can send them off to call everyone,
If youd like to capture the moment you can take a camera or video recorder,
A change of clothes,
And a fan to keep the mum to be warm.
Depending on the weather you may want to take a jumper or a thicker sleep suit for when you go home,
Nappys, Bring more then you expect to use,
Wotton wool, for the first few days you told not to use baby wipes so make sure to stock up on cotton wool,
Baby car seat, this is vital for the day your baby goes home as most hospitals wont let you leave without one,
When i had my daughter i ended up staying in 9 days and she was so small she didnt fit any newborn clothes. While in the hospital we were given plenty of premature baby clothes. My partner and family members were busy shopping and getting as much premature baby clothes as they could for when we came home. I would recommened get a small bundle, maybe just 1 vest and 1 sleepsuit, in premature baby clothes just incase.
Its recommened you pack your hospital bag before the 37th. Your midwife will check with you towards the end to make sure your all ready. I packed mine at 30 weeks which was handy as my daughter came at 33.
After about my 3rd day in hospital i must of had about 5 bags. I felt really bad as i couldnt see the floor in my cubical, but noone cared as they just wanted to me to as comfy and happy as possible. My advice is if you want it take it :)
From the time I found out I was pregnant I was constantly going over what I had to buy in my head. Separating from my partner when I was just 3 months pregnant meant I had the expense all on my own but I scrimped and saved and made sure my little angel was very well prepared for.
With my son being my first child I did go by the books and pack everything it said to take on a pull-out sheet I had inside a Mothercare brochure. For him I had Cardi's, vests, sleepsuits, cotton balls, baby lotion, the lot, everything the leaflet said. Little did I realise I wouldn't need most things and the things I did need I didn't pack enough of. The reason for that being I had to have an emergency c-section so was in hospital for four days and not the one day like I was expecting.
An expectant mother will need a large variety of items, I had to have a wheeled suitcase to fit all my luxuries in and even that wasn't enough. For myself I had:-
* 3 nighties - one for labour, one for afterwards and a spare, ideal if you're not staying in long.
* 1 pyjama bottoms - I had very loose fitting ones which were ideal after having my c-section.
* 5 pairs of Knickers - for ladies having c-sections I would advise buying a bigger size as you don't want them being tight and uncomfortable. Also I would say the higher the better as this stops them resting on your scar, they may not be very attractive but who cares when you've just delivered a baby.
* Maternity pads - I put a whole pack of 12 in my bag and had to get my mam to bring me more as I had to stay in for four days. When my waters broke the nurse advised I put 2 on together so went through a lot as you can imagine.
* Slippers & Dressing Gown - for comfort before and after. When in labour your body temperature alters drastically, a dressing gown is handy as it can easily be slipped on and off.
* Comfortable Bras & breast pads - breasts become very sore when they first start producing milk so your everyday under wired bra is not advisable if you wish to be comfortable. Some people find they have problems with leaking milk, especially when choosing to breastfeed, so be prepared for any accidents with breast pads.
* Toiletries & bath towel - the obvious reason for these being the need to freshen yourself up after bringing your bundle of joy into the world.
* Magazines - although I did not have the patience to read any of these when in labour they did come in handy after I'd had my little boy. Maternity wards can get quite lonely after all your visitors have gone and you've laid your baby down to sleep, a light read does pass the time.
* Lip balm - my lips were terribly dry and sore towards the end of my pregnancy, even more so when I was in labour.
* Most midwifes and baby books advise you to take snacks, but in my personal opinion food was the last thing on my mind when I was having contractions. Although the reason for this may be because the only contractions I experienced were straight at 2 minutes apart. Was a good job I avoided food as I was rushed for an emergency caesarean.
* A Camera - you'll want to capture all your child's first hugs and feeds. I have a very large collection from when my son was born and they mean so much to me, knowing how fast my son grew it's nice to know I can look back over photographs of the moments after he came into the world.
* And last but not least a hand held fan, as I said earlier, body temperature fluctuates during labour. Not all women will want to add this to their bag but it can be a great help when your body temperature starts to rise.
Obviously all people relax and get comfortable in different ways so if say for instance music helps you relax, then make up a cd of all your favourite music, or even put the songs onto a mp3 player and make sure you have that packed to listen to whilst your going through the labour process.
The main items I would advise every new mother planning on giving birth naturally to have in their new baby's hospital bag are:-
* 3 or 4 vests - their little bodies need to be kept warm
* 3 or 4 sleepsuits - I found it best dressing my baby in these whilst in hospital, proper outfits are just pointless while they're spending days on a hospital ward.
* 8 nappies - either disposable or re-usable, which ever you intend on using although I would assume disposable are best whilst in hospital, especially having nowhere to clean the re-usable type.
