Monday, 12 January 2015

Hospital Bag for Mother, Father, and Baby

Whether you’ve planned a home birth or a hospital birth, it is a good idea to start thinking about packing your hospital bag a couple of weeks before your due date. However, in my case, my bag was already packed and ready waiting by the door by 30 weeks!!! This way you’re ready to go in case your baby decides to make an early appearance.

Hospitals tend to vary about what you need to bring with you to have your baby. Many have a list that informs you on what to bring, so ask your Midwife so you don’t over pack on unnecessary items.
My Hospital contained (too many) items that I classed as “essentials,” and others that were packed to provide me with some home comfort.

I packed my Hospital bag in a Cath Kidston Foldaway OvernightBag. The bag is very large and I managed to pack all of my things plus some of Florence’s belongings that didn’t fit in her bag. It also comes packed away in a smaller zipped bag that I used as my toiletries bag.


Hospital Notes – Your notes are the most important item to remember to pack. This is the first thing that the hospital will ask you for when you are admitted. It contains detailed information regarding your health and pregnancy. 

Birth Plan – If you have written a birth plan then it is a good idea to take a couple of copies to the hospital. This way, every Midwife that deals with your care will understand your birthing preferences and what outcome you desire from certain scenarios. 

Pillow – Hospital pillows are paper thin and not very comfortable at the best of times. I packed one of my pillows for added comfort and to remind me of home while I stayed in overnight. 

Pyjamas – Hospital Gowns aren’t very comfortable or flattering. My pyjamas made me feel fresh and clean after I had had Florence. I packed a cheap black nightie from Primark that didn’t matter if it got stained, lost, or thrown away. 

Bikini - If you are planning to have a water birth you may wish to pack a bikini to remain a little covered. Saying that, anything goes during labour!!!

Nursing Bras – Even if you aren’t planning on breast feeding, a nursing bra is really comfortable to support your post birth boobs. I think I lived in a nursing bra for three weeks once Florence was born! You can buy pretty, lacy ones from the likes of Mothercare or Debenhams but again, I bought mine from Primark and it done the job!

Warm Socks/Slippers – I took both. It is common to get really cold feet during labour. I had to have a Spinal Block and I was freezing! Some woman prefer to take Flip-Flops in the hospital but personally I just took some cosy socks and slippers. Another home comfort and it meant warm and comfortable feet.

Black Full Briefs - Buy the biggest knickers you can find! There is no such thing as "too big" when it comes to post-natal underwear, especially if you end up having a caesarean. I first bought the bikini briefs but soon realised that the knicker line would sit on the wound and rub. I bought mine from Primark; they were £2.50 for a pack of 4 meaning that it didn't matter if I threw them away. 

Maternity Towels  - I got through so many of these from straight after the birth up until Florence was four weeks old. I bulk bought mine from Sainsbury’s and they are £1 for a pack of 10. They are similar to the ones that the hospital provides - super thick and absorbent. 

Breast Pads - My milk didn't come through until a couple of days after Florence was born so I didn't use any in hospital. Some women's milk comes in straight away so it might be a good idea to pack a few just in case. I first bought the Lansinoh Disposable Breast Pads from Mothercare, costing £5.49. When it came to purchasing more I then bought Superdrug own brand pads for 99p. There was no different between the two brands and, if anything, I found the Superdrug ones to be better because there was less packaging to unwrap.
Toilet Wipes – Some woman swear on these to use post-birth as normal toilet roll may be too harsh down below! Even though I had a caesarean I still found these a God send because I was too scared of hurting myself. 

Mini Toiletries – Hand sanitiser, tooth brush, tooth paste, mouth wash, shower wash, shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo, deodorant, face wash, face wipes, and anything else you may take to stay overnight. Trust me, you feel so much better once you’ve freshened up a little!

Hair Accessories – Hair brush, big clip, and hair pins. There is nothing more annoying when you’re in labour that wispy hair hanging in your face so pack a few hair accessories so you can tie your hair back.  

Lip Balm – Your body goes through many questionable things during labour, don’t add chapped lips to the problems.

Hot Water Bottle - During the days leading up to labour I suffered from terrible back ache. A hot water bottle was the only thing to ease the pain because I didn't want to take paracetamol. I packed a hot water bottle just in case I needed the support at hospital, rather than a TENS Machine. 

Black Towel – Towels are a multi-tool for birth. They can be used to sit on in the car if your waters break, in the shower to dry off, or used to cover any bleeding. I bled straight away after birth and used my towel to cover the bedding because I was conscious of staining the sheets (silly – I know...)

