Right – so you’ve packed Baby’s bag for hospital, that was easy! But what on earth should you pack for yourself? This can be a daunting task for first time mums, especially with so many posts and YouTube videos online about the endless things people have packed in their own hospital bags. I’m a big believer in packing light but ensuring you have the necessities and creature comforts. Read on to see what I’ve packed for my hospital stay.
First things first – Labour:
Unless you want to wear one of those fetching hospital gowns, you’ll need to pack a nightdress that you don’t mind throwing out afterwards (lets not beat around the bush, it will get stained). Pick something that’s a light material but a dark colour. You’ll also want to keep those toes cosy so bring a pair of socks, preferably ones with a non-slip grip on the sole. These are insanely hard to find so if you do come across them let me know where you got them!!
You really won’t need much else for the labour ward other than some bits to make you comfortable. I’ve packed some lip balm (you won’t always be allowed to guzzle down water, so a balm stick will keep your lips moist), and a hairband and hair ties to keep my hair back off my face.
The last things you’ll need are a pair of comfy Bridget Jones style knickers (dark colour) and a couple of maternity pads (well, you’ll need a lot more than a couple, but for immediately after labour you just need one or two).
Baby’s here – what now?
You’ve done the hard work, but now you’re facing into 2-3 nights in hospital without all the creature comforts of home. And even though you have a new baby to look after, there will be times when he/she actually sleeps and you’ll be a little bored! So bring a few things to keep you entertained.
Clothes-wise I’m not intending on getting dressed until I have to leave the hospital. I’ve packed 3 nightdresses and 2 pairs of light leggings (rather than pyjama bottoms) that I can throw on under a nightdress if I need to leave the room for any reason. Again, dark colours are best here. The nightdresses have buttons on the front, bear this in mind if you plan on breastfeeding. I’ve put in a dressing gown, a couple of pairs of socks and a pair of slippers for when I’m out of bed so I don’t get cold. You’ll also need an outfit to wear home from the hospital, but your partner can bring this in on the day you’re leaving. Make sure it’s something comfortable, that would have fit you around the 25-week mark.
Now for the glamorous bit. You’ll need lots of underwear (comfy, dark coloured ones like I mentioned above), lots of maternity pads, and lots of breast pads. You’ll be leaking from all angles so pack plenty of everything! There is disposable maternity underwear available but I’ve heard it’s not the comfiest thing to wear so you’re better off buying some cheap cotton underwear that you can throw away afterwards. If you’re breastfeeding don’t forget to throw in a couple of nursing bras – cotton unwired ones would be most comfortable. If you won’t be breastfeeding the hospital usually provides a bottle that you can use while you’re in there, but you may want to pack one anyway. Don’t forget to pop in a plastic bag to hold your soiled items.
I tried not to go overboard with my toiletry bag either. Yes, I want to be clean and comfortable, but I didn’t want to pack every single thing I own either! I’ve put in the bare essentials, I even left out proper shampoo and have just put in a can of dry shampoo instead – reason being, I hate drying my hair so I don’t want to wash it while I’m in hospital, and it also means no need to bring a hairdryer. The fab “dry shampoo and ponytail” combo will work just fine for the few days I’m in there! As well as the items below, I’ve packed a towel and a pair of flip-flops to wear in the shower.
Lastly, you’ll want a couple of bits to keep you entertained when baby’s asleep and you have no visitors. Sure, you’re supposed to rest and sleep, but it won’t always be that easy when you’re so excited at becoming a new mum, and when there are several other babies and mothers in the same room who aren’t on board with your napping schedule! I’ve packed a deck of cards, my phone charger, and a pair of earphones, as well as a few snacks for between meals.
What I packed in total:
- Hairband / hair ties
- Lip balm
- Maternity pads
- Dressing Gown
- Pyjamas / Nightdresses
- Nursing bras
- Maternity pads
- Breast pads
- Lots of underwear
- Toiletry bag & toiletries
- Flip flops for shower
- Phone charger
- Deck of cards
- Clothes for leaving hospital
Don’t forget – take your partner through the bag and its contents so they know where and what everything is!
Did you pack too much for your stay in hospital?
What did you pack that I haven’t mentioned above?
I’d love to hear any suggestions in the comments!
Thanks for reading!