I thought it might be nice to write a blog about everything you need to pack in your hospital bag, to prepare you for the birth of your new baby. I hope you enjoy reading it, and find the links useful. The list looks huge, but I wrote a little bit against each suggestion. These are just my ideas and thoughts that I’ve gathered through research, and through my own personal experiences of a “Normal Delivery” and a Caesarean Section (planned due to Placenta Previa).
FOR DURING YOUR LABOUR…..
Your Birth Plan – Sometimes these things go right out the window when the time comes, sometimes you just act on instinct in the moment, and sometimes things are beyond our control. But it’s always good to have a birth plan, so you can at least feel prepared!
Dressing Gown – There’s nothing better than having some home comforts with you whilst you’re in hospital, and although hospitals are generally quite warm, it’s nice to cosy up on an evening in your favourite dressing gown!
Slippers – I forgot my slippers, and I remember my feet feeling incredibly cold for some reason! Also, if you’re sleeping with no socks on, and you just want to pop to the loo in the night, then it’s easier to just step into a pair of slippers rather than putting socks on to walk on the hospital floor.
Socks – just don’t forget to pack some socks 🙂
An old nightdress or T-Shirt to wear in labour – you don’t want to wear anything special for birth, as you can imagine, it may end up a bit messy 😉 You’ll want something comfortable, not restrictive, and something light and airy.
Lip Balm – my lips got quite dry during labour, and I wished I had brought lip balm with me ~ Maybelline Baby Lips
Snacks and Drinks – the hospital trolley will of course come around, my hospital came round with a snacks and magazine trolley once a day…but I snack more than once a day…so it was handy having my own little stash that I could dip into whenever I felt like it ~ Snack Ideas For Postnatal Mothers
A CD, a book, kindle, ipad, headphones – There’s usually a lot of time in-between contractions where you will just be sitting, trying to get comfy etc, and I think having a bit of music to listen to or a book to read just takes your mind off things for a while. Also, when baby is born, your visitors have left, you have some relaxation time to do something you enjoy ~ A good read for parents here
Bobbles and hair clips – the last thing you need when you’re in labour is your hair all over your face, or making your neck all sweaty! I loved having my hair up and away from my face during labour (and after birth too!)
Toiletries – you want to get yourself back to feeling…you! so take your favourite bubble bath, shower gel etc and have a nice relaxing cleanse after your labour John Lewis stocks a beautiful selection of toiletries for new mums ~ view the range right here…
FOR YOUR BIRTH PARTNER…..
The Hospital Bag – You need to make sure this is packed for her and ready to load straight into the car/taxi etc.
Babies Car Seat – The hospital won’t let you leave without one if you’re driving or taking a taxi home from the hospital. Mother&Baby have compiled a helpful guide on everything you need to know when choosing the best car seat for you and your baby ~ have a read of that here…
Change for hospital parking and vending machines – Change, and lots of it!! Especially for the birth as you don’t know how long you’re going to be there!
Flannel – A flannel to wipe Mums face when she’s in labour, it will keep her cool
Change of clothes & Toiletries – due to spills or sweat, I would suggest bringing yourself a spare pair of clothes etc so you can also freshen up
Watch – to help time the contractions
Phone, Camera / Video Recorder & Chargers!!! – this time won’t come around again, so make sure you document it in whichever way you choose. I have one photo of me during labour, just one! and that makes me sad looking back
Swimwear – if your having a Birthing Pool, and fancy getting in there too!
