Hospital bags... Help me identify some mystery items?

(87 Posts)
SourSweets Sun 23-Jun-13 20:05:06

Hi again,

So after a recent panic about whether I was going into early labour (I wasn't) I've decided to pack my hospital bag. It's my first time and I don't really know what I'm buying, or rather I know what I'm supposed to need but I don't know why.

So, here are my questions:

Towels: I'm told dark towels (for obvious reasons) but do I need just one big towel for showering in the hospital or a couple of little ones purely for down below? Or both?

Pants: How awful are disposable ones? I might just spend a bit more and get normal ones that I'll throw away after. What did you do/will you do?

Vaseline: For baby's bum if you're lucky enough to grease him up before the meconium poo comes. Are you ever lucky enough? Is the poo really that bad that you can't just get it off with wipes?

Also on my list: Nappies, going home outfits for both of us, magazines, snacks, lip balm, hair band, big t-shirt, bikini top for water birth, muslins, swaddle cloth, maternity pads (Only taking a pack of 10, will I need more?) Ipod, breast pads, dummies (not sure I'll even need those but they don't take up any room), small jug for diluting the wee after I've had him.

Have I missed anything?

Thank you for any and all advice, as always.

SourSweets Sun 23-Jun-13 20:07:02

Oh and Sudocrem, extra sensitive baby wipes and phone chargers...

TheDeadlyDonkey Sun 23-Jun-13 20:08:46

I took one large dark towel which dh then took home and replaced with a clean one.

I hated disposable pants and took a motley collection of old holey pants, which were then chucked out after the gory stage.

Never heard of Vaseline on baby's bottom - tbh, I probably wouldn't as I have weird reactions to Vaseline, but maybe that's just me!

You've forgotten chocolate on your list!

Good luck when the time comes smile

TheDeadlyDonkey Sun 23-Jun-13 20:10:57

X-posts - the hospital I gave birth in wouldn't allow baby wipes to be used, we had to use cotton wool and water, so I would probably get some cotton wool in.

I never used sudocreme - found it very harsh. There's no need to use nappy cream unless your baby has signs of nappy rash. When there is nappy rash, I always found metanium the best cream to deal with it.

RhondaJean Sun 23-Jun-13 20:11:19

More maternity pads.

Towels: You'll really appreciate having a shower after the birth so bring however many you usually need for a shower (ie: a big one and one for hair if you wrap your hair up after a shower)

Pants: I bought a multipack of black ones and tbh, I never threw them away, they were fine after a wash.

Vaseline: I wouldn't bother, babies bums don't need anything put on them, the meconium isn't as bad as they make out so no need to panic.

I'd pack two big packs of maternity pads. One pack only did me a day or two each time and I was still bleeding badly enough to need them at that point. The first two times I was at home but really didn't fancy running to the shops for more. Third time ds2 was in SCBU and I was very grateful that I'd finally learned my lesson and packed two packs!

Thank you cards? I had some and some Chocs etc in the car so dh could bring them in when we were going home.

Erm... Totally can't remember what I had in my bag. Cotton wool for dc- you use a LOT with those nasty first poos, or wipes if you want to use them. Nursing bra. Toiletries for you. Change for car park/vending machines. Errr, can't think of anything else.

BreasticlesNTesticles Sun 23-Jun-13 20:13:31

Forget disposable pants, they are hideous,get some primarni specials.

I would get another pack of maternity pads as well, and something comfy to wear in the ward, so pj trousers and a feeding vest or similar

Yonididnaedaethat Sun 23-Jun-13 20:13:43

Phone charger smile

ilovevenice Sun 23-Jun-13 20:15:30

You don't have baby grows on your list and you should have at least a couple... This is from someone who went into labour with DS1 5 weeks early and had no baby clothes with us (or nappies!).

shelley72 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:16:24

pants - never used disposable ones, but bought packs in primark o supermarket for about 2.50. big pants!

also feeding things - soft breast pads, nursing bras, lansinoh. or bottles if you are bottle feeding (not too sure what happens with that i have to say);

nightshirt / PJs with easy access for skin to skin and feeding; slippers and dressing gown, flip flops for showers;

again have never used wipes or vaseline on a newborn (though heard vaseline is good) - some hospitals like you to use only cotton wool and water (use pads, not fluffly balls!)

i think that they have provided pads for me when ihave been in before so 10 may be enough - its all i have packed at the minute!

