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Whether this is your first baby or you’re going into hospital to have your fifth or sixth, we bet you can’t shake off that “have I forgotten something” feeling as you pack your bag? So, to help mums everywhere, we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of essential items to pack for you and baby, sourced from our lovely friends and likers on our Facebook page! We asked them to tell us what they packed before going into hospital to have their babies and they provided us with a lot of fantastic comments, which we share below. Here is our definitive list of essentials for your hospital bag (though some are a little tongue in cheek!)
- Breast pads – Mums told us that they wish they’d taken “loads” of breast pads, as you really do go through a lot in the first few days.
- Baby clothes – Take a lot of baby clothes: everything from scratch mitts to baby grows, hats, vest, blankets. Babies do a lot of weeing and pooing in those first few days so take as many as you can!
- Disposable pants – To save ruining your lovely underwear, buy some disposable pants for your hospital bag. But do get them bigger than you normally would (even though you don’t want to) they come small.
- Loose fitting clothing – You aren’t going to snap back into shape straight away and you might be a bit uncomfortable after birth, so loose fitting clothing is ideal for your hospital bag.
- Long nighties – This is Nicola D’s suggestion, long nighties will make sure “that not everyone in the delivery room is getting an eyeful”. Good point!
- Dressing gown – When you’re wandering around the ward looking for lunch you may wish you’d packed a dressing gown!
- Snacks and drinks – You and your birth partner need to keep your strength up. You might not feel like eating, but at least they’ll be full!
- Lucozade – Donna told us that Lucozade was a “must” during labour – we can see why!
- Lip balm – Sadie told us lip balm was essential if you’d like to avoid dry lips, as delivery suites and post-natal wards can be so hot!
- Atomiser spray – This came up several times, it’s a brtilliant way to cool down during labour, plus you can also spray your hubby if he gets annoying (as all men do during labour!)
- Facial wipes – For the same soothing and cooling reason as above.
- Nursing bra – If you want to breast feed a nursing bra is essential, it will make it so much easier to feed your baby quickly, but even if you don’t breast feed, a good well fitting bra will help support your breasts when they are filled with milk.
- Baby toiletries – Remember to pack everything from cotton wool to baby bath and baby wipes to nappies… lots of nappies!!
- Sanitary pads – “ The really big ones “ seemed to be the general consensus here!!
- Hair brush , bobble and make up – Trust us, you will want to have a shower and get some semblance of normality back once you are on the ward and you realise you’ve been in the same nightie for a day!
- Phone and charger – You will want to let people know your fantastic news, and people will be texting you all hours of the day. So remember your charger too! (Plus you’ll have the hubby calling you to ask how the washer works)
- Entertainment – Emma said: “I couldn’t sleep and I found I could watch a film on my iPad and see a bit of normality for me” other suggestions include something to read, or iPod and headphones, for music during labour, and its also quite useful at night if the ward is noisy but your baby is by some miracle asleep and you want to try and get some sleep.
- Camera – for obvious reasons, you will have literally 100’s of pictures by the time you leave hospital!
- Travel toiletries – these are a useful size for fitting into your bag.
- Baby’s coming home outfit – similar to the royal “ going away outfit” for weddings – your baby simply must look cute as a button in a new outfit when it leaves hospital – that’s just the rules
- Flip flops - for the showers, we don’t want you to take home a baby AND a verruca!
- Toilet roll – Claire says “because NHS do not do Andrex quilted” ….
- Tens machine – a very useful piece of kit for early labour, you can hire them before you go into hospital, just don’t forget the extra batteries!!
- Ice cubes – Heidi suggest keeping them in a vacuum flask and making them up with squash “ as they were brilliant to suck in labour” – what a great idea!
- Chocolate – I can’t sell the old dark chocolate helping with the 3 day blues theory enough- worked a treat for me, and a lot of you seem to agree!
- Witch hazel – helps with soothing bruises and tender areas… you know where we mean….
- Gel ice pack – nice cooling relief for episiotomy soreness (ouch)
- Baby book – Jamie said: “the nurses were really busy, I should have taken a book in to answer any questions I had.” We think that’s a shame….. just keep asking until they answer you!
And then there were the rather random suggestions we had…
- Travel scrabble – helps pass the time in labour
- Alcohol – Gin and Jagerbombs for the pain, both prescribed by husbands…! Though we’re not sure that those are on the accepted painkillers list in most hospitals!!
- Notebook – to write down reminder to never let husband near you again… this feeling passes
If you need an extra helping hand getting ready for your hospital stay…
Our “Essentials” baby hampers contain many of the items parents will need for their new babies. They make a great gift for a friend, or a lovely treat for yourself. Each hamper contains a snuggly fleece blanket, a hooded towel, a five piece clothing set, a cute Steiff toy, and a Burt’s Bees “Getting Started Kit”, which is full of toiletries suitable for mum & baby. Plus, the hamper is wrapped in a luxury box that parents can use to store keepsakes.
Click here to shop all of our baby hampers.