Baby Bag for hospital.
After giving birth just over a month ago, one thing I needed help with before the exciting arrival of my little monkey, was a list of what to pack for hospital.
I was told the NHS do not supply a list for new mums and I for one was shocked at this. How about you?
So I have decided to help new mums pack for hospital. Not only making a list but explaining why these things are needed. I was a complete novice not knowing anything about babies and especially the labour and what happens to your body…but more about that in my next blog.
After attending ante natal classes and receiving paper work about just about everything, the one thing I needed was a list and I had to think for myself and trawl the internet.
Remember things don’t always go to plan and you need to be prepared. I had to stay in hospital for 6 days due to Frankie Jack having an infection. I hope this helps you and the reasons why we need hammock bras and thick memory foam style sanitary towels.
Yes that’s the stuff they forget to tell you.
- Take a separate bag for your baby. A good idea is to start using your baby changing bag.
- Car seat. Your baby cannot leave hospital without this if you are planning on leaving in a car or by taxi.
- A couple of hats, socks and scratch mitts. You will need a hat immediately after the baby is born and on leaving hospital, unless it is blazing sunshine. (Babies lose most of their heat through their head. It’s very important that your baby is kept warm). I needed socks for Frankie Jack as he caught an infection due to my waters breaking 36 hours before I delivered him. His temperature dropped and needed to be kept extra warm.
- Micro Mini Pampers nappies. Unless you have a baby over 10lbs then you will need the very small nappies.
- Tiny baby vests and baby grows. You have no idea what the weight of your baby will be, better to be prepared (I wasn’t). You usually buy them in pack of four, take all of them with you, you never know whether you will have to stay in hospital. You can buy these just before and keep the receipts. If your baby fits straight into newborn then you can always return the Tiny Baby clothes to the shop.
- New born Vests and baby grows. If they do not fit yet, then it will be within a week or two they will…yes really…they grow so quick.
- Pram suit or warm coat. If it is not a very hot summer.
- Starter milk pack. This is just in case you cannot breast feed, don’t panic yourself with it all. Or you decided breast feeding is not for you. A hospital will not provide milk for bottle feeding.
- Muslin squares/bibs. These have been my saving grace. I use them when feeding instead of bibs at the moment. I place them around the mattress tucked in over the sheets so if they are sick I can change the muslin immediately. I also chuck them over my shoulder to stop the sick running down my back and then having an aroma of puke on my clothes. These are very cheap from supermarkets and I bought about 15.
- Cellular blankets X2. To cover your baby in the cot. A tip if you have pets. Buy a cheaper blanket and wrap your baby in it in hospital, then give it to your dog when you are home before they meet the baby. That way they have smelt their smell. Obviously this then becomes the dogs blanket and not the babies.
- Baby Wipes. They advise just cotton wool and water on a new-borns skin. However, I felt the baby wipes helped clean the number two’s a little better.
- Cotton wool. To clean your babies bottom.
- Soothing music teddy or radio. There are different makes around that play white noise, mother’s womb and classical music. This helps at night to send my baby off to sleep.
- Going home outfit. I wanted something very smart for the pictures for the future.
For Mum during and after Labour.
Frankie Jack and me.
My tip is to pack what you want, do not worry about packing too much. It’s better to be over prepared then under. Do what makes you feel comfortable, it’s you that is going through the labour and not anyone else.
- Camera. DON’T forget it!!! Those first pictures are so precious.
- Car Park Money.
- TENS maternity machine. I cannot recommend this highly enough. You can buy or hire from Mothercare / Boots etc. This was my saving grace during early stages of labour and I would not have coped without it.
- Bag or small suitcase. Small suitcase just in case you maybe in longer than expected.
- Breast Pads. This is whether or not you decide to breast feed.
- Large Maternity Sanitary Towels. These have to be the big padded sanitary towels. You will find them in the baby section of super markets under Maternity towels. DO NOT buy ‘Always Ultra’ as these can dissolve your stitches. Buy around three packs to start with.
- Paper Knickers or Old Knickers or Cheap Cotton knickers. I chose the latter and bought from Tesco (other supermarkets are available). I bought a 5 pack of black big (a couple of sizes bigger than my dress size) cotton knickers for around £2.50. These are only a pound or so more than the paper knickers and more comfortable. You can throw these away with your sanitary towel when you change.