something nice to drink if plain water isnt your thing. nice food too!

i am taking a bath and hand towel if space allows, toiletries (not too perfumed) and make up.

three vests and sleepsuits for baby to start with and a cotton hat. blanket for going home along with car seat.

thats all i can think of at the moment...

ilovevenice Sun 23-Jun-13 20:16:40

Oh yes and take a pair of flip flops for the shower!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MortifiedAdams Sun 23-Jun-13 20:17:27

I took
-big black knickers - threw out after
-one pack pads, in two.nights, didnt use whole pack (however others have gone through multiple packs)
-button down vests
-dark pj bottoms and a dark.nightie (incase of catheter)
-ipod
-I wore.home what I wore in as I changed once I got there
-clothes for baby
-nappies.and wipes
-deodorant
-pen and paper (wrote down who bought what, had many visitors as in three days)

SourSweets Sun 23-Jun-13 20:17:35

Excellent - I hadn't even thought of toiletries! And a toothbrush might be nice. Thank you cards and chocolates are also a great idea. I'll definitely get more pads as that seems to be the consensus.

Thank you so much!

LucyBabs Sun 23-Jun-13 20:18:26

Socks for during labour. My toes were freezing! Also flip flops for the shower in the hospital.
I've had two dcs and never experienced the poo stuck to babys bum. You could pack water wipes in case your baby has a particularly nasty nappy wink
Best of Luck Sour sweets

2cats2many Sun 23-Jun-13 20:18:34

A water spray bottle. Ace for when you are boiling hot in the middle of labour.

Startail Sun 23-Jun-13 20:20:00

Food, the hospital vending machine was useless and you can't escape the ward to visit it.

As for baby wipes, had DD2 not been born at home, they would have been told to stuff cotton wool and water where the sun doesn't shine.

joanofarchitrave Sun 23-Jun-13 20:20:14

i really wouldn't put anything on a newborn except water, which rules out vaseline, sudocrem and baby wipes.

Dummies for a newborn? Never even heard of that. imo i would want to learn more about them and when they were hungry, and also would suggest frequent sucking on you in the early stages to encourage the milk to come in.

i thought disposable pants were fine but tbh taking ordinary pants and just washing them would be ok I would think.

anything you like as comfort food - i wanted an apple after birth, as indeed under any circumstances.

i took a large bottle of water and a packet of Fybogel as i was paranoid about the first poo. Said poo was effortless, but i dont know if that was because of the water and the Fybogel.

I'm a skank (and the hospital was spotless) but a lot of people like having shower flip-flops I think.

I bought a couple of maternity nighties from mothercare and am still wearing them 10 years later because i'm too cheap to buy more

Having said all that, I took 3 enormous bags and never used anything except the apple and the water, but what the hell? Better take too much stuff than not enough.

therumoursaretrue Sun 23-Jun-13 20:20:20

I bought cheap packs of black pants from tesco and they were absolutely dead on, fine after a wash and way more comfy than disposable ones.

Agree on more pads.

I didn't get to change DS's first nappy...or any until he was a few days old hmm so can't comment on meconium.

Maybe some small change in a purse incase you are in a bit longer and want to use the bedside TV or go down to the shop. Also incase your OH is caught short for car park money.

I ended up in hospital for 6 days before DS and 5 days after he was born so would recommend you have two bags. One you take with you and one at home that someone can pick up for you if you end up being in longer and therefore needing more bits and pieces.

therumoursaretrue Sun 23-Jun-13 20:21:39

And good luck when the time comes!!

chimchar Sun 23-Jun-13 20:22:56

Handy hint for home....get some witch hazel from the chemist and pop the bottle in the fridge. You can pour it onto a sanny pad for soothing relief if you end up with stitches...

Leading nicely onto....get some night time pads with wings. I used to put one of those into my knickers and then put a maternity pad on top. In the first few days, I had to change the mat pad often and used to find that if I had been sitting down for a While and stood up, the blood would 'pool'. It saved me from a yucky leakage having that extra layer on more than a few occasions.

I had bought some big Primark knickers for afterwards with a view to chucking them out afterwards. I am still wearing them. I am too embarrassed to tell you how old my dc is who I bought them for. blush

Good luck with your new baby. Such an exciting time!

