What to pack in your hospital bag

For some reason we’d been assuming that this baby will arrive to the world as late as his parents did (imagine, they used to let you go three weeks over back in the seventies, ahem) but it’s time to pack hospital bags. Just so they are there, waiting. As somehow ten weeks might not be that long at all.

So many lists of necessities I’ve found online seem to be retailer driven so I asked friends and the marvellous ladies of Twitter what they’d recommend – what they found genuinely useful, for them or for the baby. The list combines both the most commonly cited items, and some idiosyncratic things that I’ll be adopting. 

My bag:

  • Antiseptic wipes for the loo and bidet – seems sensible enough (sorry, NHS)
  • Maternity pads – many, many of these
  • 4 pairs of pants – disposable ones were recommended
  • Arnica capsules – to help with bruising
  • Dressing gown, slippers – things that remind me of home and are comfy, and lightweight as apparently it will be very warm in the ward 
  • My own pillow
  • Flip flops
  • Nightie or pjs – with accessible neckline for breastfeeding
  • Hairbrush and make-up, toiletries, own towel – so when I get to have a shower I’ll smell like myself again!
  • Clean going home clothes – something comfy that was suitable when I was around the five month mark. Not pre-pregnancy skinny jeans, and also easily accessible tops for breastfeeding
  • Breastpads and nursing bra – seems like disposable pads are best for hospital even if you intend to swap to washable ones later as you don’t know how long you could be in
  • ear plugs – I normally need these to sleep anyway, and they cut out the highest pitch noises
  • lip balm
  • hair clips and bands
  • pashmina or scarf cover-up for breastfeeding afterwards
  • Lanisoh cream
  • paracetamol
  • iPhone and headphones
  • Maternity tankini for the pool as we’re hoping for a waterbirth in the birthing centre
Baby’s bag:
  • 10 Nappies and unscented wipes – and cotton wool even though you’ll end up using wipes because that’s what the hospital tells you to bring
  • Clothes – at least 3 each of vests and sleepsuits – ideally in a few sizes as some babies seem to swim in ‘newborn’ or you might need the length of 0-3 months. Pack different sizes in marked ziplock bags
  • Baby hat – seems hospitals here are very keen on them although SIL in Ireland wasn’t allowed to put one on my nephew?
  • Scratch mitts – people suggested ones built into sleepsuits but I’ve yet to track those down
  • Blankets – multiple as they’ll be sicked on. But a special blanket is nice for the photos.
  • Muslins – these seem to be the single most important thing ever anyway. I’ve ordered two HUGE packs. 
  • swaddle
Mr D’s bag
  • Camera
  • Phone chargers
  • iPad – for him as much as for me
  • Damn fine snacks – for me, for Mr D and for sharing on the ward afterwards
  • Drinks with straws – for Mr D to feed me, hah, when hands are occupied with babies and trying to feed and a million other things

I’m sure there will be more to be added, and I’m going to need a steamer trunk rather than a suitcase at this rate.
Is there anything else that I’ve missed out – something you relied on? Please tell me in the comments!

Suitcase image from Lasse C’s flickr stream under a Creative Commons licence
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