* Baby wipes - to clean up the first sticky messes your newborn will make.
* Nappy sacks - nobody wants a smelly ward ha-ha
* Scratch mitts - I went through quite a few pairs of these with my son, it was a kind of comfort thing for him, as well as the fact I didn't want him scramming his face.
* 2 blankets - I only used one but the second one would be handy in case your bundle of joy is sick.
* Bibs or muslin squares - are a must have, everyone knows that some babies don't keep their milk down and make more often than not are sick over one or both of their parents. I would advise the bibs with plastic on the back as this stops anything going through the fabric on the front an seeping into the clothes.
* Hats - some people just put them on for show, but being a 'new mum' I thought my baby would be warmer after being born. I didn't use them after getting home, apart from when we went out.
* An outfit for wearing home - some parents chose to take their child home on a sleep suit, but my son wore the cutest little soft material trouser and t-shirt outfit, he also had the matching coat. They will also need socks if you decide on an outfit with trousers.
* Also a coat or all in one suit is needed, depending on the time of year. For example if it's the middle of summer an your country is experiencing high heats then an all in one suit is really not advisable
I have added the baby bag items as many new parents will not know what they will need and being a parent myself I know that I took way too much to hospital with me when I had my son. I would advise that you have items at home on 'standby' as a caesarean will mean you have to stay in longer so will need more than already packed.
A lot of people may think I'm mad for saying this, but I would advise any mother due to give birth to try to stay calm throughout, you're in safe hands at any hospital and here comes the mad bit.... enjoy it!!!! You're doing a very special thing bringing a precious new life into the world. I would also advise that although many people leave packing their bag until the last minute, do it from as early as 30 weeks because accurate labour can never be predicted. My son was 3 and half weeks early so I'm glad I was well prepared.
I hope this helps women preparing for the 'big day' x
The first time around, I took everything I thought I would need. This resulted in us looking as if we were off on holiday rather than going to the labour ward. As it turned out, I was in hospital for several days, so I still didn't have half the things I needed. Trust me, you don't want to be telling your other half how many pairs of knickers you're going to need when you've just given birth.
The second time around, I approached things slightly differently. I packed three bags (I think this may have had something to do with nesting, but it seemed to make sense at the time). I had one bag for labour and immediately afterwards, which came with us into the hospital, one for soon afterwards but not right away, which stayed in the car, and one for if we should need to stay longer in hospital again, which stayed at home. I gave birth very quickly at home in the end but still had to go to hospital afterwards, so some of the things I'd packed were useful and some weren't; maybe I should have had a fourth one for that...
Hospital notes with birth plan
(Actually, I'm lying here; I didn't have a birth plan, unless you're counting 'give me lots of drugs' as a plan).
A couple of very cheap long, loose tops and spare knickers.
Bottles of Lucozade Sport.
Chocolate chip Tracker bars.
This can be risky, as sugar can give you bad heartburn during labour, so I also took...
Bottle of Gaviscon.
And you can get this on free prescription if you ask your midwife nicely!
Selection of travel-sized toiletries from Superdrug and Asda, plus toothbrush.
A couple of magazines and at least one book.
Labour can take a long time, and if you have to have an epidural, you will get very bored. Don't be tempted to buy these too far in advance, you'll only read them.
Very important, this one - a Dettol aerosol.
This is not the spray bottle that you use for kitchen surfaces; it's a can, usually apple-scented. I was glad I took it as, frankly, the hospital bathrooms could have been cleaner and there were no loo seats. Ick. Bear in mind that once your waters have gone, your baby is not in a sterile environment and that afterwards you will have an open wound that you can't see. An infection can go undetected until it is really quite serious. At the very least, the fumes might give you some added pain relief.
Two pairs of mesh knickers.
Much nicer than paper pants. I got mine from the NCT, but they are available from other places as well.
Five of these, the housebrick type.
For afterwards, when you're sitting on the bed. If you bleed all over it, they'll have to change the sheets and that's a pain for everyone.
PJ's and dressing gown.
Three should be enough for now.
Cotton wool and water is best, but you'll be knackered and possibly a little weak in the knees (and not in a good way). Huggies Pure are quite good. You can also use these to give yourself a bit of a bed bath.
At least two sleepsuits.
Babies are so bundled up in blankets at this point that you don't really need much more than this, plus delivery rooms and maternity wards are kept on the warm side to stop them getting too cold. Take 0-3 months rather than newborn, you never know in advance what size you're going to get, and too big is better than too small.
Hat and scratch mitts.
Spare pair of pj's and a few more pairs of mesh knickers.
In fact, all the knickers you have - they take up very little room and at this stage, you will be bleeding all over the place.
Clothes to wear home for both of you.
