• George Bell-Starr

Packing your hospital bag

Updated: Oct 27, 2019

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In this article we will be covering what was in our hospital bag, what we used, what we didn't use and what we wished we had with us.


As a Dad I saw the hospital bag as my domain. Nicky was going to be doing the hard work, I was there for support and logistics. We packed together, but I wanted to ensure that I knew where everything was so that I could get it as soon as Nicky needed it. We packed everything, including the kitchen sink.


We hope that this article will allow you to leave the kitchen sink at home and pack just what you need.


I'll divide the article into 3 lists: Mum, Baby and you.

Mum

- Dressing Gown, ideally not white (I don't need to explain why!)

- Flip flops, great for walking around the ward and to/from the bathroom.

- Underwear, something comfortable, again not white. Nicky says the bigger the better!!

- Maternity Pads. Nicky recommends these Lil-Lets.

- Flannel, most mum's I've spoken to have wanted their brows mopped with cool water.

- Nursing Bra, soft and without wires.

- Spray for tender areas. Nicky took a Maternity Essentials Kit from the Natural Birthing Co.

- Wash kit for that glorious post baby shower, with a towel! Nicky says avoid any strong scents as that smell will never be same again.

- Music (phone or MP3) with a playlist saved offline, you never know if you'll have signal.

- Nipple cream if you're planning on breastfeeding. Nicky used Lansinoh.

- Favourite Snacks, ideally bite sized.


Baby

- Nappies (10+)

- Wide range of baby clothes, in various sizes, we didn't have any really small clothes and Evie arrived a little underweight. She wore baggy clothes for the first 24 hours!

• Baby Grows

• Sleep Suits

• Vests

• Scratch Mits

• Warm hat

- Blanket

- Lots of muslins

- Nappy Cream, we found Bepanthen the best

- Thermometer, this is a minefield but our favourite is the Braun Thermoscan 7

- Travel system including car seat

- Red baby book (probably given to you at around 36 weeks)

- Bottles and formula if planning to bottle feed. Pre-mixed might be beneficial in the first few hours.


Dad

- Comfortable clothes, I don't think I changed for at least 24 hours. I slept in what I wore.

- Pyjamas, incase you get any chance to sleep. (Who am I kidding, who's going to be sleeping!)

- Food, our hospital did not provide any food for dads. I didn't take any food so had to get supplies delivered by my parents.

- Sleeping bag, roll mat and pillow. Again the hospital did not routinely provide beds for fathers.

- Chargers for everything

- Wash kit and towel.


What did we take and not use?

- Word Search book, Nicky took this thinking she would have loads of time. Unsurprisingly she spent more time pushing a baby out than finding the word maternity.

- Jeans, the last thing that Nicky wanted to put on when coming home was a pair of jeans. Our advice would be to pack the biggest, comfiest clothes you have to travel home in.

- We seriously overpacked on sweets, we took four bags and only opened one. Our advice would be to take a range of sweet and savoury snacks.


What would we take for round 2?

- Ink-less hand/foot print kit, we really wished we had thought about this earlier. On reflection it would have been amazing to do it within the first 24 hours. They are only tiny and are perfectly baby friendly.

- More baby clothes than we took, we had to stay in hospital for two nights and we ran out of vests. This is the one area that I would recommend overpacking in, after all you'll need them as soon as you get home!


When should you pack your bag?

We would suggest that you have your bags packed from around 35 weeks. I actually really enjoyed packing the bags with Nicky, it felt like the pregnancy journey was winding down and journey into fatherhood was beginning.


Don't forget that not all babies arrive when they're supposed to, so it's good to be prepared.


There is obviously no perfect list as every family is slightly different, however this list will hopefully allow you to pack the essentials relatively stress free.


Let us know in the comments what you wouldn't be without!



What's next...The Delivery Room? Get some advice from Nicky here.

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