Well, full-term did sure fly around quickly! Packing my hospital bag has actually been on the bottom of my to-do lists for many weeks. With this being my second pregnancy I feel like I’m so much more relaxed about everything. I’m pretty sure I had my hospital bag packed around 30 weeks when I was pregnant with Theodore all those years ago. I actually have a blog post about what I packed in my first hospital bag too!
This time I feel so much more prepared and more aware of what I actually need or don’t need in my bags. I’m actually packing a lot more bits for me and a lot less for baby. Honestly, baby’s need next to nothing whilst you’re in the hospital, and if you’re desperate the hospital has tonnes of extra clothes/blankets/ or you could always ask someone to grab some from a nearby shop.
Since I’ve been through labour once I just know of the items that would have made my first labour easier, happier and smoother.
Let’s start with the cute bits: Baby’s Hospital Bag!
With Theodore, I packed some newborn, up to 1m and 0-3 bits. Even though he weighed a whopping 8lbs 2oz newborn sized clothes still drowned him. So I’ll just be sticking to newborn and tiny sizes. Your midwife might have told you if your baby is measuring big or small so hopefully this will help you gauge what size you should pack.
3 newborn sleepsuits
3 newborn short sleeve vests (I’m having a Summer baby, if you’re having one in the winter I’d pack long sleeve)
1 tiny baby sleepsuit
1 tiny baby vest
pair of newborn leggings with a matching long sleeve vest (coming home outfit)
1 soft cardigan (I’ve chosen a hand-knitted one from my Nanna)
2 hats (one cotton and one knitted)
1 pair of scratch mitts (try pack sleepsuits with integrated mitts, then you won’t need many pairs)
2 dummies (we have the bibs ones!)
20 nappies (a baby generally goes through 10 a day)
bum cream (we love Sudocrem)
2 muslins (one large for swaddling, one smaller for feeding/sick up)
1 blanket (to put over the baby in crib and in-car seat)
milestone plaque (I’m here card/its a boy/its a girl)
2 nighties (one for giving birth, one for afterwards)
1 pair of PJ’s
5 of your biggest black knickers
3 pairs of Modibodi period pants
2 nursing bras (if you’re breastfeeding)
coming home outfit (I’m just using the outfit I wear to the hospital, leggings + T-shirt)
big thick maternity pads (I’m taking 20, I got through 80 when I stayed in 6 days with Theodore)
breast pads (I only used 2 or 3 pairs last time, your milk won’t come in fully until day 3/4 so you might not need any at all)
washcloth + towel (I’ve just packed a beach size towel so it’s smaller)
toothbrush + paste
3 in 1 shampoo/body wash (I poured some of the badedas one into a small travel size bottle)
makeup remover + reusable pads
hairbrush/comb + hair bobbles, clips + hairband
1 pair of socks
nipple cream (don’t forget this – even if you’re formula feeding!)
thin dressing gown (perfect for throwing on for a bit of extra dignity)
massage oil (I’m expecting many back rubs in labour!)
bottoms up spray (spray to help with your down below pains after labour)
battery-powered tea lights (to help set a calming atmosphere)
sleepy mama spray (a relaxing lavender spray, again for atmosphere)
handheld USB charging fan (i got mine from amazon and it is so powerful)
purse (so you have money for cafes, vending machine and car park)
lollipops (obviously optional but I found I really wanted something sweet and hard-boiled during my last labour)
other snacks – cereal bars, favourite sweets
glasses + contact lenses
phone charger and/or power bank
headphones (you might want to space out to music during labour, or perhaps on the ward so you can watch/listen to things on your phone)
camera with a charged battery and empty SD cards
water bottle (preferably insulated, you are obviously given huge amounts of water during labour but it’s in tiny throwaway plastic cups and it’s constantly frustrating to keep having to fill!)
When we had Theodore back in 2017 partners were allowed to stay with you the whole duration of your stay, including sleeping over on the ward. Unfortunately, I’m now giving birth in the middle of the corona pandemic so Brad is only allowed to stay with me whilst I’m in labour and then must leave within 6 hours. So we won’t be packing a bag for him, but I’ve written here below what we would have packed if he were to stay overnight with me.
phone charger (don’t want to be arguing over the 1 that you bought!)
comfy t-shirt and cotton shorts (if your man likes to sleep naked/topless he won’t be allowed too, men must be fully clothed at all times, this is to help the other ladies in the ward feel comfortable)
paracetamol (this sounds strange, but likely your birthing partner will be awake a lot, be stressed and probably hungry. Brad got such a bad headache and stomach ache from the stress and not eating and the hospital won’t give paracetamol to your birthing partner as they’re not a patient)
washcloth (birthing partners are not allowed to use the showers/bath, so perhaps might want to have a sink wash)
any snacks (birthing partners aren’t given breakfast/lunch/dinner, though you could certainly share yours if you wished)
pillow + thin blanket
Is there anything important you think I’m forgetting? I’m definitely packing a lot more for me this time as we are doing hypnobirthing, therefore, I’ve learnt a lot about changing the environment to make it more comfortable for you to have relaxing labour. All I packed for myself last time was clothes and a couple of toiletries.
In the car we will obviously have the car seat installed, I will also pack an extra bag that can sit in the car with some nappies, wipes, clothes for me and baby. Just in case we end up staying the week as I did with Theodore.
Please let me know if you have any other necessities you think I need! Or perhaps things you think are a waste of time to take? Even though this isn’t my first rodeo I still feel a little unprepared!
Wish me luck, 4 weeks to go!
Looking for some more hospital bag posts? Here are some of my favourites I’ve found:
What’s in my Hospital Bag – Sophie Ella & Me
What’s in my Baby’s Hospital Bag – Sophie Ella & Me
What’s in our Hospital Bag – From Rachael Claire