Sunday, 26 January 2014

Hospital bag - what to pack

When I was expecting the Mini Grumpy Egyptian I remember spending hours online trying to work out what I should pack in my hospital bag. Some people recommended next to nothing while others seemed to pack enough to open a shop! Initially I packed my hospital bag as if I were going to have a normal (ergh hate that way of saying it) birth, but after a little scare decided to pack a second SOS bag in case I ended up - and I did - having an emergency caesarean. The SOS bag contained 3 or or so days of extra clothes and changes for baby on top of what I had in my initial bag. This meant if I had to stay in longer, the Grumpy Egyptian could just grab that bag rather than searching through the wardrobe for clothes that would have ended up being too tight or just plain wrong. I'd really recommend people do this as it saved us the additional stress of running around to find stuff for the unexpected stay.

So what did I packing in my hospital bag?

Maternity towels. Massive ones. Like the same size as the nappies you are putting on your baby. The hospital I was at did give me some, but they were really uncomfortable. The ones I bought from Mothercare had wings and helped me feel a little more normal.

Elasticated pyjama bottoms. No need to try and find something fancy. I wore Spongebob Squarepants and Cookie Monster ones from the men's section in Primark. Once I was moving around a little bit, I wanted to be able to get up and down the corridors and wearing pyjamas rather than a nightie meant I was a bit comfier doing so. As I had a caesarean, I worse a hospital gown, but had always planned to use one for delivery anyway.

Nursing bras. Having tried to breastfeed while wearing a normal bra just makes it so much harder! Suck it up and buy a couple of decent nursing bras. I'm a big fan of the Marks and Spencer ones.

Washable breastfeeding pads. I tried both disposable and the washable ones and found washable so much better. I got 4 packs from Mothercare and in the end gave up using the disposable as they were left me sore and seemed to move around too much.

Granny pants. Massive ones so big that even your grandmother would blush. Cheaper the better as you aren't going to want to be in these forever.

Toiletries. I took a little kit with travel sized 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner, hairbrush, shower gel and moisturiser (don't forget the latter as being stuck inside will make you turn to leather) as well as a razor. That first shower after after having a baby is perfection! Also don't forget toothbrush and toothpaste, I packed one of the travel ones I got on a plane.

Baby wipes. Good for baby as well as washing your face or to freshen up.

Slipper socks & flip flops because you might be sharing a shower or get cold toes getting up to feed for the 100th time in a row.

Nipple cream. If breastfeeding things can get sore quite fast when you are trying to get baby to latch properly. Preferably get one you don't need to remove before feeding.

Clothes. I wore the same maternity jeans I walked into the hospital with as I did leaving the hospital because even though baby was out, bump was still there! Plus after a caesarean I wanted loose comfortable clothing. I also took an old long cardigan to wear as I could pop it over my pjs if guests came or I wanted to nip (there was less nipping more waddling going on) to the nurses station (I can't be the only one who hates ringing the bell by the bed?). Another good idea that allowed me to practice for feeding out in public, was to wear camisoles under long pyjama/normal tops so I just pulled them apart to feed rather than hiking my top up.

Treats. Craved pate or a pile of blue cheese for nine months? Now is your chance! We were lucky to have a little fridge in our room so took coconut water for me to have instead of just water, drinks for hubby, chocolate, a mango and some watermelon. We didn't take anything to celebrate with after having the mini one, but I did sneak a chocolate biscuit during the night after delivery as the clear soup I'd been allowed hadn't hit the mark!

Bits for baby. A pack of nappies, 4 sleeveless baby grows, 4 onesies, an easy to put on (because you will still be scared of this little thing in your arms) going home outfit - we picked leggings and a cute cardi, Sudocrem or nappy cream, hat, mittens to stop them scratching themselves with their nails and a couple of thick muslin cloths to use as blankets or mop up spills. If it is cold, also worth packing a snowsuit or thicker blankets.

Phone charger. I forgot mine and luckily the nurses had one I could borrow otherwise the family back in the UK would have had to wait a while for those first baby photos!

Other bits. Lots of forums suggest packing reading materials or a tablet so you have something to do in the time leading up to delivery. I did pack a book and while being induced read about one chapter but was so nervous it just got plonked next to my bed for the rest of the time. Following the caesarean, I was too zonked to read and then the whole "Oh God I am a mother" realisation kicked in so reading went out the window, but I do think it is worth taking just in case. A pillow from home could be helpful if you are nervous. I didn't take one, but do wish I had. A purse full of change. Poor hubby had to keep nipping out for snacks and because we forgot to bring change with us, he had to keep going to the cash machine.

I think that is my main essentials. Of course everyone will have their favourite bits and bobs, but don't feel you need to turn up with a huge suitcase. What did you include in your hospital bag? What do you think of my list?

The Egyptian Mummy

No comments:

Post a Comment