If you have a pair of adjustable maternity trousers, these would be best, plus a loose-fitting top. For the baby, whatever is seasonally appropriate.
Your own towel.
If it matters to you and you have room.
Pack these last and fit in as many as you can.
A couple more maternity mats, just in case.
Another book or two.
In the (ahem) unlikely event that you don't want to spend all your time gazing at your baby.
Some more snacks and drinks.
Whatever you like, really. You can get very hungry with no warning afterwards, and it's nice not to have to press the buzzer EVERY time you want something.
Probably around ten. Babies don't actually get through that many to begin with unless they are bottle fed, as breastmilk (colostrum) at this point is very thick. If you run out, the hospital will have spares until you can get some more brought in.
More clothes for the baby.
A couple of sleepsuits and tops, a spare hat and a spare pair of scratch mitts.
If you need this, you need it NOW. Lansinoh is a good one for in the hospital as you don't have to wash it off before feeding.
Disposable breast pads.
Don't take the washable ones in case you need the nipple cream as they will stick to it in a bizarre cotton-wool type of way.
Bag three is pretty much the same as bag two, but without the knickers.
You'll probably also want to take some things from your handbag like your mobile, purse, lipsalve, etc. It might be worth putting these into a smaller bag within your handbag so that you can just take it out on your way out of the door. I didn't do this, but that's because I only just thought of it (rats).
Well, hopefully this is helpful to someone. Good luck!
From around 32weeks I had myself convinced I was going to go into labour at anytime and I to be prepared, so my hospital/labour bag was mostly packed and sitting at the front door. The night I did go into labour though, we were at my Mother in Laws and had to stop off home to get the bag! Every woman has different needs even in labour but I will list what I personally think is a well planned labour bag!
First of all, the bag doesn't have to be massive, just enough room to fit your things. Primark do some lovely holdall type bags for around £5-7 which are perfect and my sister bought me a red with white polka dot one.
*a mini fan* hospital rooms do not always have these and they are ideal for keeping you cool
*hair bobble or hair band* keeping hair out of face
*face cloth* for hubby to mop the brow
*toiletries* toothbrush/paste, mini deodorant, shower gel, shampoo etc for freshing up after baby is born
*maternity towels* these are essential due to bleeding afterwards though some hospitals may have a supply do not guarantee this
*breast pads* even if you do not plan to breastfeed, these are good to stop any leakages
*a loose fitting nightgown* preferably an old one for labour and if you plan to breastfeed, then one that opens at the top
*pyjamas* you are likely to be in overnight so clean pjs is a must
*underwear* a few pairs should be enough, they don't need to be fancy..you have just given birth!
*housecoat/dressing gown* you may prefer this if you want to walk around the ward
*slippers* again for the above reason, hospital floors can be cold
*mints and snacks* mints for during, gas and air can make your throat very dry. Hospital food is not always brilliant so ensure you have some snacks in your bag. My mum brought me a picnic after I had my son!
*your birthing plan* this should have really been at the top, it is essential so that any midwife can see your history and expectations
*change of clothes* clothes for going home in and clothes if you feel like getting dressed for any visitors..I didn't
*nappies* newborn, ensure you have at least 10 in your bag
*wipes* unfragranced are best
*nappy bags* not essential but you could put a few in
*clothes* include mittens, a hat, baby grow, vest, going home clothes, bibs and socks
*toiletries* most hospitals opt to use nothing on babies first bath but you may choose to pack some cotton buds, bath bath etc
*camera* to take those wonderful newborn pictures or a camcorder if you wished to be filmed though I personally didn't like the idea of this!
*mobile with credit* once your little angel is born, hubby will need to phone everyone so a mobile with some money in it would be ideal or change for the phonebox
*snacks* it is stressful being a labour partner so Dad will need to keep his strength up with some chocolate and crisps!
*fresheners* mini Lynx and toothbrush incase he is there a while!
Thats my list..i welcome any further suggestions! Do not fret if you have forgot something, someone visiting could bring it in, there is a shop in most hospitals or the staff could provide something if you desperately need it. We can never be fully prepared for anything but we can try!
Every woman is different, but here is a compilation of what I took to hospital in my bag for the birth of my first child... 1) Bournville chocolate (get your priorities right!), although as I had an epidural, I wasn't allowed to eat anything in case I had to have a caesarean - still it did come in handy as I was there for 5 days after my baby arrived and the hospital food was not up to much... 2) a hand held fan - actually, this wasn't a bad idea. Hospitals can be hot at the best of times, but especially in summer. Of course my husband had to hold it to my face, not me! 3) Bendy drinking straw. May seem a little odd, but you will probably not be in the mood to hold a cup - and in the middle of those end contractions you might just need short regular sips so a bendy straw is so useful (again somebody else will probably be holding the cup or carton!) 4) Flannel - really useful for instantly cooling you down - if you have an obedient servant who will run backwards and forwards to the cold tap 5) Baby clothes - a bit obvious but you'll be needing these 6) Ipod - I packed one but it was the last thing I wanted to use! 7) Plenty of bottled water - although you are of course provided with water, you will drink a lot of it and it is just easier to have plentiful supplies so you are not constantly trying to get somebody's attention for a refill.