I had an M&S multi pack of pants, still have them, they didn't take the beating I was expecting! Make sure you go for BIG ones that one rest on a c-section wound, just in case. I would also make sure you have a few more pads to hand, either with you or in the car, in case you end up being kept in for any reason. Another MNer suggested a sports bottle for diluting wee, which I think is a fab idea, much easier to direct and control the flow.

Cheap pants that are high rise (belly-button high is good, as your tummy suddenly sags down when there's nothing in it anymore and it hasn't started to pull back in yet. The pants will hold everything in, be more comfortable and help reduce the weird sensation of having a 'pouch' for a few days) smile

I also double chocolate & tonnes of pads. That first night I had pads wrapped round my pads across my pads and still bled on the floor every time I dared to go pee so that is very important.

Good luck! thanks

ChablisLover Sun 23-Jun-13 20:24:04

Cotton wool I was in a no wipes hospital.

Baby blanket

More maternity pads than you have.

Outfit for trying to feel normal to go home in.

Also leave a pile of things you think you need at home with instructions for dp of what and where they are in case you need changes. This includes baby clothes also.

Do not get disposable pants - hateful things. Multi pack from primark does the job - just make sure they are big and not too loose.

A rubber ring - blow up in case of piles.

MousyMouse Sun 23-Jun-13 20:24:32

- a pack of cleaning wipes. the hospital shower rooms/toilets were shockingly dirty both times.
- snacks, in case you miss meal time and in case you get a hunger pang after labour (it's called labour for a reason!)
- a pillow (I took a blow up camping pillow with a normal pillow cover), there were no pillows on the ward.
- coins for tv/internet

PurplePidjin Sun 23-Jun-13 20:28:04

Drinks. Cereal bars. Dried fruit. Something to entertain yourself with eg kindle that can be operated with one hand; breastfeeding takes ages and curtains make shit scenery

My hospital was get-your-own breakfast and a bit hit and miss on lunch and dinner, so having my own food was invaluable. I took my stretchy wrap sling for ds (much nicer than the wheeled cots they provide that you have to unless you're a rebel like me transport your baby in) and ended up making tea for a poor soul on the ward who was really struggling - the staff never seemed to check on anyone, you had to go down to the office to ask for things. Fine for me on a bit of pethidine, bit trickier if you had a bad tear/c section/epidural hmm

chimchar Sun 23-Jun-13 20:31:03

Meant to say to make sure your going home outfit is still maternity wear. I felt thinner than thin after giving birth, but still had a bump about the size i was at about 6months!!

SourSweets Sun 23-Jun-13 20:33:09

Oh god, a pile-ring? The suprises I have in store for me....

Ok so, are wipes not good? I have heard conflicting things, some saying wipes are fine and others not. So I will take some cotton pads too. Will I need a little tupperware pot for water when changing aswell?

Good idea about the extra bag, I will do that. And the high-rise pants too, I never thought about the "pouch".

Joan, you're totally right about dummies. I'll leave them at home for when he's older.

And witch-hazel, straight out the pot or diluted?

Sorry to ask so many questions, I am one of those annoying "must be prepared for every single eventuality" people.

chimchar Sun 23-Jun-13 20:38:04
SourSweets Sun 23-Jun-13 20:39:28

Great, thank you!

goodbyeyellowbrickroad Sun 23-Jun-13 20:39:51

Witch hazel straight out of the bottle onto a maternity pad is such sweet relief!

Not sure if anyone else has mentioned it but take lip balm especially if you plan on using gas and air.

Definitely have a snack ready for afterwards - I was offered some cereal when my DC was born which never materialised and was so pleased I'd remembered to bung a few cereal bars in my bag.

I'd also suggest a sports bottle rather than a jug for post birth weeing - think you can aim better!

WinLipFry Sun 23-Jun-13 20:41:21

I stayed in hospital for about 36 hours and I really wish I had packed with that in mind - I was hoping I'd be in and out (wishfull thinking!) so hadn't packed my overnight bag with as much thought as my 'labour bag'.

Hospitals are BOILING hot and I only had long pj bottoms and I desperately wish I had some shorts or something, as lying there in pants when your family and the other people are around (with a big old pad on!) is not really that appealing! Definitely taking some pj type shorts next time, and some vest tops or more baggy type tops.

You could always pack an 'extended stay bag' and leave it at home in case you need it.

ChablisLover Sun 23-Jun-13 20:54:41

My hospital provided top and tail bowls. But maybe have one ready just in case.

