We’ve created a hospital bag checklist that's ideal if you’re expecting a bundle of joy this year. Here's the inside track from one of our very own Baby&More club mums...
Our hospital bag checklist:
- Loose Change
It can be expensive to park at hospitals, and a lot of machines don't allow you to pay by card or phone. Change is also good if the labour takes longer than anticipated... and you need a cheeky vending machine snack at 3am.
Energy drinks, smoothies, cordials, juices made in your juicer at home, fizzy drinks - just pack the drinks you like, and lots of them. Labour is hard work and water (or the occasional cuppa) is really the only thing on offer when you’re in hospital, so it’s good to have a carton or bottle of something different to hand around the clock. You never know what might happen in labour - and you won't always have the time to go to a cafe or even the maternity ward kitchen. Try these handy squash bursts to save space - they're ideal for adding to water on the ward.
As with drinks, snacks are good to keep in your hospital bag at all times. Think slow release carbs, as well as quick-hit chocolate. You can labour through the night and it’s unlikely that you’ll be up to a three course meal between contractions. Also - the birthing partner rarely gets food provided by the hospital, so it’s worth stocking up for their ‘munchies’ too. Nuts are great, and this tasty bar has berries and seeds to give you both an energy boost.
As soon as your baby is born, you will be offered some skin to skin contact and then they will be checked, cleaned up and given back to you with a nappy and a hat. Nutmeg newborn nappies are great - they have a special shape to allow the waistband to fit over the baby’s umbilical cord, are super absorbent and have a line at the front so you can see at a glance if it needs changing when you're getting used to them.
- Wipes / cotton wool
Speaking of nappies, the first one is...not very pleasant. You're advised to use cotton wool and water to clean your baby, but it's also handy to get some wipes in - fragrance-free wipes are nice and soft for the baby, and Water Wipes are super-sensitive too.
- A hat
You’ll need a cute little hat for your little one, as they’ll struggle to regulate their temperature and lose heat through their heads. Plus, a sweet piece of headwear always gets extra more coo’s and adoring glances from passers by when you’re out and about showing off your bundle of joy.
- Baby outfits
Pack your favourite little baby outfit for that first photo you're going to show everyone on facebook - and at their wedding. consider a vest underneath - even if the weather is nice babies struggle to regulate their temperature. A sleepsuit is very practical to go over the top, so consider taking a two or three as babies tend to get through them quickly and you might have an extended hospital stay. You can make your hospital bag with Nutmeg sets that have a hat, vest, sleepsuit and outfits. Go with newborn size - lots of parents don’t realise that this tiny size exists and buy 0-3 months which, as hard as it is to imagine, can be too big.
- Maternity pads
These pads are a bit like a sanitary towel, but really thick. Pack at least one pack of these in your hospital bag but more if you can fit them - they’re not something new mums enjoy having to ask family or friends to pick up for them. Breast pads are also good to pack, and you can find a whole range of other maternity essentials that might come in handy during different staes of your pregnancy and labour.
- Beauty essentials
Pick out a travel toothpaste, toothbrush, shower gel, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser and anything else you think you’ll need when it comes to toiletries. Just buy little ones and pack them ready for your stay - if your waters burst in the middle of the night you don't want to be hunting around for the remains of the shower gel you took on your last holiday, or raiding the bathroom cabinet for big bottles. Even if you're not in hospital for long, you will want to freshen up. And don't forget your partner - take a toothbrush for them too. You never know what time of day or night your labour will start, or how long it can last.
Pack two or three different types of starter soothers - a newborn baby will often like some but not others, or might stay calm and relaxed with none at all so it’s good to have a few different options in the early hours following the birth.