With my first born I was given a list from the hospital antenatal class, and I went out and brought it all, being my first I didn't have a clue and figured if its from the hospital then it must be all needed. I never made that mistake when expecting my second child as I didn't use half of the items for my first child.
Its difficult knowing what to pack in your hospital bag, as everyone's labour is different, what is essential is different for each person and their labour. As for the postnatal bag - well thats the same, how long will you be in for, depending on the type of labour you have. The other problem is there really isn't much space in the hospitals to house all your suitcases!!
They recommend packing your bags about 32 weeks onwards, with my first I think i packed it all about 30 weeks and with my second I think I packed it much later as I went overdue with my first and knew I would with my second.
I would recommend either one small suitcase, using plastic carrier bags to put the different items in, like one for the baby's first clothes, going home clothes, etc then the carrier bags come in useful for the dirty washing. Otherwise maybe packing 2 small holdalls, personally I found the suitcase better as it was on wheels and fit everything in.
I was also told to make a pile of 'extras' at home so hubby knew where to find them should you need more nappies/clothes etc, I had one friend who asked her hubby to bring some more pants and knickers in, he brought her pre-pregnancy jeans she couldn't fit into and thongs...go figure that one!!!
Also it maybe worth keeping some bits and bobs in the car that isn't needed until the ward, so you are just taking in things for the labour.
Organisation is the key, as even though I didn't take as much for my second and packed much later, I forgot shampoo and shower gel, as I had to be bed bathed last time due to not being able to get out of bed!! Luckily someone had left some in the shower room!
For my first my main useful items were, ipod (to drown out noise), straws to drink the water, lip balm (gas and air is thirsty work).
Here is my list:
Shower gel/ Shampoo/conditioner - first time around and didn't need, forgot them second time around and needed
Maternity pads - lots of, I needed more first time around due to my pph
Nightie to give birth in
Coming home clothes - mat jeans, mat top, socks, trainers
Knickers - I brought asda's smart price ones so I could chuck them
Dressing Gown - never used first time, but needed second time
Slippers - I brought cheap ones to chuck
Books and Magazines, needed for second time
Cereal bars/snacks (these were so important for first time around, with me losing so much blood they wouldn't feed me while on a drip so I could sneak eat these)
Pen and paper - useful to write my birth story
Lansinoh, I wish I took first time around with me
arnica tablets and cream
Babygros x 4
Vests x 4
I then packed my suitcase in order of things needed so stuff for the labour at the very top, like stuff for me and baby then bits for the ward at the bottom, saved pulling everything out.
I also labelled the carrier bags with all the babies' bits for the second time around as hubby couldn't find everything.
I think i packed and unpacked my hospital bag so many times.
i packed 2 bags one for baby and one for me,its was just easier as i knew where things were when i needed them.
i had 2 night shirts, quiet long ones too so when i was walking about i didnt flash my bum to the whole ward.
about 10 pairs of underwear, believe me you will need them. disposable ones would be a good ideal.
a few pairs of socks
hair bobbles if you have long hair
a flannel or 2 for when your hot and sweaty
a change of clothes
phone book and change to call people
probably a few other bits and bobs too
car seat to bring baby home in too
i really did pack and repack alot as i bought new things for baby and changed my mind about what to take and how much to take.
alot of the things are common scene ,some you may or may not need.
you might want to take extra things with you like a mp3 player/cd player
or a tenns machine,snacks and juice in case of a long labor
all personal choice really.
pack what you feel you need and good luck with your new baby :o)
There are many different lists advising you what to take with you when having a baby. I found some things to be completely useless. Obviously everyone's needs are different but below is a list of what "they" say to take with and what I think ... I have had two children at two different hospitals so I think I can offer a good opinion.
* A clean T-shirt or front-opening nightie, dressing gown and slippers
* Drinks and snacks for you and whoever's going to be with you
The first hospital was quite average. I was offered meals at meal times and for the most part I stuck to Sandwiches. I stayed there for three nights. I could have done with a bit more chocolate and maybe a soda or two as the machines are rather expensive. The second hospital was really accommodating and offered me all kind of snacks. I only stayed one night but throughout labour and the night they were bringing me cups of tea and stuff.
* A straw, which will make sipping liquids easier
Can't say I feel either way about this one. I was given orange juice during labour and they had already put a straw in it and thinking back I guess it's much easier then trying to drink as normal from a cup when you have other things on your mind.