Forgot about the witch hazel. Such relief.

Also tea tree oil for bathing when home or salt baths for keeping stitches clean.

Ah such a glamourous time.

notso Sun 23-Jun-13 20:55:08

Take two bags one for labour and one for the ward.
In the labour bag put everything for the baby in a zip lock bag so
Couple of nappies
Vest
Babygro
Vasaline I think it's a must after an hour dabbing at meconium poo with tiny cotton wool balls at 4am while DD and I cried at each other!
All your shower stuff, hairbrush and bobble in another see through bag
Labour 'wear'
Clean Pj's for afterwards, I wouldn't bother with a dressing gown as it's hot on the ward.
Maternity pads
Big old nana knickers from Primark
Towel for shower, I took one for body and one for my hair
A bin bag to put the skanky towel and anything that might need binning or washing after labour.
Camera and phones
If you separate as much as possible it will save your poor DH from rooting round while you bellow "It's in the pocket, No not that pocket the other one! THE OTHER OOONNNNEEE!!!"

In the car have your ward bag with
extra clothes for baby
nappies
cotton wool pads and a tupperware which you can just fill with water for changing
fold up changing mat or you have to change in the cot or on the bed
spare knickers and pj's for you
flip flops or slippers
Nursing bra
Clean towels for you
snacks and drinks
bags for laundry
any entertainment you might want
transfer your toiletries from the labour bag then you DH can take the labour bag home.

At home get your going home clothes, baby's going home clothes and spare pack of nappies, maternity pads, and PJ's or nightie in a visible place for your DH to bring in when/if you need them.

Jollyb Sun 23-Jun-13 21:06:57

I'm just beginning to pull together my hospital bag and trying to remember what were the 'hits and misses' from last time.

You won't need too many breast pads as your milk won't come in for a few days - you 'll probably be home by then. I think I took a whole box which was a mistake.

Having my own pillow was great.

I took a few pampers disposable changing mats - great for keeping your bed /crib clean when changing. I reused each a few times.

Yoga pants - I lived and slept in them for the first few weeks postnatally. The high waistband was very comfy over my c section scar. I've just bought a new pair from mothercare today.

I'll keep thinking . . .

AmandaCooper Sun 23-Jun-13 21:09:00

I wouldn't leave your going home clothes at home. Maybe in the car. I was discharged after 4 hours. I actually feel very fortunate having read this thread; the hospital was spotless; plenty of bath towels were provided; so were sanitary pads.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sun 23-Jun-13 21:13:35

Milk bottles. I stayed 4 nights first time. I didn't really get on with breastfeeding even though I was trying.

It was obvious DS was hungry, so I was given a bottle by midwives. The hospital have since said they won't give out bottles. Most brands do sterlie pre-filled bottle packs.

Having said that many people I know seem to be able to satisfy their babies from the go. Just mentioning as it didn't occur to me prior to first DC that bottles could be needed.

Good luck.

rockybalboa Sun 23-Jun-13 21:21:17

I don't remember ever packing a towel but I def had showers after both hosp births. I don't see the point of the Vaseline at all.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Sun 23-Jun-13 21:22:58

Ooh, ooh, I have one...
When I had DD I wore men's briefs! They are comfy thick supportive material, have nice secure elastic in the legs, and have bags of room for huge maternity pads! I cannot recommend them enough!

PestoSwimissimos Sun 23-Jun-13 21:35:36

I had 2 c-sections, so was in hospital longer, but things I wanted DH to bring in were

* V-shaped pillow for breast feeding
* hairdryer & disposable razor for me
* The little fold-up changing mat from my changing bag, very useful as they expect you to nappy change baby on the bed!

And the best thing he brought in was a new fruit bowl full of lovely fruit which I could snack on day & night smile

Steffanoid Sun 23-Jun-13 21:50:27

make sure the pants you get ate proper granny pants, going up to your belly button incase of emcs, I had under belly ones that sat in my scar and subsequently had to wear them pulled down round my arse till my mum bought me some others in, make sure they're a size or two too big as well so that tgey aren't tight / tubby

OdaBear Sun 23-Jun-13 21:57:43

I'm very lazy and didn't read through all the responses, so apologies if I'm repeating:

I packed some snacks, sugary sweets, bananas, rice crackers, and juice drinks. Nice to have during labour and if you have to stay in, nice to have your own refreshments, as the best hospitals can usually do is bread and butter.

