You will find thousands of lists on the internet and in baby books and magazines with suggestions for what to pack in your hospital bag.
If you packed everything they all listed you would need a removal lorry to take you into hospital.
My suggestion would be to think sensibly about your situation and circumstances and pack accordingly. If you are on your own then you probably more feel the need to pack for every eventuality, but if you have someone who can easily bring things in for you if you need extra then don’t go overboard.
There is never much room and whatever you take with you and don’t use has to be put away when you get home. When you have a newborn and perhaps other little people to look after, you don’t need to create more work for yourself.
I became a bit more efficient at this fourth time around and didn’t go home with that much unused.
Things I wouldn’t scrimp on are:
- Maternity pads
- Comfy BIG knickers to hold the maternity pads in place
- Snacks – especially if you have a food intolerance as many hospitals won’t cater for this
- Muslin cloths
The one item I packed all four times which I could not have managed without, is not a standard hospital bag list item.
A friend suggested it to me before I had my first child and I will always be grateful she did.
Unless you are having a planned c-section, pack a plastic jug. You know the kind, just a big standard plastic measuring jug that often costs less than £1 .
Why is this an essential item?
After a vaginal delivery things are a little well, let’s say…different. No, different doesn’t exactly cover it…tender…no, that doesn’t work either. Things are unrecognisable for a while, going for a wee can feel like torture and anything else makes my eyes water just thinking about it.
You can however ease some of this discomfort by taking a jug of warm water to the toilet with you. As you wee, you pour and things are a little calmer all round.
So once you have packed your compulsory jug, feel free to slot in any of the following:
- Birth plan and maternity notes
- Dressing gown
- Comfy PJs
- Slippers or flip-flops
- Old nightdress or t-shirt or oversized shirt to wear in labour, plus a tankini top if you are planning a water birth (it makes you feel a bit less exposed)
- Lip balm – your lips can dry out quickly on a warm
- Snacks and drinks to keep you going in labour
- Things to pass the time or help you relax, such as a magazine, facial spritzer etc – lots of women don’t have time for these but you might use them afterwards
- Hair clips – there is nothing worse than your hair sticking to your face when you are trying to push
- TENS machine and spare batteries
- Phone and phone charger
- A going home outfit – something loose and comfortable
- A couple of packs of breast pads
- Nipple shields
- Nursing bras
- Maternity pads
- Make up
- Sleep suits and vests for baby
- Muslin squares
- A going home outfit for baby
- Car seat
Finally – don’t forget to attach the roof box to fit it all in!