Packing my hospital bag is something that played on my mind from quite early on in my pregnancy. Being my first birth and baby, I wanted to give myself enough time to make sure I was packing for every eventuality and that the things I had chosen were perfect for such a special occasion. I know the huge deal around the baby’s coming home outfit and well, in reality, it doesn’t matter at all. I remember putting Isla in that outfit and thinking she would have looked just as perfect in a bin liner! It’s the tiny bundle of perfection below the clothes that means the world, not the outfit so don’t stress!
I had an impressive 3 bags in total! This might seem excessive to some but it made perfect sense to me and eased my need for neat piles and knowing exactly where everything is! I will explain –
Bag 1 – for mum
Bag 2 – for baby
I used a mini suitcase as it seemed easier than a holdal, mine is also on wheels which meant I could pull or push it along, marking off that imaginary tick box for convenience. Inside my suitcase I had a small wash bag containing hair shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, body wash, a hair brush, hair bands, tooth brush/paste and lip balm. The wash you have after you give birth is the best you’ll ever have, it’s so refreshing and is the touch of calm that you crave after labouring so make sure to pack your favourite luxuries. Hair bands were a must for me as I hate my hair getting in the way and lip balm is essential as your lips can get sore from the gas and air tube.
In my suitcase, I had also packed my antenatal notes, two pairs of 2 piece pj sets, 2 nursing bras, 4 pairs of high waisted knickers, towel and flannel, socks, slippers, dressing gown, breast pads, a pack of sanitary towels, a loose lounge set to come home in and my phone charger. I had read so many online checklists and they always mention packing night dresses but I personally prefer the 2 piece pj sets which in my opinion are easier for breast feeding. I also stayed away from buying sanitary towels from the maternity sections in Boots, Mothercare etc as firstly they don’t look thick enough and secondly they are more expensive than a normal every day pack of towels. I hunted down some sanitary towels the size of a boat in Boots and they where fab! Funny I know but they worked well and stopped me from worrying about any embarrassing leaks. I got my high waisted knickers from Mark’s and Spencer’s which where 2 size’s bigger than what I needed to allow for a sanitary towel and also because I didn’t want them tight across my stomach. I also packed an absorbent maternity mat for the car journey home but I now know this wasn’t needed because my sanitary towels had it covered. We must laugh about this otherwise we will cry!
In the weeks leading up to Isla’s birth, I left a post-it note on top of my bag with things that needed to be chucked in last minute I.e. toothbrush, hair brush etc. This was just incase I couldn’t think in the moment or James had to pack it for me.
I had so much fun packing this! I started off packing all sorts including a snow suit (bearing in mind she was born in a scorching hot June!) but then I decided it was time to get real and I needed to be rational (like a proper mum!) so I ended up with the following:
- 1x pack of nappies
- 1x wipes and nappy sacks
- Ready to feed formula bottles (although I knew I wanted to breastfeed this was a handy back up)
- 4x short sleeve vests
- 4x full body baby grows
- 2x pairs of hand mitts
- 2x hats
- 1x cardigan
- 2x breathable blankets
- 2x muslins
- Soft toy (for cute pictures)
For those of you that have asked, I brought all of Isla’s first clothes from John Lewis GOTS organic cotton range. All the material used is soft organic cotton that doesn’t irritate sensitive skin. I had no idea whether Isla would be sensitive or not but it’s a risk that I didn’t want to take which is why I opted for this range.
This is vital and I’m not even playing around! I packed 8 bottles of lucozade sport which James made me drink all the way through my labour to keep my energy up. I also had easy to eat snacks like chocolate bars (any excuse!) and snack-a-jacks. I was ravanous after giving birth and when the tea and toast had run out (if you know, you know!) I turned to the snack-a-jacks. I also snacked on them throughout the night until I asked for breakfast at 5am – it seemed an acceptable time to me!
Distraction techniques were a massive part of my labour so I also packed magazines, cross words, my iPad and music to keep my brain focused.
Hope this helps