It has been nine months since I had my second child and I remember looking through several blog posts and videos for lists on what to pack in a hospital bag when I had my first just over two years ago. As expected, I overpacked the first time around, which resulted in us loosing things and me being overwhelmed with bags and just stuff all over my grand 3.5 x 3 metres (those are accurate dimensions of a cubicle on a ward in a UK hospital – I looked it up) little space on the ward.
The second time around, I packed a lot smarter, a lot lighter and a lot later. There wasn’t this urgency to have a bag packed and ready near the door at 34 weeks or whatever – because I was almost certain I would go over 40 weeks again (and I did). So I made a list and kept adding to it and at some point between week 38 and 39, I had my bag packed.
Now it’s important to note that I’m packing for a UK hospital where you are given a gown to labour in and that’s about it. So everything I packed, I needed. I really wanted to have it all fit within one bag; something that would be easy to just pick up and move with and I am so glad I packed light. We moved rooms thrice (I laboured a little in three different rooms) and then I was on a postnatal ward for a bit so four different places in total. If I had loads of things, it would just have been frustrating to keep moving it all around.
Here’s what I packed for me:
– A thin, full length dressing gown
– An outfit to come home in
– A pack of disposable underwear
– Nursing bras
– A pack of maternity pads
– A ziplock bag with all my toiletries: travel sized body butter and body wash (didn’t have to buy these), an exfoliating glove, feminine wipes, hand gel, deo, mama bottom spray – this is BRILLIANT for stitches – I had a second degree tear and this was amazing, arnica, travel sized toothpaste and a toothbrush (from a Virgin Atlantic flight pack lol), Lansinoh and breast pads.
Here’s what I packed for baby:
– A ziplock bag for just after birth essentials – I wanted hubby to be able to grab these without needing to dig around the bag for them so they are all in a ziplock bag – a nappy, vest, sleep suit, hat and coconut oil to smear on their bottom before the nappy goes on so the meconium isn’t such a faff to get off! (Putting this in a ziplock bag was one of THE most important things I did. At the time I packed the bag, I didn’t know that The Husband would toss a half open water bottle into the hospital bag when we moved rooms for the second time, soaking everything in it, except for baby’s things because they were all protected! I had a good laugh though :))
– The yellow and grey clutch is a nappy changing pad that has pockets to store all the nappies we’ll need as well as cotton sheets to use for nappy changes.
– A pack of dates (for me & for baby just after)
– Two sleep suits, two vests, a bib and a nursing cover to throw on just in case!
Other things I packed :
– A bottle of zamzam water (Zamzam water is from a well located within the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.)
– A little zippered bag of coins for parking and the vending machine
– A TENS machine (this was a god-send)
– A thank you card and chocolates for the midwives for afterwards
And it all fit in this bag, which is all I went to the birth centre with!
I also added (not pictured here) – chargers for our phones, slippers to use when on the ward, hair ties, and some makeup. I cannot believe how much better and put together I felt when I got up after resting for a few hours and freshened up and put some makeup on. It doesn’t have to be loads – just some CC cream, mascara and lipstick and I felt great!
What are your hospital bag must-haves? Did you over pack or under pack for your hospital stays? Share what worked (and didn’t) for you!