* A small facial sponge, for dabbing and sucking on
Didn't bring one nor did I find the need for one. My second labour was a water birth so there isn't really the need to dab your face.
* Body oil, fine talcum powder or lotion for back rubs
I should have demanded a backrub! I'm quite upset now that I didn't! I did bring oil but that was Bio Oil to ward off stretch marks.
* Music CDs and a battery-operated player
I didn't bring music. There was a cd player at both hospitals though. I nearly killed the lady in the delivery suite next door as she played her god awful music all through her labour.
* Hairbrush, soap, towel and flannel, toothbrush and paste, and any other toiletries you want
All of the above are a must for obvious reasons!
* Maternity pads (night-time sanitary pads will do) and spare pants
Yet again another must have.
* Birth Plan
I sat and talked through what I wanted with the nurse and midwife on arrival so my birth plan was just a waste of paper. My first labour however was just under an hour so there was no time for a plan or chat!
* A front-opening nightie (easier for breastfeeding)
It's good to have another one for after the birth. Nice and clean.
* Comfy clothes (such as a tracksuit and T-shirts)
* Sandals or easy-fitting footwear
It's very important to have loose comfy clothes and sandals to go home in.
* Extra knickers
* Nursing bras
Even if you're not planning on breastfeeding it's good to have one that will keep you comfy.
* Toiletries and cosmetics
I didn't even think about putting make-up on to be honest. I looked like some sort of devil woman and that is how I stayed for the next couple days!
As for body wash I learnt after my first experience not to take anything with any fragrances in it. Avent make a maternity body wash that is fragrance free and so shouldn't cause any irritation.
* Magazines and books
I had good intentions of reading a book but to be honest I was too tired for any of that. The first time as I was in hospital for longer I did read a book but not the second time round.
* Writing materials
Maybe for people who want to send letters ... I'd rather send a text.
* Baby clothes
One or two outfits should be just fine. I had two hats to go with and a couple mitts to stop baby scratching their face.
* Nappies for your new baby
The hospital will not give you any unless you came into hospital in an emergency or surprise/early labour!
Ideas from me:
* Camera / phone
* Photos of other children
All the best to those expecting or trying for children ...
© oioiyou 2009
I have had 2 children now, both hospital births and looking back I can see that I was no-where near right when packing the hospital bags. Sure I checked all the lists available, the Mothercare one on the catalogue, Babycentre one on their website, Bounty one, all the ones in the magazines! I found the first time I didn't have enough clothes for baby and the second time I didn't have enough clothes for me! Both times I didn't take in enough snacks or anything to do when baby was asleep and no visitors were allowed. So here is my list, hope it helps someone, somewhere, somehow:
Labour & Birth Bag
This bag is all about you and your birthing partner, pack enough to last you a day and be prepared for clothes that will get wet if you labour in the birthing pool.
~ 3-4 thin nightdresses that are a bigger size so they are easier to get on and off
~ Maternity bras
~ A box of Maternity pads
~ A change of clothes for your birthing partner
~ energy bars
~ energy drinks
~ Snacks and drinks for your birth partner
~ Bananas (a great source of energy)
~ Crosswords or something similar for your birthing partner to do
~ Lip Balm, gas and air will make your lips very dry
~ TENs machine
~ Digital Camera
~ Spare batteries
~ Change for parking
~ Your Green Notes
For You, After the Birth:
Always pack with the thought that you could stay in there for a few days, I used to pack thinking I would be out in a day - never happened yet!
~ 2-3 Changes of clothes, pack clothes that are big, comfortable and not restrictive in any way!
~ Your purse, so you can buy TV time or snacks
~ Maternity Bras
~ Breast pads
~ Tooth Brush
~ A sensitive body wash
~ 10pairs of large, cheap knickers that you wont mind throwing away!
~ Light dressing gown
~ Bottle of juice, you will only be offered water or tea on the ward
~ Mints or sucking sweets
~ Crosswords/magazines to do inbetween feeds
Again, it will be best to pack for baby with the thought you will be staying in for a few days
~ 5-6 sleepsuits, I found I went through 2 of these a day
~ 5-6 vests
~ Whole pack on nappies - you just never know how many you will need
~ Cotton Wool - normally supplied at the hospital but best to be prepared
~ Coming home outfit
~ Nice blanket - for photo opp
~ Socks if the babies outfit doesn't have them
~ Warm jacket/snowsuit if its cold outside
~ Hat but that is optional
Don't forget the car seat!
Lets go back to that first booking in with the midwife and she gives you a million leaflets of this and that and the one of what to pack for the hospital and birth.
