It’s that exciting time where you can get packed and prepared for the big day! Most women are advised to start thinking about packing their bag in the beginning of their third trimester. This gives you enough time to buy bits and pieces each week. OR, you can go totally crazy and buy everything all at once – there’s nothing like being organised! I really enjoyed buying things for my hospital bag, especially finding that first sleepsuit you want your little baby to wear.
Firstly, you have to think about toiletries! If you’re giving birth in an NHS hospital don’t expect any luxury personal items, in-fact, don’t expect any personal items/toiletries! It’s best to pack travel size items so that you don’t have loads of bulky items weighing your bag down. Here are the items you will need for YOU. We will get to baby items a little later.
- Shampoo & Conditioner. I found mine in Superdrug and they were very reasonable.
- Nipple cream. Those nips may get cracked and sore!
- Shower gel. A nice fruity freshen up will be much needed after all that hard work.
- Maxi Towels/pads. Not very sexy, but very necessary.
- Lip balm, cleanser, body lotion & hand cream. These may not get used much, but if you’re in hospital for a little while it’s nice to have something to help you feel a little more refreshed. Burts Bees do lovely natural products. My items below came from a gift set which can be found here (Zest do free delivery too!).
- Mouthwash. Another essential item! Tour baby might not appreciate morning breath being blown in his/her face, hehe!
- Breast pads. I’ve gone for reusable ones which are more economical, softer on your skin, breathable and better for environment. I found some brill ones on Amazon which come in a lovely little pouch. Have a look here.
- Hair scrunchies are a must if you have long hair. When you’re hot and sweaty it’s great to be able to get those locks of your face.
- An ipod/phone and headphones to listen to relaxing music on. I’ve been listening to hypnobirthing which is a fantastic way to prepare for giving birth. Have a look here at the mp3 track I downloaded – I highly recommend it!
- Not included in the pic below, but make sure you have a night dress, nursing bra, pants, socks and a change of clothes.
Now for the more exciting items! It’s hard to know what size baby you’re going to have which sometimes makes it difficult buying sleepsuits/bodysuits. Personally, I’ve bought about 6 newborn/first size sleepsuits and 8 newborn body suits. My thoughts are that I can always get more if she is very small. I’d rather not waste money! I found the most gorgeous sleepsuits in Sainsbury’s. I definitely recommend going in there and having a browse, the quality feels great too. The items you’ll need for your little one are listed below.
- Sleepsuits. I would pack at least 6.
- Bodysuits. Again, I would pack at least 6.
- 1 hat and some little scratch mitts. Morrison’s do really cheap basic baby clothing and feel lovely and soft!
- Muslin cloths. I’ve packed one large one and one little one. The larger ones are good for privacy when breastfeeding (if you choose to do so).
- Nappies! I’ve included 1 pack of size 1 nappies.
- 1 small pot of nappy barrier cream. You probably won’t need this if not using harsh products or wipes, but it’s always best to be prepared.
- Nappy bags
- 1 pack of cotton wool balls. The hospital will provide little disposable bowls which you can use to fill with warm water for changing nappies with cotton wool balls. Wipes tend to be too harsh for newborn skin.
You’ll also need to pack items for leaving the hospital – especially if it’s chilly. I’ve packed a cosy jumper/hoodie which I bought from ASDA. A cosy blanket is essential to cover baby in for venturing outside and the journey home. We were very lucky to receive a lovely crochet blanket handmade by Chris’s nan. These are great because they’re breathable too.
Finally, FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a must. The NHS will provide you with meals (I’m not guaranteeing you will want to eat these meals though). I’m not running the NHS down, they do their best and do a great job with the resources they are given, but the food really can be quite rank. Luckily or unluckily (depending on how you look at it) birthing partners aren’t given meals. Make sure they have cash on them for the hospital canteen or local fast food chains. I’ve packed some snacks to keep us going, as I know how hungry I get and I want to keep my energy up. You also want your birth partner/partners to keep their energy up too so they can support you!
Here are the items I’ve packed:
- Lucozade sport drinks. These provide great re-hydration and balance out those all important electrolytes.
- Snack-a-jacks. These are my favourite as their nice and salty, but not too heavy.
- Nakd cereal bars. I love these bars. They provide a great natural source of energy.
- Bananas – great for an energy boost.
- A pot noodle for Chris! As they don’t get given food, it’s a good idea to pack them a snack. Not that I think pot noodles are healthy or balanced in ANY way, but this is an exception!
- A bag of sweets. I haven’t included this in the picture, but I intend to buy a bag of sweets for me, Chris and my mum.