- Dark coloured PJ’s & dressing gown and an old Nighty/T-shirt. The oversized T-shirt is for the labour and is better in a dark colour because of the blood during birth. The PJ’s and dressing gown are for after the birth and you will prefer dark as these do not show the blood just in case of an accident with your sanitary towel. Please go for a size or two above your dress size as you will not just pop back to your usual size and your tummy maybe fragile especially if you have had a caesarean. Don’t spend huge amounts of money, I popped to Primark.
- Slippers. Grip under foot for when you are carrying your baby, plus hospital floors are full of germs.
- Hair bands. These you will want for labour to tie your hair back when you are sweating.
- Face Cloths. Great idea for mopping the brow when in labour and to wet with cold water as you will be hot with all the work.
- Water mist spray or spray bottle with tap water. This is great for spraying your face to cool down in labour.
- Socks. Bizarrely enough your feet are cold during labour .
- Wash bag with toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner and UNSCENTED (no scents on your womens bits as it may sting after) body wash. You will want to freshen up after giving birth. I needed to wash my hair as I had sweat so much with pushing. It makes you feel so much better.
- Clothes for leaving hospital. Pease remember that you will not be able to squeeze back into your old wardrobe, you tummy will still be swollen and you will want something to feel good but be comfortable and to cover your bottom as those sanitary towels feel like a memory foam mattress.
- Nursing Bra or supporting sports bra. Nursing if you are breast feeding. Sports Bra for if you are bottle feeding. You breasts will swell and you will need to go up a size, but it still needs to be tight to support. You breast can be very swollen and sore. TIP…if you are bottle feeding then leave your breasts well alone. DO NOT touch them even to wash. They will be very tender and swollen and touching them will stimulate them to thinking you need to produce milk. I was advised to massage in the shower by a Doctor to help with the pain and this is the WRONG advice.
- Mobile phone, Charger and contact numbers. This is to contact family and friends. Charger as your phone will run out of battery quicker as your phone will be red hot with calls and texts.
- Make Up Bag. I wanted to feel good after the birth with visitors etc and so I took just the necessities. This helped me feel a lot better after the birth and normal again.
- Water or your favourite drink. You need to keep yourself hydrated during labour.
- Dark bath towel. Some hospitals may supply so just in case take a towel to shower with and a dark one is essential because of the bleeding after.
- You will need fuel during and after labour and a hospital will not provide any food for you or your partner.
- Books/Magazines. If you are induced or have an epidural and are there a while this could keep you occupied. It is also great for after the birth if you happen to stay in hospital.
- Dextrose tablets. These give you energy during labour, especially at the end when you need to push.
- Lip Balm. Your lips will feel very dry during labour.
- Pelvic Floor Exercises. Start these right away. I believe you can start a couple of hours after the birth. Ask your midwife about what exercises you should do. This is majorly important and stops a leaking bladder.
- Paint your nails before the birth. This is an individual preference but one I wanted as I wanted to feel human and good about myself after the birth. Looking at painted toe nails made me feel so much better…lol.
- Hairdryer. Now forgive me, I’m not sure whether this is allowed, but I took my travel one to blow dry after labour.
- Nursing support pillow. A little bulky to take in but will help with support when feeding. I took an extra house wife pillow in with me as I was only given one pillow and it wasn’t enough at night
- Body lotion. Your skin will feel dry after the birth.
- Bikini Top. I was planning a water birth and so packed my bikini top. This is an individual choice.
- Thank you cards. If you happen to be in hospital longer than expected then you can start writing that list and cards to thank people for their generous gifts. Pick up the packs instead of individual, if you shop around they sometimes can be on offer. You may want to personalise these with a picture of your little one.
- Self Tan. I packed a face self tan to give myself a bit of colour after the birth.
- Hand cream. Your hands will become very dry because you have to wash your hands more with handling a newborn.
- Dongal and Laptop. If you cannot stay away from your laptop and social media. My phone didn’t have a signal in hospital and of course the NHS do not have wifi…boo hoo.
I hope this helps. If you have anything to add please place below in the comments. I may have missed something with having baby brain…lol.
Love Sally Jacks. x