I took the standard list for my son's birth in 2002 which was a elective c-section
* Bath and hand towels (dark colour best)
* Nightie for labour but then pj's are more comfty.
* Dressing gown (lightweight as those wards are boiling hot)
* Slippers and socks.
* Knickers (caesarean needs granny pants to sit over scar)
* Maternity sanitary pads (I took always nighttime)
* Breast pads(disposable best for hospital)
* Soft drink.
For your baby
* Nappies (newborn size).
* Cotton wool balls.
* Baby clothes (such as vests and sleepsuits).
* don't bother with wetwipes as the midwives tell you off
A lot of lists tell you to food etc but to fair I wasn't allowed to eat with my section or later with normal labour (daughter 2006).
Try to take only what you need as family can bring in extra clothes nappies etc when they come to visit.
When I had my daughter I didn't need much at all for baby as I was at home after 4 hrs of having her.
I would however take really nice smellys for shower after.
Preparing a hospital bag for you and the new arrival is as stressful as actually giving birth in my opinion, with my first daughter i stressed for weeks over what i needed to take with me and still found i had forgotten things i needed and had things i didnt need in there.
For the baby.
a blanket or shawl, the hospital do provide these but they are not very nice ones and it is always nice to have your own
nappys, i took 2 packs of nappys in with me as you need to be prepared to be there for a few days if you have complications or a c section
cotton wool, you will need this to clean babys eyes at bath time and to change babys nappys as they dont like you using baby wipes on new borns delicate skin
baby grows, you will need at least 4 changes of clothes a day so take plenty of these in with you, vests aswell
bibs, if you are bottle feeding, i didnt use mine as i breast fed
scratch mittens, they are a night mare to keep on but will stop your baby scratching there own face
Baby wash and a wash cloth for bath time, the hospital provide the bath and you will need a baby towel to dry the baby
hat to keep baby warm
Car seat and coat for baby to go home in
for mom you will need
all your basic toiletrys as none were provided at our hospital, shampoo, shower gel, hand wash, conditioner, deoderant, etc
Underwear, big nickers and the older the better as they are likely to get very messy
lots of maternity pads, i would take 6 packs for a 3 day stay
breast pads, weather you intend to breast feed or not you will need these and your bras to put them in
night clothes, nightys are better
clothes to get dressed into in the day, something comfortable and loose fitting
Slippers and house coat
camera, phone and money
A little extra item that i havent seen any one else mention is that i took a bottle of cordial pop in with me as they provide you with a jug of water only other than meal times and it gets very warm in the maternity wards so you get very thirsty and plain water isnt very nice especially as it is always warm
Having your hospital bag sitting ready to go is a reassuring feeling, I had mine ready from about 7 months. I kept going through little check lists that I would find in mother and baby magazines and from advice of friends and family and adding little bits and taking away.
It is very hard to imagine the experience you are about to enter into when it is your first time therefore extremly hard to imagine wat you need to go armed with!
Although i tried to be organised and checked my bag every couple of days I still needed to send out for more stuff so here is my little bit of advice for any expectant mums, i hope this helps.
1.Plenty of nappies- 2 or 3 packs of the newborn packs to be safe.
2.Baby lotion (wipes are very harsh on babys new skin)
4.Plenty of babygrows.
Don't splash out on these first ones for the hospital as they will be on and of in no time at all and covers in spew!
I bought plain white ones just from tesco in 0-3 months as they are better a little big than too small.
4. Bibs and lots of them, you will go through these like crazy too. Again don't splash out on these either as they will not look like anything after the first couple of days.
5.Blanket, one wil do if a spew emergancy happens the hospital have lots of baby blankets.
6.Towel, You wil be shown how to bath baby in hospital and someone will take the little one to bath when you get into your ward/room.
7.Scratch mits- You can also get baby grows in next with scrath mits on the hands.
8.Dummies- You might find your little one really take to a dummy
9.Going home outfit and coat- Although you could get someone to drop this into you before you go home
1.Cool pjamas - I brought 3 sets, you more than likely will not want to wear pjama bottoms so short set are best, hospital labour wards are very warm, it is necessary for the babies.
4.Towel set including hand towel and face cloth
5.Toiletery Bag- with tooth brush/paste, shower gel, shampoo, deodorant, hair brush, hair bobbles and whatever else you choose to put in.
6.Pads- lots of these
8.Big Pants- you will also go through alot of these
9.Phone and charger
10.Camera with new batteries/charger
11.Makeup bag- I found it a great releive to put on a little makeup after showering and before visitors
Good luck to any mums to be out there!x
The question of your hospital bag seems to take over when you are pregnant, i think it is best to get it packed and done just incase. You can always add things and take them out as you think about it. As someone who normally packs a suitcase to stay out one night i was worried about what i would be able to take with me to the hospital and i wanted to get my bag packed early on:
I think having two bags is helpful;
An old nightdress or T shirt to wear in labour
Lip balm - (my lips got really sore on the gas and air, loads of people had told me to take lib balm but i missed the reason for taking it - i would have saved really sore lips if i had of realised!)
