Deciding what to pack in your hospital bag is a pretty big deal. You don’t want to get caught without anything yet you have limited space. I found myself surrounded by extra bags in hospital because there were things I needed extra of yet my hospital bag was half full of things I didn’t use. There are some things that aren’t necessary and some things that will be a godsend. I learnt the hard way so hopefully this list will help! I used a weekend holdall for myself and I had Ted’s items in his changing bag.
One of the things I got wrong was food and drinks. I had read that you should stock up on snacks for yourself and your partner, so that is what I did. However, half of the things I ended up fishing out of my bag a week or so later. I didn’t want to eat anything during induction or labour, so I would recommend taking a small amount for yourself as you will get fed. Lots of snacks for your birth partner is a good idea as you may not want them popping out to the cafe or vending machine. Cartons with straws are great, as are energy drinks. You will need these for your stay after labour as well so that would be something to make sure you have with you! That first night with little one can be long!
Big granny pants and big sanitary pads are an absolute must! I wasn’t expecting to have a c-section so just had some normal cotton pants with me. What I needed was enormous, Bridget Jones style pants that you can pull up over the stitches. Make sure they are pairs that can be thrown away afterwards for obvious reasons. Stock up on the large sanitary towels too as you could be going through a lot of them.
Several pairs of pyjamas are a really good idea. I took one pair and a big night shirt. The night shirt was a god send as my pjs sat right where my stitches were so weren’t a comfy option. I hate wearing dressing gowns so I had a hoody with me but I recommend a lightweight dressing gown as hospitals are always boiling.
A pair of thick socks are key as my feet got really cold during labour. Even with an epidural I still wanted some socks on.
The showers aren’t the most pleasant of places to visit so you might want some flip flops!
I didn’t need breast pads as my milk hadn’t obviously come in by the time I had left hospital. It may be an idea to pack a few just in case your stay is longer but don’t stock up on these.
I was so grateful I packed an extra pair of maternity leggings in my bag. They were great as I could pull them up over my slightly deflated bump and they wouldn’t rub on my stitches.
Something really comfy to go home in! My maternity leggings were perfect for leaving hospital in. My feet were super swollen when I left so luckily my trainers were able to be loosened enough to get on my feet. So make sure you have a pair of shoes that can allow for feet twice their normal size. I would also recommend a big oversized sweatshirt/jumper to come home in.
Phone/camera and charger to capture those essential first photos!
My pregnancy pillow was a godsend. It’s so much nicer to have your own pillow from home. I don’t think I stopped clutching it throughout labour.
Toiletries especially face wipes, dry shampoo and lip balm. I didn’t pack any lip balm and I was desperate for it during labour. Your lips can really dry out so make sure you have this with you. I would seriously recommend packing some really nice hand cream and body butter with you as well. I kept applying these after labour and they just made me feel that bit better about myself. A little bit of luxury can go a long way!
A baby blanket, for example a cellular blanket. It’s nice for your little one to have something of their own, rather than the hospitals, and you can bundle them up in it when they are leaving hospital. Cellular blankets are safe and breathable for your baby and are perfect for all year round.
You will need a few of everything for your little one. As a first time mum you can easily underestimate the amount of baby grows you will go through each day, so don’t just settle for a couple. The average stay in hospital is a night so you will need a least one sleep suit for both days, one for overnight and a spare! Same with vests! You will need a good supply of nappies too. This is something I underestimated so had to get family members to bring more.
Take cotton wool with you. Wet wipes aren’t advised for newborn skin so make sure you have a supply of cotton wool with you.
Muslins!! These will become an absolute godsend in parenthood so get used to carrying these with you everywhere. They are so useful!
Obviously if you are going in to be induced, you may want a few more items as it can be a long old process. My induction happened so quickly that I didn’t need any occupying at all. Things such as an IPad or Kindle, book or magazines, are really useful and act as a distraction from how long it might be taking. I wouldn’t recommend putting these in your hospital bag if you aren’t being induced as you simply won’t have time for these when little one arrives! They just take up space!
Hope this helps anyone who is, like I was, not sure what is necessary and what isn’t. I didn’t expect to have a c-section so was stuck without things I ended up needing. I would say to pack those few extra items as you never know and the last thing you want is to try and squeeze into knickers that are rubbing on your stitches! Trust me…it’s not nice!
Lots of love, Hattie X