Parenting: Pregnancy

Packing the hospital bag

So I’m 36 weeks pregnant (37 tomorrow!), and according to pretty much every book, I should have packed my hospital bag by now.

Well, good news! I mostly have. I’ve got three, actually. One for me, one for my husband and one for the baby.

Here’s what I’ve got, based on a mixture of my own common sense (such that it is!), advice from other ladies in my Mumsnet due date group, advice from my own mum, and various online articles:

Hospital bag for mummy

I’m using a suitcase for myself. Not a huge one, but I think something wheelable will be useful, especially as we have two other bags involved. We can loop the handles of at least one of the other bags around the handle of this one and transport at least two bags in one go.

Already packed:

  • Nursing bra x 2 (I’m using the soft crop top kind from M&S)
  • Button down nightie (a size bigger than normal)
  • Pyjamas – with button top (not maternity, but a couple of sizes bigger than normal)
  • Dressing gown (I say dressing gown, but it’s really a very big hoodie from Gap that I can then use as a cardigan as well)
  • Black maternity yoga pants
  • Black vests x 2
  • Socks x 4 pairs (I’m told that labouring women often have very cold feet)
  • Old slippers (doesn’t matter if I bleed on them!)
  • Black knickers x 4 (two sizes bigger than normal, and the big kind in case there’s an incision to worry about)
  • Disposable pants x 5 (just a pack from Tesco, just in case)
  • Disposable maternity pads x 20 (I have another pack of 20 waiting in the bathroom at home, and I also have all of my cloth pads ready and waiting)
  • Breast pads x 6 (three pairs, that is – another three pairs waiting at home)
  • Black towel x 2 (the cheapest ones I could find are from Tesco and also have these lovely blingy diamantes on. I’m going to be so glam!)
  • Nipple cream
  • Travel size toiletries (shower gel, shampoo, toothpaste, etc)
  • Toothbrush
  • Lip balm
  • Water spray
  • Hair bobbles x 5
  • Deodorant
  • Fun size snacks (I’m taking advantage of Hallowe’en and have got some packs of small Twixes and Maltesers)
  • Carrier bags for any washing

Still to come:

  • Phone and long charger cable (a friend in a different NHS Trust said she wasn’t allowed to charge her phone, so I need to talk to the midwife about that and see what the rules are – if I can’t use my own electronics, then I’ll pack a portable charger as well)
  • iPad (we’re going to load our hypnobirthing tracks onto this, and also maybe use it for Scrabble if we have any waiting around time!)
  • Ear plugs (our hospital’s maternity ward has 24 beds. Enough said!)
  • A bottle of blackcurrant squash (I can’t drink water lately!)
  • Moisturiser and face wash (I need to decant these from my usual bigger bottles)
  • Plain cheese sandwiches (my mum had me at 8.44am and missed both breakfast and lunch – she’s suggested freezing some sandwiches in advance and popping them in the bag as we leave)
  • Cereal bars
  • Brush and comb
  • Camera (I need to charge this first as well!)
  • Sports water bottles (I’m informed that these are useful to squirt at yourself as you pee afterwards)

Hospital bag for baby

I’m using baby’s changing bag for this. Unfortunately I filled it slightly too much and I’ve torn the zip, but I did get it on ebay for about £10, so it’s not the end of the world!

All of the clothes I’ve packed in two different sizes – the under 9lb ones and regular newborn.

Already packed:

  • Babygrows x 3
  • Vests x 3
  • Cardigans/little fleecy jackets x 2
  • Hat
  • Blankets x 2
  • Muslins x 5
  • Nappies x 1 pack (we’re hoping to use cloth soon, but for the early days we’ve stocked up on the Aldi kind)
  • Water Wipes x 1 pack (again, cloth wipes in the future, but don’t want to take too much washing home!)
  • Swaddle wrap
  • Bag for any soiled clothes

Still to come:

  • Snowsuit or other weather appropriate coming home outfit
  • Car seat needs to be put in the car

Hospital bag for daddy

Our hospital lets partners stay in overnight after the baby has been born which is great. It does mean we need to prepare for him as well though!

We’ve not packed any of this yet:

  • T-shirt x 2
  • Shorts (I hear hospitals are warm)
  • Jogging bottoms
  • Pants x 2
  • Loose change for vending machines etc
  • Phone and charger
  • Sketchbook and pencils (to keep him occupied during any bits of downtime – he’s a keen artist)
  • Hypnobirthing books

I’ll probably let him share my snacks!

We’re very lucky in that we live a five minute walk from the hospital, so if there is anything we find that we desperately need that we don’t have, my husband can always pop home and get it.

Whew. It’s a lot, though, isn’t it? I’m curious to know what we’ll end up needing and what will turn out to be a waste of time – I’m sure I’ll do an update post!

Is there anything really obvious or important that I’m missing? What did you really need and what was completely unnecessary?



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