I thought it may be useful to look back at the hospital bag I had packed and what I might do differently next time!
I had packed the bag thinking that hopefully I wouldn’t need to stay in hospital long, but packing enough just in case I did have to stay in a day or so. In the end, I had to stay in for 3 days.
- I had separated my bag into one for labour, one for shower afterwards, one for extras in case I stayed in and one for going home. This turned out to be more hassle! Dan didn’t know which bag was which and I wasn’t very good at explaining, so when he had to get items out for me it took more searching than it would have done without them being separated. In future I would probably just have separate bags for toiletries and underwear and put everything else together.
- Clothes for labour – I put far too much thought into this as I actually just stripped off in the end! I had a relatively short labour, so maybe if things take a while to ramp up you’ll care more about what you’re wearing earlier on, but I wouldn’t take so may options next time as I didn’t wear any of them.
- I had packed my phone charger but when I got to the hospital I found out you weren’t able to charge your phone there. I was very glad that beforehand I had purchased a portable charger, which Dan took home and charged up again each night, so I at least had some phone battery (although it wasn’t very good and only charged my phone about halfway, so I could still only use it sparingly).
- I don’t have loads of photos from the first few days, partly due to the above and partly because my camera battery was flat! It was fully charged when I packed my hospital bag but must have drained in the interim weeks. Given I was induced, I wish I’d thought to check it again the night before we went in!
- I was very grateful that I had taken some washlets, they were very soothing when going to the loo after having given birth, that’s all I’ll say!
- I wasn’t sure about taking two packs of maternity pads as they took up a lot of my bag, but I was glad I had. Although Dan could have brought another pack in later if needed.
- I didn’t use the nursing pads whilst in hospital as my milk hadn’t come in yet, so I didn’t leak at all – however, they were very useful in the days following so I would say it is always worth taking some just in case, just no need to go overboard!
- The lansinoh nipple cream however I was very grateful for, would definitely recommend taking some of this if you’re intending to breastfeed!
- I was glad I’d taken pyjamas and not taken clothes except for an outfit to go home in, as the last thing I wanted to do was get dressed – I was even tempted to go home in my pyjamas! I’d recommend something loose and comfortable for your going home outfit.
- I wasn’t sure about taking a towel but in the end I was very glad I had. I don’t remember getting dry after getting out of the birthing pool, but it was great to have my own lovely towel for showers whilst in hospital.
- I had separated the outfits into separate bags with the size written on them – I had tried to explain this to Dan beforehand but he didn’t really listen as he assumed I would be able to sort it and so it didn’t matter. As it was, he had to get things from the bag, and he was left to dress baby, so by the time I got back he had taken everything out of the bags! I think I would still do this next time, just ensure he listened!!
- We needed to bring more clothes from home, which was fine – I don’t think I would take more initially with me but would maybe pack a couple more in a bag easy to just grab and take, as Dan didn’t know how I’d organised the clothes in the nursery either.
- I was advised by a friend to take along a small tupperware container to put water in to use when changing nappies – this was definitely very useful as we were using water and cotton wool, would have had to resort to wipes otherwise.
- The hospital provided us with blankets to use for baby, so we didn’t use the blanket we had taken until we took her home. We swaddled her in the hospital blankets, but she didn’t like the swaddler anyway!
Not on the original list:
- As mentioned above, a small tupperware container if you are planning on using cotton wool and water to clean baby.
- When my dad came to pick me up, I asked him to bring a small cushion with him for me to sit on in the car, and I was so very grateful I had when going over bumps in the road!
What about you – was there anything you wish you had taken in your hospital bag? Anything you thought you would need but didn’t?