6 weeks to go! As we are on the home stretch now I thought I’d start putting together my hospital bag. Let me tell you, it’s much simpler the second time around. With my first I wanted, no I NEEDED to have everything purchased, washed, sterilised etc. before Hazelle came. Everyone said to me, “just buy the basics now and then you can always send someone out to buy things as you need them” but I just couldn’t do that. What if it was the middle of the night and we needed nappies? What if Hazelle didn’t like Avent dummies but liked the Closer to Nature ones? What if I needed clothes but my husband chose the wrong ones? Control freak Virgo right here. Of course this led to a few unnecessary and expensive purchases such as a manual breast pump (turns out I couldn’t breastfeed and when I was going down the pumping path I needed to hire an electrical one anyway). I also packed waaaaay too much stuff for the hospital and had a bag for labour as well as a bag for the hospital, a bag for my husband and a bag for the baby. I didn’t know how long my labour was going to be and we were advised we’d be in the hospital for 5 days, so that’s a lot of STUFF and TIME to be prepared for. As it turns out, my labour lasted a grand total of 3.5 hours and we left the hospital after 3 nights. The midwifes didn’t even have time to get my paperwork done before Hazelle came out, let alone time for me to whip out my birth plan, music, snacks, change of clothes or whatever else could have been in my ‘labour bag’.
So armed with the knowledge and experience of my first birth (although no guarantee it will be the same again) coupled with the fact that we are going through the public system this time around so my stay will be about 48hours, I’ve downsized my packing to one small suitcase for the baby and I. That’s it. And aside from some new newborn bottles and formula, as I will probably be formula feeding again, I haven’t purchased any major equipment or a crazy amounts of clothes for him. Turns out they were right when they said you can always go out and buy things after the baby comes. Crazy, I know!
With that being said, below is my list of essential items for the hospital for both baby and I
3 x newborn size singlets, pictured above (I prefer these ones with the press studs at the bottom)
3 x bonds wonder suits, pictured above ( either 0000 or 000)
1 x special going home outfit, pictured above
2 x socks
1 x beanie
1x baby blanket
2 x Aden + Anais swaddle blankets, pictured above (the hospital will provide swaddles but I love these)
15-20 newborn nappies (I plan for roughly 5-6 per day)
2 x nursing tanks, pictured above
2x soft maternity bras, pictured above (these are amazing to sleep in)
5 x large black undies (at least 2 sizes bigger than your usual size and high waisted in case you end up needing a c-section)
1 x packet breast pads (even if you aren’t planning on nursing, you’ll need these at the start)
2 x packet of maternity pads, pictured above (2 might be excessive but you will need these more than you know and/or want to know)
2 x yoga or soft lounge pants (days turn into nights and nights turn into days so I like to wear things I can be seen in public in as well as sleep in)
2 x zip up hoodies (ditto above)
1 x SRC recovery shorts (these are absolutely worth the investment and truly help your tummy slowly regain some tone and stability)
1 x comfortable going home outfit or just wear what you came in wearing if it’s clean
2 x socks or 1 x slippers
1 x thongs for the bathroom
Basic toiletries – face wash, moisturiser, lip balm, BB Cream, mascara, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner.
Phone (thanks to the beauty of technology, most of our phones can act as our camera, iPod, entertainment, and of course a way to tell people the baby has arrived!)
Light reading, like a magazine or trashy novel (this is a maybe for me)
Something special that will help pick you up and make you feel slightly more human. For me it’s my favourite perfume but it might be your body wash, a lipstick, or your favourite scarf. Just something small that will help you feel a bit like your old self again, but don’t go crazy bringing everything because you won’t use it.
Snacks, birthing music, pages and pages of a ‘birth plan’, laptops, books, heaps of nice clothes, toys for the baby, bottles and formula (the hospital will have that), dummies, pillows, birthing ball, stress balls…
***Remember though – I am coming from the place of an anticipated quick birth and short hospital stay, if you aren’t in the same boat, some of these things might be important for you, but I PROMISE you can always ask people to bring things as you discover you need them!