We can now officially say that baby Theo is due NEXT MONTH!
I’m so excited about that but it’s also left me feeling a little bit unprepared!
To help me stop panicking I finally got round to packing my hospital bag. Of course as I spoke about in my birthing plan here I am hoping to have a natural home birth.
However you never know what will happen when it comes to labour (and I’ve now been put on bed rest because of a fractured pelvis!) and so have packed the bag incase we need to transfer to hospital for my labour.
Even if we do get the home birth I’d like – having all of the essentials for labour in one place is a good idea!
My Hospital Bag Checklist
I learnt from my first time round when expecting Lily, just how easy it is to overpack your hospital bag!
I ended up with four different bags of ‘stuff’ that I thought would be essential for labour and very little of it actually got used!
When it came to packing my hospital bag this time round I have stuck to the bare essentials.
In the hospital bag for me:
The most important thing to pack in your hospital bag are your pregnancy notes.
So often different hospitals and clinics have disparate systems across their services and so your medical notes and birth plan may not be easily accessible.
Carrying your notes makes it a lot quicker for midwives and drs to look you up on the system using your NHS number and they can easily see key information about your pregnancy.
Nightie and pyjamas –
I’ve packed a nightie for giving birth in (you can use an old one or a cheapy one as it’s likely to be chucked away afterwards). Scott picked me out this one from Tesco – the buttons give easy access as required too.
Nice new pyjamas for after you’ve given birth are a definite bonus. It’s nice to get into fresh, clean pyjamas after you’ve gone through labour.
Hair bands and brush –
I got quite hot and flustered when in labour with Lily and wanted my hair off of my face. That’s why I’ve packed hairbands, an alice band and a hairbrush.
Of course they will come in handy for afterwards too – especially if you want to look a bit ‘presentable’ for any visitors.
Dark towel and flannel –
Post-partum bleeding can leave you feeling a bit grotty after labour. I like to have a dark coloured towel and flannel so I can shower and dry myself off before putting on my new pyjamas.
The dark colour hides any bloody marks on the towels and you can always get rid of them afterwards if you feel a bit icky.
Black Knickers and maternity towels –
As with the dark towel! Most women have quite heavy bleeding after giving birth and so cheap black knickers will come in handy. I sized up so that they would be super comfortable.
I used some cheap and bulky maternity towels after having Lily although I’ve since been recommended tena lady pads as they are more comfortable. I’ve put both in my bag.
Flip flops and bed socks –
Hospitals can be pretty grim and I hate using public showers without wearing flip flops. Bonus is they can be worn whilst shuffling about the ward during and after labour too.
As well as flip flops a pair of fluffy and warm bed socks could come in handy. Personally I find hospitals really hot but in the night time they can get chilly so bed socks are a winner.
Maternity Bras and breast pads –
Leaky and sore boobs are par for the course after giving birth. Maternity bras are more comfortable than underwired ones and breast pads will soak up any excess milk.
Phone and charger –
I don’t go anywhere without my phone (it’s a bit of a running joke in our house!) and so would want mine with me in hospital.
It’s useful for giving loved ones updates, keeping entertained, taking photos of your new arrival etc.
I’ve downloaded a mindful meditation app and the kindle app too – I think both will come in handy.
Of course for any tech you need the charger or a battery pack.
If you are anything like me you will want to capture your little one from the moment they arrive. I have this one and I love it because it does video too.
Cash and change –
Hospitals are notoriously expensive and don’t often have basic facilities such as ATMs. Cash will come in handy for food/snacks if you are kept in for a while and don’t want the hospital food.
Change is always useful for the vending machines or car park if you drive in.
Going home outfit –
I would recommend something comfortable such as leggings and a loose, long top or a maxi dress and cardigan plus simple shoes to slip on.
I’m not expecting to look like the Duchess of Cambridge post-birth (although that would be nice!) but something comfortable that helps me feel a little ‘put together’ would be nice.
Your labour might be long and you may get hungry as you’ll be using up a lot of energy.
I’ve stuck some cereal bars, pasta shots and cuppa soups in my bag. Oh and tea bags because I’m fussy about my tea 😉
Carrier bag for dirty washing –
I popped an old carrier bag in my bag to put my towel/nightie/pyjamas etc in so that they can go straight into the washing when we get home.
Toiletries in my hospital bag:
I’ve kept it simple when it comes to toiletries. Using mini travel bottles I have decanted my everyday products into travel sized amounts.
FYI: Face wipes are handy for helping you to freshen up if you can’t shower. I also added a mini sized dry shampoo too!
I’m not one for makeup but I have added lipbalm and my eyebrow palette (I hate my brows!)
Things in my hospital bag for baby:
Contrary to popular belief babies really don’t need very much stuff.
I’ve popped a couple of babygros (vest) and sleepsuits in labelled Ziploc bags – both newborn size.
Ziploc bags keep the baby’s things organised and in sets – so it’s much easier to pull them out.
At home I’ve done the same thing with a first / small baby size (smaller) and a 0-3 month size (bigger) so that if baby comes out small or very big it will be easy for Scott to find and bring in the right size.
Our local hospital doesn’t provide nappies or wipes so I’ve made sure to pack one pack of each and some cotton wool and water wipes for washing.
Muslin squares are handy for wiping up spills, cleaning baby (they are super soft) or even as a lightweight blanket or swaddle so I’ve packed two.
I never really used hats for Lily but I know some midwives like to have them on babies so I’ve packed one plain white one and a cardigan incase the ward gets chilly.
Other than that I’ve just packed him a going home outfit and a blanket for those first cuddles!
And that’s it! All packed!
Let me know if there’s anything you would recommend adding.