Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Packing a hospital bag

In a month (give or take a week or two either way), I will be meeting Little Planethalder, God willing, in the flesh for the first time. Bearing in mind that I know very few people who have given birth, bearing in mind that I am booked into a midwife-run birthing centre at my hospital with a birthing pool in my room, bearing in mind things can go differently and I could still end up on the regular labour ward or in theatre for a c-section, bearing mind the hospital will be warm and it'll be June, bearing in mind I have no clue about birth or babies... how do the contents of my hospital bag (for myself and baby) sound - what am I missing and what can I miss off?

My hospital bag
  • 6 x cheap comfy granny knickers (I don't fancy disposables)
  • 2 x packs maternity sanitary pads
  • 2 x packs night-time ultra flow sanny pads with wings (as protective base)
  • Sanny bags for disposing pads
  • 2 x nursing bras
  • Pack of absorbent breast pads
  • Nipple cream
  • 2 x front-buttoning nightie for labour and breastfeeding (I'm too shy to let it all hang out for all to see)
  • 1 x lightweight dressing gown
  • Tanktini top for birthing pool
  • 2 x dark tracksuit bottoms for early/post-labour
  • 2 x dark baggy ti-shirts for early/post-labour (nursing ones or front buttoning)
  • Slippers & socks
  • Flipflops for bathroom
  • Birth ball
  • Hair scrunchie
  • Hair brush
  • Towel for bathing (I am sure my own will be more comfortable and bigger than the hospital one)
  • Lip salve
  • Face moisturiser
  • Deordorant
  • Toothbrush and tooth paste
  • Contact lenses & case & solution (want to look good for photos!)
  • Glasses
  • Kajal
  • Shampoo
  • Bodywash
  • Massage oil
  • Granola bars, crisps, apples, carton drinks, canned drinks, fizzy water, isotonic drinks, bendy straw & cup
  • iPod (with loads of music and my natal hypnotherapy meditations) & speakers & headphones
  • Book & magazines
  • Camera
  • Camcorder (not to film the birth, but post-birth)
  • TENS machine
  • Antenatal notes
  • Birth plan
  • Watch to time contractions
  • Notepad & pen
  • Clean going home clothes
  • Anti-bacterial wipes for public toilets/bathroom
  • Arnica tablets & healing (organic/herbal) wipes for soreness down below
  • Tissues
My baby's bag
  • 10 x nappies (I think the hospital may supply these, but just in case)
  • 4 x vests
  • 4 x gros
  • 2 x socks
  • 1 x mits
  • 1 x sun hat
  • 1 x cotton cardigan
  • Cotton wool
  • Baby towel
  • Baby cotton blanket
  • Carseat
  • Muslin squares
On a different note, several people have requested photos of the new house. We still need to repaint the house and change the kitchen and bathroom and some furniture is still needed, so aesthetically the house at the moment does not reflect our personal taste. When it does, the photos will come. In the meantime, here are photos from when we first saw the house.


Bombay Beauty said...

I know nothing about these things either, but your list is so detailed! I'm amazed and impressed. bPH will have a very well-planned lunch box 5-6 years from now! xoxo BB

Premalatha said...

for the baby
1.sleepsuits for the baby.
2.formula milk and bottle for back up - hospital will supply, but in case you prefer your own type.
3. burping cloth
4. going home clothes

Will add if I remember more.

Hypatia said...

It's presumptuous but if you're going to have lots of visitors, it's worth leaving room in your bags or bringing a spare one for presents, cards etc. You probably won't want to carry a baby *and* a few dozen cuddly toys all the way home.

Also - do hospitals provide receptacles for flowers? I've never heard of people bringing their own vases but then again, I've never been at a birth or had to prepare for one. I just know lots of flowers are involved!

Anything to read?

Anja said...

I think the towel is a really good idea actually. It didn't even occur to me until reading your list but it would have been good to have one. If you bring slippers, take cheap ones that can be thrown away afterwards. All those germs (my friend caught *lice* from the hosptal bed). I brought an iPod and was never even close to wanting to use it - I didn't even want people to speak as I was having contractions :) I second the sleeping suits, preferrably with a kimono opening (some newborn babies are afraid of having something pulled over their heads). Something easy, comfortable and cosy. And a soft cotton hat/cap instead of a sun hat - they lose a lot of heat through their heads and need a little hat indoors too, in the beginning. Also bring more than one blanket (and maybe even the baby's duvet if you have one); hospital air can be cold. Don't trust the ones who say that babies' hands and feet are always cold - a neo-natal nurse told us it's only for the first day, after that the baby should be toasty warm but not sweaty!
If you do bring/use formula (but hopefully you won't have to use it - it disturbs everything so in emergency only), make sure it's made of something other than cow's milk because of allergy prevention. Burping cloths are nice too, not necessarily for burping but for making the crib cosy and all sorts of wiping (milk, tears, you name it). If your nipples get sore, put cabbage in your bra! Sounds insane but it works and is comfortable. Preferably straight from the fridge (seriously!). Buy some for your fridge at home, cabbage keeps for ages anyway. Sorry for going on and on...

Anonymous said...

I am not qualified to answer your question but I am definitely going to refer your list when i become pregnant!

SilentOne said...

I cant think of much to add to your extensive list but yes do take nappies. My hospital did not provide nappies (we had anyway taken them) and also I would prefer to use my own brand. Formula milk is a good idea but if you are taking bottles, you would need to sterilise them (we used a microwave steriliser - you have to put it for about 4 minutes) or else you get one-use pre-sterilised bottles at Mothercare.

A little hat for indoors is a good idea - our hospital gave us one. A little bag for presents and cards is a good idea too as anja said, but I found that I did not need them at all as I was out of the hospital within a few hours after the birth. We also took some chocolates and little presents along for the midwives, as they were so helpful.

Also do remember to take coins for the pay phone to call your family - as mobiles are not allowed within the hospital.

Planethalder said...

Ooo, a few more additions to my list then, thanks. My, this bag will be bulging - may have to take a suitcase :-)

Premalatha said...

PH, I packed two bags, one for the baby and one for me.

Cap for the baby is a must. midwives will ask for a vest or short sleeve body suit, a sleep suit, cap and mittens as first set of clothings for the baby as soon as it is born.

Hospital didn't provide nappies for us either. We had taken nappies with us.

I have seen cow&gate and sma in disposable bottle form. so, you do not have to buy bottles. Hospital will provide such single use bottle and milk. but if you prefer different brand and different teat (tommy tippy or avent for eg) then you have to have steriliser too as SilentOne says. I use tommy tippee bottles and microwaveable sterilizer.
Also, you will be out within a day or two so, do not pack too much. if you have to stay for more than couple of days, you can always get some stuff from home later.
buy one of those cards for phone and internet. my hospital allowed mobile phones, as long as they are kept in silent mode.

Premalatha said...

not necessarily for the hospital bag, but using nipple cream from day one is a good idea. I was suggested Kamillosan (chamomile ointment) by a police woman(!) and it was wonderful.

Planethalder said...

Thank you Premalatha :-)

Olivia said...

You're even more prepared than the folks at Huddle & Bliss!

My friend who had her son last November was whining this week about having found the 48 hour mama and baby bag a few months too late!