Yippee, you’ve only got another couple of weeks to go, so it’s time to pack your hospital bag. It’s exciting and daunting at the same time, so make it fun!
Remember, you’re only packing for a short stay and although it’s nice to have a lot of new things, bear in mind that towels and underwear may get stained, so it’s just as well to take stuff that you already have at home.
If you want to buy disposal knickers, you can get them from places like Mothercare or online. They aren’t particularly economical, but they are useful.
Before you start to pack, make yourself a list and tick things off as you put them into your bag. You might find it easier to have more than one bag. You can put baby’s things in one and your things in another. You can even have two bags for clothes and a third bag for all the other bits and pieces you’re going to use.
You’ll want comfortable clothes when you’re in labour, so some pyjamas, or jogging bottoms and a long top or a nightie. You’ll also need a dressing gown, socks and slippers because you might spend a few hours walking around.
If you’re planning to breastfeed, remember to pack your maternity bras and tops with button or maternity fastenings. Choose something easy to wear to go home in, you’ll still have a tummy, so elasticated trousers or skirts will feel more comfortable.
Soap, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and a toothbrush and toothpaste, together with a towel and your hairbrush will need to be packed. If you have long hair, you might want to put some clips or bands into your bag in case you want to tie your hair back. If you want to put make-up on, then include this too.
Books, music and your phone are useful things to have with you. If you have a spare phone charger, pack it now, because it’s something that’s easy to forget on the day. Also, pack any birthing equipment you’re planning to use, like a TENS machine or a birthing ball. Lip balm and a hand-held electric fan are also handy to have. If you have a special pillow or cushion, take that too. Don’t forget you will need sanitary or maternity towels to wear after you’ve had your baby.
The Baby’s Bag
It really depends on the time of year you have you baby, but for going home, he or she will need something warm. If it’s a hot summer, then choose an outfit with a cardigan. In winter, you might be best putting baby into an all-in-one to keep them snug. Pack a blanket, vests, socks or tights and sleepsuits and some muslin squares and a bib. A pair of scratch mittens and a hat are also worth packing. You’ll also need nappies and wipes. If you are bottle feeding, don’t forget to take carton formula, you needn’t worry about bottles until you get home, as the hospital supply these.
Ask your partner to make up some snacks for you. Fruit and sandwiches made with wholemeal bread are good choices and don’t forget a camera, video or your phone for all those photos you’ll be taking. Finally, don’t forget your birth plan and make a note of any important phone numbers, just in case you forget to charge your mobile and have to use a pay phone.