So, better late than never with under two weeks to go packing my hospital bag had fallen to the wayside in favour of caring for an ever-active toddler and winding down my business so I can actually have a version of maternity leave.
I finally sorted it out at the weekend and (un)surprisingly I feel a massive weight lifted. This is just another example of how the second child syndrome is very real. I am fairly certain my hospital bag was packed weeks before I was due!
This is an outtake of me going – how are they possibly that tiny!! I’m fairly certain Henry was never this small!
What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag
I recently asked on Instagram what the essentials for your baby bag were and actually had a lot of responses asking me to share the replies. So I thought I would put together a post of what I actually packed in my hospital bag and some of the fab ideas others gave me.
I think I googled countless lists the first time around as I didn’t have any mummy friends to ask back then. Which consequently meant I had rather a lot of things I didn’t need. This time has been so much easier. I now know what I actually used and what I didn’t and was able to pack pretty quickly.
So here is my little list. I’ve packed for roughly 2 days because that is how long I stayed with Henry. Plus we only live around the corner from the hospital, so if I desperately need more Ian can pop back and get it.
- Your Maternity Notes – I hope this one is as obvious as it sounds 🙂
- Decanted Toiletries – Rather than having to pull everything together at the last minute, just pop the essentials into smaller containers that way you can just grab your bag and go. No faffing around mid contraction trying to remember everything or getting your partner to attempt to get it right!
- Hair bobbles, clips and bands – If you are anything like me having your hair in your face is just going to wind you up!
- Going home outfit – You’ll want to feel nice and together as you head home to start your new life. Not to mention the obligatory ‘leaving the hospital pictures’. Now don’t be too ambitious here, I still looked super pregnant first time around I wore a maxi dress (summer baby) this time I have packed comfy leggings and an oversized jumper.
- Nursing bra – The only ones I could find last time that didn’t look remotely granny like were these ones from John Lewis HERE
- Maternity pads – buy your own as the hospital one’s scratch and trust me that is the last thing you want after giving birth!!
- Knickers – Big black ones… make sure you they fit you when you are pregnant as you will still look 6 months pregnant even after giving birth.
- A plastic jug – If this is your first baby just remember to take it to the bathroom with you. Fill it with warm water the first time you go to the toilet post-baby. You can thank me later!
- Dressing gown – I packed my big fluffy grey one (dark colours are a bonus… trust me). I do have a beautiful pink silky one which would be ideal if Instagram photos are to be believed. But, having done this once, I know there is a no chance in hell that I will care about what I look like let alone getting an insta worthy shot!
- Slippers or Flip-flops – Just something easy to slide on and off and keep your feet warm when you need to walk to the bathroom!
- 2 or 3 sets PJs – Just as with the dressing gown, go for a dark shade.
- 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 – nothing beats your own pillow!
- Diffuser – this isn’t something I took last time but I bought a mini one to pack so I can diffuse some clary sage and lavender to help me relax.
- Lip Balm – Gas and Air makes your lips so dry!!
- iPhone – I’ll be instructing Ian to take as many pictures as possible. No doubt I’ll look awful but I have so few of Henry’s birth I would love to look back and remember more this time!
- Spotify playlist – I made both a chilled and upbeat playlist. I wasn’t sure what type of mood I would be in!! Turns out I wanted the chilled but I am glad I had both
- Nipple cream – if you plan to breastfeed this is going to be a lifesaver I tried a few last time but Lanolin was the best
- Formula – if you plan to formula feed make sure you have a few ready bottles or some powder packed in there
- A bottle with an attached straw – I have two of these. One I keep upstairs and one down!! I couldn’t be without them as I am so much better at drinking water with them
- Face wipes – for keeping you cool and wiping away the sweat!
- Nice coffee or Tea – you’ll want to enjoy good coffee labour and hospital coffee just doesn’t cut it! (This was one of my favourite recommendations)
- Snacks – Energy bars will be great to keep you going.
- Percy Pigs….this was the best idea ever! #JustSaying
For baby (winter)
- 2/3 vests – I packed newborn and 0-3 months
- 2/3 sleepsuits (with scratch-mitts built-in) again in a few sizes
- About 10 nappies
- 2 muslins
- A cosy hat – the hospital will provide one but it’s not the nicest looking
- 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.
- All in one ‘snow’ suit (winter) – It’s not actually a snowsuit but it looks like one.
- A little pack with a few nappy bags and cotton balls, Sudocrem, hand sanitizer in case they’re not to hand in the hospital
- A sling
For your partner (although he can pack his own bag you have enough to consider – just pass him this list)
- A Spare t-shirt/shirt
- Book/Ipad phone etc..
- Snacks he loves too – He’ll also need his energy.
Be prepared for anything. I had my heart set on a birthing pool and was so so sad when they broke my waters with Henry he had cord compression. Which meant I had to be transferred by ambulance from my midwife-led unit to a ‘real’ hospital and that did leave me in tears at the time. Whilst I am not disappointed as I had a lovely birth and at the end of the day he ended up in my arms and that was all that mattered. Being aware that the plans change means I am more prepared this time.