Arnica Tablets – I started taking the stated dose of Arnica as soon as I felt ready to drink again. I’m not sure whether they did help aid the recovery process but I did seem to spring back quickly (even though the first couple of days were unbearable!!!) I bought my Arnica Tablets from Boots. They're tiny and taste of little sweeteners.

Glucose Tablets – I packed some Lucozade Glucose Tablets from Amazon. Labour and birth can be a long, tiring process and you may feel like you need an extra little boost to keep you going. 

Water Mist – Hospitals and Labour Wards are boiling! I took some Water Mist just in case I needed cooling down. You can spend an extortionate amount on the original “Magicool,” but I managed to find a cheaper brand in Savers for £1. There is no difference at all!

Straws – Someone advised me to take straws to the Hospital so I didn’t have to bother sipping whilst in labour. Lazy, but genius!

Snacks – If you are in labour there is a chance that you may be refused food in the event that you need emergency surgery. However, if you are one of the lucky ones then pack some of your favorite snacks to nibble on. They beat hospital food, that’s for sure!


Nappies I took a pack of 37 Pampers New Baby nappies with me. They say that newborns, on average, go through roughly 10 nappies a day so I packed just in case we had to stay in for longer.

Water WipesCotton wool and cool, boiled water is the best thing for a newborns sensitive skin in the first days. However, at 3am with sticky meconium, cotton wool simply doesn’t make the cut. Water Wipes are 99.9% pure water and 0.1% fruit extract, making them the next best thing to cotton wool and making your life so much easier!
Nappy Sacks It’s a good idea to pack some nappy sacks so you don’t have to pop a dirty nappy into the bin with no protection. We use Naty Nature Babycare Eco Disposable Nappy Bags, available from Boots.

Sleep Suits – I packed four newborn sleep suits. I was worried that the sleep suits I had packed would be either too small or too big. Newborn clothing generally goes up to sizes between 8lb-12lb depending on where you buy them from. Florence was born at 6lb 10oz, they were a little large to start off with but she soon filled them out and is still wearing Newborn clothing at 6 weeks old.
Vests – I packed six vests: four short sleeved and two long sleeved, just in case the Hospital was cold at night. Again, I packed Newborn.
Hats – Pack a few different hats as it is the first thing your baby will wear when they are born, meaning that it’ll end up stained.
Bibs – It doesn’t hurt to pack a couple of bibs, although, we didn’t use them whilst in Hospital.
Hooded Towel – They used to bathe babies while you were in Hospital (I’m going back a few years here!) However, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore so we didn’t use the towel.
Muslin Cloths – An absolute life saver! These can be used to mop up any sick or dribble, to change nappies on, or to lay in the Hospital crib.
Blanket – Cellular blankets are excellent for layering. You never know how chilly it’ll be in Hospital so pack a couple, just in case.
Teddy – Not a necessity because a tiny newborn won’t take any notice of it. But it’s good to familiarise them with your scent and they also look sweet in those first photos!
Going Home Outfit – Keep it simple. Pack an extra sleep suit and vest, along with a cardigan, hat, and jacket (depending on when your baby is born) to bring your new baby home in.
Cartons of Milk – If you aren’t planning on breast feeding then cartons of milk are a life (and time) saver while you adjust to your new life as parents. Some formula brands such as Aptamil and Cow & Gate sell starter milk packs that contain 6 pre sterilised bottles and teats. They are a little pricy compared to boxes of powdered milk but make the first couple of days a little easier.

Loose Change -  For the car park, coffee machine, snacks, magazines, and any other cravings you may get. 

Swimming Shorts –  If you are planning a water birth your partner may want to get in the pool with you. They also may want to get into the shower with you while you ease off any pain. I was once told that a naked pregnant lady at Hospital is fine, a naked Father-to-be on the other hand... not so fine! 

Mini Toiletries – Remember, labour and birth is still a long (but not so much painful) event for your partner too. Pack a few of their toiletries for them should they wish to freshen up too. 

Camera – To capture those precious first moments of your Baby’s life. Oh, and don’t forget the camera charger!!!

Mobile Phone – To capture first moments and call Family and Friends once your baby is Earth Side! Again, don’t forget the charger!

Lastly, it’s always nice to leave a little Thank You gift to the staff that cared for you during your stay. We bought a box a Quality Street and a little card to leave when we were discharged.

Is there anything that you packed in your Hospital Bag that was your God send?

1 comment:

  1. I would make sure you pack atleast a couple of sizes of vests/sleepsuits incase baby is bigger or smaller.
    In my case baby was bigger and I wasn't prepared so had to get my mum to go to my house to get some bigger sizes to then drop some off at the hospital at 9pm when we decided to change him.