Let’s face it, what to pack in your hospital bag has been done to death by bloggers and parenting websites. As a midwife, I get to see the weird, wonderful and totally inappropriate stuff that people bring in their hospital bags. So with that in mind, here is my definitive list of what you really don’t need to bring in your bag to hospital.
Yes, I have seen people bring candles in “for atmosphere” in the labour ward or to relax in the postnatal ward. So how do I put this? We have flammable gases and babies around; and well it’s a hospital, so no, you can’t have naked flames burning about the place. Just no. Seriously.
A pack of discreet sanitary towels
So you’ve heard there might be a bit of bleeding from your nether regions after having a baby and you want to be prepared. There is NOTHING discreet about having a baby and there’s a whole lot of bleeding, now go out and buy those massive green bulging maternity pads because you will need them – many many of them.
You will probably not have time to actually dry your hair if you manage to wash it, never mind straighten it. Enough said – pack a hair brush and some hair bobbles to tie it all out of the way.
A bag load of make up
Ok, it’s understandable that you would like to look nice in your photos with your newborn and for your visitors but… give the liner flicks and false lashes a miss and stick with a bit of BB cream, blusher (you will more than likely be pale!) and little mascara. There won’t be much time for anything else, you will forget to take it off and you will be very sweaty on those hot wards.
Big fluffy white towels
OK, go ahead but they will never be white again. Maybe go for big fluffy black towels and you’ll be on the right track. And don’t forget a baby towel for their first bath – that can be white!
Teddy bears for baby
The baby can barely see anything and will only have interest in boobs / bottles and sleeping. The teddy is a smothering hazard and shouldn’t be in the cot anyway so just leave them on the shelf in the nursery at home for when they are bigger.
Cute outfits for baby
There will be a lot of puking and pooing from that little bundle in the first few days. Plus they have a plastic bit hanging out of what’s left of their umbilical cord. Stock your hospital bag with comfy vests and babygrows (around 10 of each) and leave the outfits with trousers or tights for a few weeks down the line.
Again, the mind boggles.
This one was actually when a lady came in and had baby earlier than planned so had no hospital bag with her and sent her husband out to get a few essential bits – such as baby clothes, nappies, pyjamas, etc. He arrived back with a bottle of champagne and 2 glasses… I kid you not, he didn’t have one nappy or stitch of baby clothes with him. Nice idea but after the drugs in labour or at c section, painkillers afterwards, general exhaustion and trying to get your head around caring for a newborn… NOPE, it’s not the time or the place to be knocking back the bubbles. Save that for when you’ve survived the first week or 2 home!
Once you’ve had the baby, you will probably not magically fit back into your pre-pregnancy skinny jeans and t-shirts. The bump can keep existing for a while after baby makes their exit. Stick with something comfy for travelling home in – leggings and a loose top for example so the outline of your massive maternity pads won’t be visible at the very least.
Lists of what you do need in your hospital bag!
For lists of what you do actually need, you will find loads of resources on google or here are a few lists from other Irish bloggers and websites!
- Mum of four, Kellie, over at My Little Babog has a very comprehensive list here.
- Nicola has her top 7 things to include in your hospital bag here.
- Naomi, the Style Fairy, has a big list here on how to be stylish as well as organised.
- Maternity & Infant magazine have a perfectly simple list here.
- EU Mom have a nice checklist that you can download here.
So there is no excuse not to be organised for the big day, let me know if you have any top tips to add!