Youâ€™ve been waiting for nine months, prepared a nursery and got everything ready for bringing home your little bundle; but first, thereâ€™s the daunting prospect of a trip to the hospital first.
If youâ€™re in your final weeks of pregnancy, getting your grab-and-go bag ready for a speedy midnight dash is probably one of the top things on your mind. Here are some tips Iâ€™ve found for packing, along with a list of must-haves, and some clever ideas you may not have thought ofâ€¦
Take Two (or Three)
Pack a bag for you, and a bag for the baby. It will be much easier for your birth partner to find what youâ€™re asking for if they donâ€™t have to fight their way past babygrows and newborn nappies â€“ meaning you will get it sooner! Think about packing a separate bag for your birth partner, too â€“ things to keep them entertained (and fed and watered) while the unpredictable hours of labour tick by.
Baby Bag (the easy one)
- Newborn nappies;
- Babygrows (newborn and 0-3 months â€“ you never know!);
- Cotton wool;
- Going home outfit;
- Sudocrem or other newborn-friendly barrier cream;
- Water wipes or cotton wool.
If you’re not planning to breastfeed, and are wondering what to do about formula at the hospital, have a look at this recent guidance from a midwife at Milton Keynes hospital:Â MumtoMumMK: is formula provided on the maternity ward?
Your Bag (trickier)
However youâ€™ve imagined your babyâ€™sâ€™ birth, and whatever youâ€™ve put in your birth plan, itâ€™s so hard to predict how long youâ€™ll be in hospital, before and afterwards. That makes it very difficult to pack! Here are some things you will definitely be needing, though:
- At least three pairs of roomy, comfortable pants (it is absolutely worth sacrificing style for comfort â€“ you will thank yourself later!);
- Pyjamas and / or nightie â€“ take a couple, and make sure they are maternity ones, to make feeding nice and easy. Make sure that the bottoms are loose-fitting, especially if youâ€™re having a c-section;
- Breast pads â€“ even if youâ€™re not planning to breast feed, you will be needing something to stop those leaks;
- Maternity pads â€“ heavy duty and highly absorbent are whatâ€™s needed, possibly for up to a week afterwards;
- Toiletries â€“ toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, bodywash, and a flannel or sponge, hairbrush, bath towel;
- Snacks â€“ something easy to transport, that doesnâ€™t need to be kept in the fridge (and donâ€™t forget the chocolate);
- Magazines / a good novel / puzzle books;
- Clothes for going home in (make them comfy! Maternity things will probably still be your best bet).
Some others you may not have consideredâ€¦
- Dry shampoo â€“ brilliant if youâ€™re finding it hard to get to the shower;
- Handheld fan â€“ maternity wards are kept nice and toasty for their little residents, but it might be too warm for you!
- Frozen drinks â€“ they defrost in your bag and stay cool;
- Water spray â€“ lovely for spritzing
- Flip-flops â€“ great to wear into those shared hospital shower and bathroom areas;
- Lip balm, in case the atmosphere dries you out;
- Tea bags, especially if you have a fruity favourite;
- Wet wipes â€“ never a bad idea to have a quick clean-up solution;
- Pillow from home â€“ can make a real difference for a good nightâ€™s sleep;
- Bendy straws â€“ much easier for getting drinks during labour, and also good afterwards if youâ€™ve had a c-section;
- Music â€“ load up your phone with your favourites, and donâ€™t forget your headphones;
- Change for the car park, and for your birthing partner to get a drink/food from vending machines.
I wish you a very happy and healthy birth experience, and I’d love to meet you and your beautiful bundle at a your Newborn Photo Session.