So, when I was pregnant with my firstborn I must have packed my hospital bag about 10 times. It felt like a ritual and a very important one. I was packing a bag for an event that I had never experienced, for a place I’d never been to and packing for a person I’d never met. It was weird and in the end I didn’t even need half the stuff as he ended up being born on the living room floor!
But you never truly know the course of your birth so here is a list of things I packed and probably would have found very useful! I’ve also been brutally honest and open.
Those pants! You know the ones I mean… TENA. They will be your best friends right after birth and for a few weeks post baby whilst you heal. Buy more packs than you think you’ll need and trust me its part of giving birth that no one talks about but it’s fine (like a period but different) BUT with everything else going on you just want be prepared and not have to think about an unnecessary leakage.
eye mask – for the hospital/birthing centre when you need some zzzzz and it’s the height of sunny summer. Also very very useful when baby is here and you desperately need day time napping but hormones, worry, adrenaline and glaring sunshine prevent that from happening. If you get a silk one that will also add a little extra luxury.
comfy comfy floaty leisurewear – to be honest anything that makes you feel cosy is essential to help relax you and gives you a sense of normality!
slippers – for those cold toes and protection from the cold floor!
moisturiser -face & body kit because we all like our skin to be hydrated, don’t we?
face water spritzer – This may seem a little extravagant but I was so hot in August and this was an instant little cool down
flannel – they say a warm flannel to your face can calm you – anything is worth a try.
book – who knows when you’ll have time to read but you might need a little escapism
iPad – for Netflix! This is also an essential tool for when breastfeeding in the depths of night – just make sure you find a good resting place for it or invest in a stand!
snacks – I wrote Tom (my husband) a whole list of goodies like nuts/ chocolate/ bananas
a drink – my beverage of choice was Ribena, full of sweetness and berries and good for a quick sugar/energy rush!
A water bottle with a straw – water is the best medicine – easy to sip from and great when breastfeeding and not spilling on Baby
lip balm – all that breathing on the gas and air tube thing makes our lips dry.
headband/hair tie to keep hair off your face
lavender oil is a good relaxer but anything that smells of Home would be good / blanket/ pillow/ pregnancy pillow – comfort is key!
phone chargers, phone and headphones
magazines and music
dressing gown (I packed a short one)
pjs/ nightie (button down front ones are the best choice made from cotton to keep you cool)
comfy knickers – think BIG – Bridget Jones style super comfy in a size that fits and does not cut in!
hairbrush, toothbrush and mascara and concealer just to feel a little more human afterwards. You might want to pack a lovely smelling body wash too and don’t forget the deodorant! Having said that – looking back I think I just wanted to smell like me at the time to help bond with little one. You don’t know how you’ll feel.
Breast Pads – you might not need them and who cares anyway if you have leaky boobs, it happens, but nice to be prepared.
clean outfit to wear home – please be comfortable. Your body has done something incredible and it’s needs time to heal. I remember feeling very delicate. I wore my pregnancy leggings and a loose and floaty top with easy access to boobs.
2/3 sleepsuits (onsies)
A small pack of newborn nappies
a couple of muslin squares. We used these bibs and I preferred them as they were smaller and very absorbent.
A pack of newborn wet wipes (Water Wipes are very good and very gentle – 99.9% water)
A hooded baby towel
a blanket – one with holes in – they are called Cellular blankets
2 pairs of socks, a pair of scratch mittens (their nails are so sharp and grow really fast)
I know what it’s like – you want to pack every little outfit you received and all the other lovely things you have bought but your baby will be home before you know it, so try to keep your packing light and only take what you think you and your baby will really need. As you go on the journey you’ll figure out what things you need and you’ll want to have some spare pennies kept aside.
**Top Tip** Pack a separate baby bag for your little one so everything is easy to get hold of and pack your bag with your birth partner so they know where to find everything. It will help when you are desperate for lip balm and you can’t effectively describe what part of the bag it is in it will help!
Ideally you should have your bags packed when you are about 36 weeks but if you are like me you’ll be starting now (even if you are due in August!)
And don’t forget your Maternity notes and the camera!
What's the best item you packed?