Digital camera - charged! and the charger just incase!
After the birth have another bag ready with Going-home outfit, Breatfeeding bra, Breast pads, Maternity pads, Nightdress or pyjamas
Toiletries the usual - Towels, hairbrush, toothbrush and toothpaste
Old knickers the paper ones are awful!
For your baby:
Infant car seat - get other half to come in with it when you can go home if possible.
One outfit for the trip home (all-in-one stretchy outfits are easiest) - no one will be looking at you - it is all about the baby!
Jacket or snowsuit for winter
You really don't need as much as you think and normally you will be in and out before you no it - things will just get in the way otherwise. I found that i could have got away with much less as the hospital have spares of most things, i had a water birth and they gave me a huge fluffy dressing gown for when i got out of the pool - this was soo nice but not really something that i could have fit into the bag!
I think it is helpful to pack the basics and if you do end up staying in longer then you think you can have a pile of stuff at home that your other half can get their hands on easily or god knows what you may end up with - there really is little room in the hospital to keep things so less really is best!
Preparing your hospital bag is probably just as daunting as actually having your child. No matter how many scans and check ups you have there is no guarantee that you are definitely having a boy or a girl or what size or weight your little one will be. So really when preparing your bag for your hospital stay you need to be prepared for more than one situation. But of course it is hard to be prepared, as you don't know for sure anything about your little one or even exactly when or how you are going to have them.
Here's a rough guide though ..
Firstly Your Child..
Vests and Babygrows - You need to think how big or small your child is going to be. You may have had a growth scan before hand to give you a rough idea on the size of your baby, but these are not always accurate. I had a scan just a week before having my twins and was told to expect them both to be around 5lb when in fact they were both born over 7lb. You may go into labour early, you may go overdue. All these are factors that need to come into what you take for your little one. Will you need preemie clothes, newborn or even 0-3 months? Also take more than one or two outfits as just don't know what will happen during the birth and could be in hospital longer than what you might have thought.
Nappies - Newborn nappies are usually used when a child is just born, but make sure you have enough or at least a few spare at home in case you need to stay in any longer than expected. You need to think on how long you are going to be staying in hospital for, usually 3nights if having a C-Section so obviously you would need more nappies. Oh and how many babies are you actually having, if like me you are having twins, again more nappies would be needed.
Bibs - Of course whilst feeding when just born things can get a little messy with their milk and their winding, bibs are good to keep the mess off their clothes.
Scratch Mittens - Some babies can be lethal with their nails and scratch their face terrible, these can help protect their delicate skin.
A Blanket - A nice blanket for your little one to wrap them up in, the hospital ones tend to be like rags and don't look to cosy for a baby really.
Hats - Babies lose heat through their head alot quicker than what we do and a hat can help keep the heat within them.
Cotton Wool - Now I say cotton wool as I was using baby wipes during my hospital stay to change my boys bums, until I had a grilling off the nurse and was advised to use cotton wool and water instead as it is alot gentler on a babies bottom.
Carrier Bags? - This may not be for everyone but if you are having a few day stay in hospital you are going to have some dirty washing, I found storing the clothes in carrier bags and tying the bags up kept the clean clothes away from the dirty.
Now For Yourself -
As I've said above you may stay in hospital longer than what you originally thought so it's always good to be prepared, however if having a C-Section you should expect to stay in at least 2nights anyway.
Spare Change - Not all hospitals or wards allow this as mine didn't when I was in a room myself but some have T.V's, and of course you are going to be bored whilst your baby sleeps and there is nobody to keep you company so you could buy a T.V card.
Your Mobile - Most hospitals allow to have a phone on the ward now, even if you don't use it to contact people it has all your numbers in it if you do need to ring anybody.
Pyjamas - I was so wrong in the pyjamas I took, I should have took a long nighty in for after I had my C-Section as I knew alot was going to be checked etc afterwards down below, instead I took trouser and strappy top PJ's which meant I didn't feel comfortable in what I had on at all. Also take maybe 2 sets of PJ's in case you do end up in a bit of a mess in one set.
Pants - Big Pants for after the birth, often women bleed heavily and for a good few weeks afterwards and you need to be comfortable. You can buy big pants cheap enough in places such as Primark and Peacocks, you don't want to spend alot on these as they do tend to end up ruined.
Pads - Yes your lifesaving big pants pads as I called them. As I said above you will bleed afterwards most probably so these really are a must.
