If this is your first baby and you are anything like me, your hospital bag will be practically packed by 30 weeks! – But what do you really need?!
I didn’t actually go as over the top as I first thought with my hospital bag, as i had to stay in 3 days, so I had time to use most things I packed – still finding myself asking people to bring bits and bobs from home when they came to visit.
I decided to pack two separate bags, one for me and one for baby, so I knew exactly which bag had what in, it also meant things were a little more organised.
So here’s what I took for myself –
- Maternity notes/Birth plan – Have this in a bag you intend to take to hospital at all times. It has all your medical information in, along with your wishes for birth.
- Nighties – I brought a cotton nightshirt at 7 months pregnant and it was HUGE, by the time it came to giving birth it didn’t fit. So buy a few sizes bigger than what you are, or buy stretchy material nighties. If you have no old nighties, buy cheaper ones (Primark is fab!!)
- Socks – I read your feet can sometimes become uncomfortably cold in labour, so it is advised you pack socks. Other labour discomforts far outweighed chilly feet so these were never used, haha.
- Slippers – Once you have had your baby the midwives will move you to the maternity ward, where you often share a room, toilet and shower room with other women. So slippers for walking to and from the toilet and shower are a must.
- Dressing gown – For putting on when you have visitors (especially if your partners family are coming), for walking to and from the toilet and shower, etc.
- Underwear – Buy this a few sizes bigger than what you are, as when you have just given birth tight underwear is unwelcomed. However, not too huge as it will have to hold those ever so attractive maternity pads in place…which leads me to.
- Maternity pads – The bigger the better, haha. The hospital did give me several maternity pads but I had my own as well. I brought mine from the Superdrug Mum&Baby range, they were pretty cheap compared to some others.
- Breast pads – Milk doesn’t normally come in until day 3, for me this was late day 3, mostly day 4 so I didn’t need them in the hospital but I packed them just incase.
- Food/Drink – This was the one hospital bag item on the list I was most skeptical of, however you never know how long you may have to stay in, so take a few snacks ljke cereal bars, nuts, crisps and drinks of water or juice.
- Coming home clothes – The only thing I have to say on this is you won’t be the size you were pre-pregnancy, your bump will still be there a little bit, so maybe take a loose top and maternity leggings.
- Toiletries – I took face wipes, face wash, a sponge, body wash, shampoo & conditioner, cleansing water, hand cream, face moisturizer & cotton pads. I also took lipbalm, the maternity ward is kept very warm for the new babies so dries out your skin and lips.
- Phone, camera, chargers, earphones – I took my phone and a charger for both mine and Sam’s phones. I also packed earphones, although I never used them, if you play your videos or music aloud you may not be too popular, haha.
- Other – Remember hair clips & bobbles for during labour.
Because I was convinced I’d be home within 6 hours after birth, I never thought to pack towels, luckily visitors were able to bring extra supplies.
I also never packed a flannel, which would have been handy in labour as you have spikes and drops in temperature.
I was also brought magazines to keep me occupied from the hospital shop.
*Depending on your labour preference you may need items such as aromatherapy oils, music, TENS Machine, birthing ball. If you intend to breastfeed you may need other items.
Some people take make-up, I never packed any nor did I feel like doing my make-up after birth…totally a personal preference.
Now for baby…
- Milk – We used the pre-sterilised & made baby bottled milk. Cow & Gate was the brand we chose and it was £6.50 for 6 bottles. Expensive but so worth it whilst in hospital.
- Clothes – Clothes for in the hospital, Newborn should be fine but take a set of the next size up just incase you have a larger baby. You will need sleepsuits, vests, scratchmits, hats, bibs, muslins and a going home outfit.
- Nappies – On average 10 nappies a day, I took 12 for 4 days.
- Wipes – Most wipes will be too harsh on your newborn’s sensitive skin, however waterwipes are a lifesaver for the first couple of weeks. We then moved onto Morrison’s Mild as Water wipes.
- Cotton wool – Mainly used for bathing.
- Blankets – We had a luxury blanket and a hand knitted shawl from Sam’s Grandma. The hospital do provide blankets but nicer ones are better for photos.
- A teddy or comforter – For the early photos I thought it would be nice if the plastic hospital crib looked a little nicer with a teddy.
- Car seat – The hospital won’t let you leave without a carseat. Make sure you know how to fit it also – if your baby is a winter baby perhaps get a footmuff for your carseat as pramsuits or thick clothes aren’t advised.
I also packed dummies but these were never needed. We were also told we would need formula and a bottle to be shown how to make a bottle up safely but the hospital were very busy so we were never shown before we left.
Sometimes you will also bath your baby in hospital but if you do, everything you need will be provided.
*** This information is all based on my preference, experience and local hospital policy ***