I did sneak a peek at the suggestion about men's briefs for maternity pads - great idea! I have used them in the past for sanitary towels, and they're excellent.

Take makeup - you might want to spruce up for photos. I looked like a scarecrow after my first son!

Unless you're leaking vast quantities of colostrum, you probably won't need breast pads yet.

Breastfeeding Pregnacare (or whichever supplements you use), just in case you need to stay in for a few days.

Good luck and enjoy!

notso Sun 23-Jun-13 22:15:20

I should probably point out we live about 5 minutes drive from the hospital so it's easy for DH to pop back home!
Obviously if you live an hour away leave them in the car, although with DS2 and DS3 I went home in my PJ's grin

adagio Sun 23-Jun-13 22:16:22

Unscented/low scent shower and hair stuff - baby wants to smell you not l'oreal and you realise that once you step in the shower and realise you packed 'smellies' in the sponge bag.

Couple of large /resealable freezy bags of baby clothes. One labelled 'Tiny' with smallest clothes in it (up to 7.5LB) one called Small with the newborn set in (up to 9LB) and one called Mahoosive (up to one Month on the labels). I only used the Tiny bag and they were hanging off her, but hey at least I tried! The labelled bags make it easy to direct DH to appropriate bag in your hosp bag when you really can't be arsed moving out of bed to rummage.

They made me put a hat on her for the first 24 hours. I only had the ugly skull cap style thing which comes in the newborn set from Mothercare with me and small enough. It was ugly and I still find it vaguely annoying in the early photos.

Plus what everyone else said.

I was discharged after about 4 hours - so not got any experience of the ward or anything (didn't go in till mid morning, baby at 4pm, home in time for supper).

Good Luck :-) flowers

PearlyWhites Sun 23-Jun-13 22:22:39

A spare bobble if you have long hair for the labour. Eye mask for the ward.

Steffanoid Sun 23-Jun-13 22:30:51

oh also I had a 36 hour labour and shocking heartburn all the way through whenever I even had a mouthful of any food so I was glad of the flat isotonic drinks I took with us, dont take fizzy you'll throw it up smile

IceNoSlice Sun 23-Jun-13 22:36:03

Pillow. Or, even better, two. With distinctive pillow cases. I am so glad I had mine as the labour unit had none and I was allowed to take my own in to my ECMS. And the second one for DH when he's asleep on the horribly uncomfy chair.

Flop flops.

Make up. And ask to vet photos before they're emailed to every member of your extended family (thanks Dad).

Disagree about shower smellies. I quite appreciated being able to smell nice. Funnily enough, DS still knew who I was.

Some food that isn't chocolate, some proper food. Meal times are super early (breakfast 7am, lunch 11.30 (!?) and supper 5pm. So I was starving at about 9pm and very grateful for the filled roll DH had brought in. Although that might be more of a 'stuff to be brought in for you' than hospital bag.

Redorwhitejusthaveboth Sun 23-Jun-13 22:44:00

Bottle of your fave perfume

Tube of arnica cream

Nail varnish and lipstick grin

Ear plugs in case you stay in overnight

Femme pads for if you have stitches - you keep the gel bit on the ward freezer and have disposable cotton covers for over the top... The relief was indescribable!!!!

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Sun 23-Jun-13 22:45:47

I'd actually pack takeaway menus If I get PG again. The food in our hospital is flipping diabolical! grin they also have a no microwave rule and everything I've ever put in the ward fridge has been stolen!

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Sun 23-Jun-13 22:46:28

Oh and joggers and tshirts rather than pyjamas.

lovelychops Sun 23-Jun-13 22:50:01

I packed a cheap pair of flip flops (primark £1) to wear in the shower... Just in case it wasn't that clean.

mameulah Sun 23-Jun-13 22:50:24

Am sleep training our pfb so sorry if I am repeating anything...

A multi pack of frozen CAPRI SUN. I drank them all immediately after our pfb ds arrived!

A TENS machine. I hired mine from TESCO. I don't know what I would have done without it.

Your phone charger.

Good luck!

beginnings Sun 23-Jun-13 22:53:38

our HV maintains that recent research shows no difference between wipes and cotton wool and water. I will be bringing wipes in this time!

