What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag: The Essential Guide
When packing your hospital bag, there will be items you think about almost instantly but it is the items you don’t necessarily think about that could make your visit to hospital a smoother and more relaxing one. GenieBaby’s Stephanie has given her very own essential guide to packing your hospital bag from her recent experience below.
So personally for me, I searched a lot of lists when packing my hospital bag and I even messaged friends I knew were also pregnant to get their advice. The thing I struggled with the most was that it was a boiling hot summer and I didn’t know how many layers the baby would need. So, I thought I would help soon-to-be parents work out what needs to be on their checklist.
I have separated out three lists below, because I do think you could end up taking everything, including the kitchen sink, but then I have always travelled light.
Definite Essentials for Your Baby(ies)
- 5 sleepsuits
- 5 vests
- Baby hat, mittens
- Baby blanket
- Cotton wool/ water wipes
- Car seat
List of Items for Mum (& Dad too)
- 1/2 Nightgowns (open fronted if breast feeding)
- Hair bands
- Wash bag – toiletries, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, tooth brush & toothpaste, lip balm, make up, face cream
- Big knickers!
- Two sets of maternity pads
- Comfy clothes for home
- Water bottle!
- Phone charger
- Flip flops or slippers
- Maternity notes
I just want to explain a few of my reasoning’s for some items in this ‘list for mothers’ as this is from my personal experience, and everyone and every birth is different so some items on this may seem strange at first.
Big knickers are a must, and we are talking Bridget Jones pants. I basically went to Marks & Spencer’s and got the biggest ones I could as I was preparing for a c-section, and although I didn’t have to have one in the end, I found them much comfier than my normal underwear. You basically want them to go over your potential scar, and postpartum belly.
The second item that I didn’t originally think about would be a water bottle. Just an empty sports top type one (I ended up reusing a bought Lucozade bottle) is perfect. I found that it was easier to drink from that than anything else and you can’t always guarantee plastic cups. Plus, plastic cups can be annoying to drink from when you’re in labour. I’m pretty sure my husband was helping me swap between the gas and air and the bottle throughout!
Towels and toiletries are another must, and especially remember your face cream and lip balm. Gas and air can be so drying on your lips and I found myself in and out of the bath a few times, so keep your skin hydrated is important doing a time when your body is going through pain and stress.
I got advised by the midwives to pack two packs of maternity pads, and you shouldn’t really need to pack your breast pads because your milk doesn’t come in until day three.
Optional Extras To Consider
- Magazines and music for entertaining
- Birth ball
- Massage oils
- Your own pillow
- Breast pads
- Arnica tablets/cream
- Dressing gown
- Eye mask, ear plugs
- Tens machine (if you want to use one) – it’s a drug-free pain relief
- Nipple cream
There are lots of lists that say to take books and magazines, however there was no way I personally could focus on anything over than my contractions. And I needed my husband by my side, so its not even like he could sit down and read a book. Again, every birth is different and you may be able to focus more than I could but I really didn’t read anything.
I didn’t pack a ball either and was able to just used the one on the unit. But if they are all in use and you think you will want to use yours then I would probably recommend you take one.
Some must-have items from the lists above that you can find on the GenieBaby website and ones that we recommend, are listed below.