You’ve been waiting for hundreds of days, dozens of weeks and a few bloody months for this day. I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked “are your bags packed?” This makes me doubt myself, the over preparation (yes it exists) and anxiety kicks in so I unpack and repack over and over until I’m satisfied all bases are covered…ready for the moment to arrive so we can grab the bags and dash to the hospital. That was for the birth of our first child.
We were in labour for a long three days and didn’t use half of what I packed. So now that I’m 37 weeks pregnant with our second baby and have adopted a simplistic mindset, here’s what I’ll be packing.
If you can grab one bag and one bag only, this is the one!
- Medical notes
- Tens machine (used early enough they’re fab to get you through the ore labour contractions)
- Thin or lightweight maternity nightgown – hospitals are warm places. This is mainly to cover up when wondering around
- Short sleeved maternity nightie or nightshirt that buttons all the way down (so your blood pressure can be taken and so there’s easy access to your belly)
- Fresh pair of button down PJs for after you’ve delivered and had your shower
- Flip flops for the shower
- One or two pairs of slipper socks/thick socks
- Coming home outfit (make sure these are lose, comfy and not too tight around the belly – to avoid c section stitches in case you have one)
- Basic toiletries – deodorant; face cream; toothbrush and paste; hair brush; facewash; cleanser; toner; face wipes; a nice shampoo (don’t bother with shower gel as most UK hospitals provide a specific wash for you to use post delivery)
- Hair band and hair ties
- Basic make up bag (if you’re inclined that way) with essentials such as BB cream, blusher, mascara, eye liner and lip balm
- Phone charger
- Incontinence pull ups – life saver if your waters break. They’re easily disposable, pre labour or if you want to use them after delivery too. Optional but very useful
- Sanitary towels (night time ones with wings)
- Your biggest and best “Bridget Jones” pants
- Disposable pants if you don’t want to use incontinence pull ups or your pants in early labour
This is a nice to have bag that will make the stay much more entertaining and comfortable.
- A good book for each of you if you enjoy reading, or an iPad/laptop to watch your favourite box set on (you’ll be surprised at how long you could be in hospital for before you go into the delivery suite if you’ve been induced)
- Straws (so you can hold the drink up for Mama during contractions)
- Camera and charger
- Phone charger
- Change for vending machines and hospital car park (check if you can get 2-3 day passes as it can work out more cost effective)
- Clean t-shirt
This can stay in the car until baby is born to save space around your bed and to avoid having to carry so much around as you may move from ward to ward.
- Car seat (not technically for the bag but you can’t take bubba home without it so that’s why it’s first on the list)
- 3 basic sleep suits
- 3 basic sleeveless vests
- 1 special coming home outfit
- Coat/thick cardigan (think layers depending on the season)
- Single layered hat
- A special outfit for the Bounty baby photo shoot if you’re in the UK
- Cotton wool balls
- Cotton wool pads (first few poos are sticky and thick-the cotton wool balls just don’t cut it)
- Wet wipes – as an experienced Mama, you never know when you need these!
- 1 or 2 Muslins
- Baby milk in pre sterilised bottles. Fed is best!! (They no longer supply these at the hospitals in England)