Also, they gave us one as we didn't have one, but a little bowl so you can top and tail the little one is useful. We still have it and it washes DD's hair smile

Another one who doesn't believe in disposable pants. I bought them but the elastics were horrid so they never went on. Tesco big pants did the job just fine and may or may not have been worn for months afterwards

Am 28 weeks on Wednesday so not long before I have to start thinking about this again too!

Good luck OP!

Mobile phone and charger
Snacks
If you bought bigger knickers while pregnant just take those and lots of pads.
Ibuprofen/ paracetamol

Good luck!

SourSweets Sun 23-Jun-13 23:04:07

Wow, some great tips that I would never have thought of. Especially those who've said to separate things into smaller bags for ease, I can totally see myself getting exasperated with my husband otherwise. And I had no idea there are no pillows on some wards! It sounds like a lot of you were in for quite a while, is that the norm?

janji Sun 23-Jun-13 23:05:51

Camera! Took mine but was in such a hurry with dc 2 that I left it in my hospital bag in the car!!

defineme Sun 23-Jun-13 23:10:55

Sorry to shout but this is important MOIST TOILET TISSUE -it's the same as Kandoos but for adults and it makes going to the loo a much more pleasant experience.

PolkaDottery Sun 23-Jun-13 23:14:30

My hospital provided plenty of clean towels, no need to take one.

Nice smelling toiletries, clothes for the hospital and my iPad for entertainment were the main things. Didn't use any bottles or anything for post birth wee!

I took 0-3 month baby clothes which were huge on my 9lbs5oz baby and SCBU dressed her in a loaned newborn outfit.

Jaynebxl Sun 23-Jun-13 23:15:54

Never heard of anyone using wipes on a tiny baby. Definitely water and little balls of cotton wool.

And speaking of things I've never heard of, what is THIS about?
small jug for diluting the wee after I've had him.
What wee? Whose wee? Why are you diluting it???

SourSweets Sun 23-Jun-13 23:36:12

Haha, my wee! I've heard (again, no personal experience and the first of my friends and sisters) that if you tear or have stitches it can sting quite a bit when you do a wee, so it helps to pour water on to dilute it...!

OdaBear Mon 24-Jun-13 00:37:35

Just to add - I wouldn't take in your own pain relief medications, as they have these on the ward/unit and will give them to you if you need them. Any medications/supplements you do take, you should let the midwife staff know. (I'm saying this as a nurse myself - it is a bit dicey when people bring in their own medications and you offer them the same medications as part of your drug round - can make for an overdose if you've forgotten that you took something or when you took it. Guess who gets into trouble?).

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Mon 24-Jun-13 00:58:41

Never heard of anyone using wipes on a tiny baby. Definitely water and little balls of cotton wool.
That's a new thing. When my teen dcs were babies it was wipes all the way!
Personally, and no disrespect to nurse Oda, but having waited several hours for post labour pain relief, I'd take my own, make sure that I was properly acquainted with the dosage guidelines and make staff aware I'd taken them! I know that after pains aren't bad with first babies, but second time around analgesia was essential!

CatsAndTheirPizza Mon 24-Jun-13 01:09:58

Not sure if someone has already said these: flip flops for hospital showers ( you don't want to be standing on someone else's bits of placenta!), phone/camera for pictures of baby, lots of food.

ilovevenice Mon 24-Jun-13 01:46:10

I definitely second the diluting wee thing if you have stitches though I just used a bought bottle of water with a sports top (I think someone suggested that up thread).

atrcts Mon 24-Jun-13 05:24:03

A few 'mistakes' I made after listening to Mumsnet....

1. Granny pants a size or two bigger than normal. I am size 10 and bought 12-14 rather than 8-10. BIG MISTAKE! All they do is slip down which is: a) less comfortable, b) annoying to hitch up constantly, c) impossible to hold in a maternity pad adequately.

2. Vaseline for meconium. Tarry black poo only lasts a few days at best, and although it is slightly sticky it comes off fine with cotton wool pads. I'd say it's worth having some decent oval sized ones for the meconium days rather than tiny fluffy value ones which disintegrate too easily.

3. Flip flops in the shower. I don't use flip flops in the swimming pool so didn't in the hospital either. I purchased them and packed them - just didn't use them as I kept forgetting and it was such a distance back to my bed that I couldn't be bothered to waddle back for them each time. Also my feet swelled suddenly so it was like cutting cheese with a string! I did however take a tea tree oil wash from the health food store to shower in, and made sure lots went on the shower floor!