Smellies - Hospital soaps are not usually the nicest smelling soaps, and you may just want to feel half normal after having your child and want a shower and use your own shower gel, shampoo, soap etc. Toothbrush and toothpaste.
Breast Pads - For when your boobs begin to leak, it can make you feel rather uneasy if someone is standing there and you have a wet patch on your clothes so to avoid any embarassment you really should use these.
Something comfortable to wear on your feet such as slippers.
Camera - To capture those first precious moments of your little ones life.
To cure boredom if you are staying for a while Magazines, maybe and ipod or something to listen to music on, puzzle books. Also drinks and snacks. Peppermints are a must if you are having a C-Section as the wind you experience afterward can feel quite painful in your tummy and these relieve it.
I hope this helps prepare somebody for their stay in hospital!
The hospital bag varies for everyone, some who are expecting their fourth child for example, might take a change of clothes, a babygrow and a mobile phone and expect to be home in 5 hours. I was expecting twins, we knew they were definitely breech and I was definitely going to have a c-section and the whole bag packing challenge is a different ball game.
Plan for time
We knew we could anticipate up to 5 days in hospital and that the twins could arrive early, therefore necessitating 5 days of clothing for 3 people.
I had two pairs of maternity pjs, with front openings and a bed jacket wrap thingummy as part of the set from Mothercare, for appropriate feeding, comfort and modesty. It's worth considering layers. I had strappy summer pjs because the post birth wards are like ovens here but a wrap was a good idea for when wandering to the breakfast room and other parts of the hospital.
I also packed clothing from premature, through tiny baby to newborn, anticipating birthweights from 5 - 7lbs each. It's a good job we prepared, the newborn kit drowned them. The premature clothing fit for around 3 days and then we moved straight on to tiny baby stuff from Adams as their weights were 5lbs 8oz and 5lbs 9.5 oz respectively.
Take carrier bags folded up, you will have dirty clothing and gifts to take home afterwards.
I took shower gel with tea tree oil in it since it's meant to be effective against MRSA. The soap provided is none too pretty and smells like institutional rubbish. When I got in the shower I was pleased about it as I've certainly seen cleaner bathrooms.
It would also be advisable to find either maternity pads or the overnight type menstrual pads. Most women bleed fairly constantly, some for a few days but most for up to six weeks. Make sure you have a stock of them.
Disposable paper knickers (also Tesco) are much better than washing yours afterwards. However, for comfort they are a big thumbs down. You could buy cheap granny pants at Primark or Poundland for greater comfort and some reuse through the messy stages.
I took flip flops, partly because they were easy to slip on without having to bend in half over my enormous bump and because my feet were a bit swollen. I figured they'd see me for both slippers and shoes until I got home.
My flip flops never came home with me, they disappeared whilst I was there so don't take anything you might want again afterwards.
Breast pads for when you start leaking - if you're still there by then. You will, by day 3 at least, start finding your milk has come through and your boobs will leak like a faulty tap. This can get messy, uncomfortable and smelly so breast pads are quite the thing. Tesco sell a huge box for around 80p.
Camera and spare batteries and/or film. You will cherish those first pictures, no matter how hard you pushed/cried/swore and no matter how pale/ill/red/shattered you look. So don't miss the chance for pictures of your baby at the first chance.
My nearest maternity hospital has had a whole new phone, tv and intetrnet system installed by each bed. With money you can buy a phone card thing for the bedside phones, I think the machine takes £3.00 for the cheapest card, £5.00 and £10.00 and the same card can be used for the tv if you are inclined.
Some hospitals are now allowing you to use mobile phones, and rightly so, they no longer interfere with equipment generally speaking. Even if you aren't allowed to use it, it does have all your favoured contact numbers on it and it could be worth having those numbers on hand to make the birth announcement or ask someone to feed the cat if it's a long and drawn out process.
Snacks and drinks for labour, if not for you then for the father or birth buddy. It can be a challenge to find anything worth eating during a long labour, even worse if they have to trek the whole hospital whilst the precious moment arrives. Cereal bars would be a good idea, then it won't matter if you don't eat them, they won't go off.
Our hospital had a shortage of pillows, which is just plain silly but worth keeping in mind as I understand it doesn't only apply locally. We had a side room to ourselves, which is pleasant but although my partner was allowed to stay there was no bed for him and no spares to be had. We took in our own chair bed from home so he was able to stay every night and bond with his daughters and help feed and care for them immediately.
Some people need nappies, wipes, nappy bags, blankets and a million and one other things, you'll need to check with your own maternity hospital about what they provide. They should provide everything, including formula milk for those who cannot or will not breast feed, but they don't always broadcast it.
I put my bag together at 30 weeks or so but there was a good chance I'd go in early due to having twins, most people could pack much later and be fine.