Friday, 22 March 2013

Successful hospital bag packing

When it came to packing my bag for hospital in those last few weeks before Bobble arrived, I sought a lot of advice from Mummy friends as well as online about what to take. There are loads of lists out there, as your good friend Google will reveal.

I’ve included my big list below, but I wanted to offer some wisdom about the actual packing. Hang on a minute, how hard can it be to pack a bag? Bear with me on this one. For me, these tips really saved time and avoided adding extra stress to a situation that frankly is already stressful enough! Here are my top 5 tips for getting organised for that life-changing trip to hospital.

Mine and yours.

1. This you’ll hear a lot. Have one bag for the baby’s things, and one bag for your own things. And make sure your partner knows which one is which!

Divide and conquer. 

2. Split the contents of your own bag into things you’ll need in labour, and things you’ll need afterwards. It will save your partner wasting time by having to search through nursing bras and maternity pads when all you want is a cereal bar or a pair of socks!

Categorically speaking.

3. Use packing cubes to separate out everything, and pack together similar things. For example, pack together in one cube your lip balm, massage oil and hair bands for you to use during labour.

Show and tell.

4.  Make sure your partner knows where you’ve stored everything in your nursery. If you end up having to stay in for a few days and he needs to bring in extra nappies or clothes from home, chances are you organised everything and he hasn’t got the foggiest idea where you’ve put anything!

Lost without a list!

5.  I can’t remember where I read this, but this is my biggest tip. Write down a very precise list of what is in every bag and packing cube. For example, “small grey bag contains hairbands, lip balm, facial spray”. The reason I found this so helpful was because you might, like me, pack your bags at 35 weeks, but not give birth until almost 6 weeks later. In the meantime you’ve forgotten what you put where. So in that post-birth haze when you ask your partner to dress your baby in that particularly cute sleepsuit that you picked out, you can tell him to check the list so that he knows exactly where to find it. Just remember to take the list with you!

The big list

This is what was on my list. It’s not the be all and end all, but you might find it a good starting point.

Your stuff
  • dressing gown
  • slippers
  • socks (some people get cold feet in labour)
  • t shirt for labour (something old that you don't mind throwing away afterwards)
  • massage oil
  • lip balm (some people find gas and air really dries their lips)
  • cereal bars
  • biscuits
  • crisps
  • juice
  • energy sweets
  • ipad/iphone
  • hairband
  • pillow (nice to have something that smells like home)
  • toiletries bag
  • something to wear home - loose and comfy
  • breastfeeding bras
  • breastpads
  • nipple cream - use it straightaway
  • maternity pads x 10
  • nightie (with buttons for b'feeding) to wear afterwards, or pjs with easy access!
  • towels (dark)
  • cheap pack of knickers (1 size bigger) x 5
  • ear plugs
  • sleeping mask
  • change for car park
  • maternity notes
  • birth plan
  • camera
  • magazines
  • water spray for face
  • flannel
  • water bottle
  • flipflops (to wear in shower)
  • makeup
  • glasses/contacts
  • facial wipes
  • bikini for in the pool
  • dirty washing bag
  • tissues
  • phone charger

For baby
  • car seat
  • going home outfit
  • blanket
  • nappies x 10
  • sleepsuits x 5 (newborn size)
  • hat
  • pramsuit to wear home (newborn)
  • muslins x 5
  • vests x 5 (newborn)
  • cotton wool (you're advised not to use wipes on newborns)
  • nappy bags
  • scratch mits
  • antibacterial gel
  • baby nail scissors/clippers

  • change of clothes
  • toothbrush
  • deodorant
  • swimming shorts (in case he wants to get in the pool)
  • snacks
  • book/magazine
Photo credit: rubyblossom. / / CC BY-NC

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