Snacks and drinks – you need to keep your energy up too, so make sure you have things on hand for yourself as well as Mum
Book, ipad etc – there are times when you might be a bit “bored”, and Mum might try for a little sleep, so bring something to keep yourself occupied during the quiet times
Fan – oh this was a must for me!! I was sooo hot during labour, and even afterwards, so my little fan was a heaven sent!! In fact, I’m personally going to recommend this one to you… ~ The best small portable fan in the world, imo
FOR AFTER THE BIRTH
Going home outfit – Choose something comfortable for the journey home
Breastfeeding Bras – Jojo Maman Bebe have a great range of beautiful and practical nursing bras here, and you get 10% off your first order! ~ See them here…
Breast pads – Lots and lots, can’t have enough! Thoroughlyreview.com have looked at the 20 most popular nursing pads on the market and considered them for durability, absorbency, cost, eco friendly, style and more! ~ Take a look…
Nipple Cream ~ Top 10 best nipple creams
Maternity Pads – Everyone is different, but I needed loads of maternity pads, massive ones!! 😉 ~ 10 of the best Maternity Pads right here…
Pj’s – Hospital gowns are just ridiculous, they are only good for going down to theatre! You’ll definitely want to be sleeping in your own PJ’s
Towel – A big towel or two (might I suggest choosing a dark coloured towel, to save any dignity…if you have any left)
Toothpaste and toothbrush
Make-up – You have just had a baby, the last thing you might want to do is apply make-up!! but just a little foundation and mascara was all I needed, just to make myself look a little more “alive”. I’m not saying labour makes you look like death warmed up, but this is me personally, I generally look pale and ghastly without it!
Hairdryer – every hospital I’ve been in hasn’t had a hairdryer (fair enough, they’re not a hotel), but I really cherished having mine so I didn’t have to sit with wet hair!
Big Knickers – I’m still in mine, so so comfy!!
Ear Plugs! – Just to drown out the sound of every other baby on the ward whilst yours sleeps soundly in his/her cot. Make sure you can hear your own baby though 😉
Lotions and Potions – scar cream etc You may be sore in places, or you may just feel the need to nourish your skin with some gorgeous lotions.… ~ 5 of the best post pregnancy beauty products
Herbal Tea Bags – I have no idea which tea-bags the hospitals use… I’ll admit the first cup of tea tastes divine after waiting for so long to have one…but you’ll soon be wishing for a good cup of Tetleys (or whatever your preference is) here is a list of herbal teas that are safe whilst you’re breastfeeding ~ Suitable herbal teas right here…
FOR YOUR BABY
Going home outfit – Regardless of the weather, baby needs to be wrapped up nice and snug..don’t forget, they’ve spent the past 9 months in a womb environment of around 36 degrees celcius, and unless it’s that hot outside, which lets face it, you’re in the uk, so it’s not… wrap that baby up.
Baby blanket – I had a specific little cream soft blanket for my second born, and he still has it now (he was born in 2010)!
Nappies & Nappy Bags – Plenty of nappies and nappy bags! You can guarantee there will be times when you’ve just changed baby and they will need to poop! ~ Some lovely options here…
Socks / Booties – Little feet get so cold, so keep them covered with some cute little booties or socks (you’ll be forever putting them back on after they wriggle them off so try and find some with elastic at the ankle)
Hat – Babies lose a lot of their heat from their head, so especially when you’re taking baby home, be sure to pop a little hat on to keep them warm
Jacket / snowsuit – if it’s winter, and they look adorable drowning in this massive snowsuit that actually looked pretty small when you bought it!
Muslin Squares – For Sicky burps and general spit-up
Formula – If you’re formula feeding I know that some hospitals offer formula, but if you’re set on using a specific one, then don’t forget to pack it
Lastly, a note for my fellow Caesarean Mummy’s, you could still pack all of the above, the only difference is you may have to wait until baby is delivered before you can use some of them, oh, and they’ll provide you with some glamorous long socks, so you don’t need to worry about bringing too many pairs 😉
*All of the links I have suggested are for you to peruse and carry out your own research as to whether they are suitable for you and your baby, I am not affiliated in any way with any of the products or sites I have referred to.
Sarah at Remember When Photography has been photographing Newborns for many years now, and has received numerous recognised awards for her images. She serves families from Bishop Auckland, County Durham and beyond.
If you are having a baby or would like family portraits, I’d love to hear from you – Contact Me Here