Pregnancy Diary Week 38: Packing My Hospital Bag

First week of maternity leave so I’m going to take a slight departure from the usual post format and, instead, share the contents of my hospital bag. Yep, it finally happened. Disposable underwear has been purchased and the bag has been packed. What’s in the bag is a combination of what I remember finding useful the first time around, what I wish I had packed and suggestions from friends. I’m basing it on a 2 to 3-night hospital stay and hoping it goes that way. Please feel free to share any useful hints or suggestions in the comments section below.

Ok, drum roll please as the contents of my little blue suitcase, complete with obligatory ‘baby on board’ sticker, are revealed:

For baby:

  • Vests x 6
  • Babygros x 6
  • Cardigans x 3*
  • Hats x 2 – 1 for the first day so the baby can acclimatise and 1 for going home
  • Muslin cloths x 6 – for mop-ups and for lining the hospital cot
  • Baby blankets x 2 – 1 cellular and one soft cotton fleece
  • Nappies x 24 – 1 pack of newborn because they take up less space as a pack
  • WaterWipes x 2 packs – yes, yes, cotton wool and water is recommended but there is literally nothing in these wipes except water and grapefruit seed extract. Plus, for me, feeling cotton wool has the same teeth-watering effect as nails on a blackboard
  • Baby towel
  • Face cloth – for the first top-to-tail and/or bath
  • Bum cream – Burt’s Bees Multipurpose Ointment as it doesn’t have any of the usual nasties in it (petroleum jelly etc.)
  • A small first teddy bear – so they don’t feel hard done by when looking back at their first baby pictures

*The traditional ‘going home outfit’ is a little lost on me. A clean Babygro, cardigan and hat works for me but bear in mind if you are having an autumn or winter baby, don’t forget to pack a warmer onesie or those adorable little snowsuits

For me:

  • Copy of the birth plan that the hospital gave me at one of my antenatal check-ups (mine reads along the lines of ‘get the baby out’)
  • Open, soft cardigan – because I really dislike dressing gowns
  • Pyjama bottoms x 3 – one black/dark pair for recovery
  • Nursing vests x 3 – I use these instead of bras for as long as breastfeeding lasts. I find the H&M ones soft and comfortable, with cute patterns
  • Flip flops – got rid of these after I fell and ended up buying a new pair. Better than slippers and can be used in the shower (hospital bathrooms gross me out)
  • Towel
  • Disposable knickers* – flies in the face of my eco-beliefs but life really is to short for some things
  • Maternity pads x 2 packs
  • Nipple pads x 1 pack
  • Lansinoh nipple cream – because IT WORKS
  • Arnica homeopathic tablets – because they worked wonders for traumatised lady bits the last time around
  • Post-partum recovery spray – see Week 33 for this magic concoction
  • Kindle
  • Phone charger
  • Lip balm – because the maternity is so, so hot
  • Toiletries bag – thinned out to include basics like tooth, cleanser, tinted moisturiser
  • Water bottle
  • Hair band/scarf – because you wouldn’t do the Great Limerick Run with your hair in your face

*Boots generally do a 3 for 2 offer on maternity essentials so stock up because, in my experience, imagine what you’ll need and double it

I see on a lot of parenting sites and blogs that the hospital packing list now generally has 3 parts – baby, Mom and partner. I find it quite amusing that in between worrying about having the baby clothed and comforted and packing first aid for my various bodily parts, I should ensure that a section of my bag contains a clean t-shirt, deodorant and snacks for my husband. Really?

I wouldn’t describe myself as high maintenance but I learnt the last time around that a little tinted moisturiser can do wonders in making you feel presentable when the deluge of visitors starts. Also, I look like Princess Fiona from Shrek in my hospital photos with my first baby. Puffy and so pale, I was bordering on green. This time around I would like a few of the obligatory ‘welcome to the world’ photos to look a little less Rocky Horror Show.

Like going on holidays, regardless of what you pack, you will always realise that something else would have been handy. Don’t worry about it; once you and the baby are clean, warm and comfortable, partners or visitors can be dispatched to pick up anything else that you need. Because, you know, you have just brought another tiny human in to the world.

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