4. Antiseptic wipes to clean the hospital - you won't want to clean anything straight after giving birth. Something is likely to be sore and it's the last thing you'll bother to do! Wipes for your own hands or to clean between maternity pad changed is a little more sensible.

5. Wipes for baby. Their skin is so fragile to start with, it would make you wince to put harsh wipes all over it -much better to wait a little while for their skin to be used to the outside and a little more robust, then wipe away til your hearts content (for the next 3 years)!

You'll need a couple of packs of maternity pads as lochia is pretty heavy to start with.

Midwives will have you hung, drawn and quartered if they spot a dummy anywhere near a newborn! Official guidelines are to use after a month when feeding is established and can stop a baby feeding as often, which would affect their weight and if you're breastfeeding allegedly prevent latching on correctly.

It's a really good idea to have a standby bag at home to save your partner from having to stand at your (or the baby's) wardrobe trying to find suitable clothes!

It's also a good idea to either pack cardigan, hat, booties, blanket etc, or leave with the car seat so you don't have to send anyone hunting for all the going home kit, especially if it's a cold rainy day and you want to keep baby warm to the car.

IceNoSlice Mon 24-Jun-13 05:24:19

How long are you in for? Well I think the point is you don't know. I was hoping/expecting to be in and out but had ECMS so was made to stay 2 nights - absolute minimum apparently. I know some who had a 5 night stay after ECMS. Others, without any interventions, didn't even need to stay overnight.

Havingkittens Mon 24-Jun-13 06:01:08

Battery operated travel fan and some flannels for soaking in cold water for brow mopping (pack of 3 from Primark for about £3)

Bear in mind wards can be very warm so thin nightie & dressing gown are good to have. I took both a thin dressing gown and a thick robe for both eventualities.

I'd read on here of people taking a pillow but decided not to bother due to restricted bag space. That was a HUGE regret when I found they didn't have pillows on the labour ward.

Donut cushion in case of piles/tears/episiotomy. If you're BF you'll spend a great deal of time sitting and shifting about which can play havoc with sore stitched nethers. Oh, and Lansinoh whilst your nipples get used to two inexperienced breast feeders.

Havingkittens Mon 24-Jun-13 06:03:43

Oh, forgot glucose tablets. I was sick quite a bit during labour so needed something to sustain my energy that I didn't need to worry about keeping down.

notso Mon 24-Jun-13 09:16:48

It is surprising to see the variation between what hospitals do and don't provide.
Mine provides everything for the baby, bedding, towels, clothes if you want them, cotton wool balls, and milk if you need that.
Not much for the Mums, no towels, pads only if you don't have any or bring the wrong type, there were loads of pillows on both wards though.

TarkaTheOtter Mon 24-Jun-13 12:10:05

Agree with others - never had to throw away knickers after labour/birth. Just bought cheap comfy ones and still use them sometimes.
The postnatal ward I was on was freezing at night so don't assume they will always be boiling.
I took my own towel but the ones they provided were fine.

Food - the food in my hospital was dreadful. I was in for a few days before the birth and they couldn't provide me a meal I could eat with gestational diabetes. Dh had to bring me in a cool box of meals. On the postnatal ward they would bring a trolley into the foyer but no one would check if you had had a chance to get anything.

SourSweets Mon 24-Jun-13 18:51:06

Great, I feel thoroughly prepared now, at least for packing my bag (I'm working on the rest!). Thank you to everyone who posted with advice.

NicolaSeal Mon 24-Jun-13 22:10:23

The only other thing I took, which hasn't been mentioned, is a straw and a couple of bottles of lucozade. It was my hubbies job administer that while I was labouring :-)

josiejay Mon 24-Jun-13 22:22:09

Primark do nighties that have buttons at the top which are great for feeding - often spotted on OBEM. I wore three quarter length pj pants underneath while in hospital, for modesty/leakage prevention.

TeamSouthfields Mon 24-Jun-13 22:38:16

A shaver..

pocopearl Tue 25-Jun-13 08:12:51

why a dark towel?

AmandaCooper Tue 25-Jun-13 08:17:58

popopearl a dark towel won't show the bloodstains.

AmandaCooper Tue 25-Jun-13 08:18:30

*pocopearl - sorry!

pocopearl Tue 25-Jun-13 08:34:41

thanks always wondered that never really remembered to ask before, I guessed it was for something like that so I have packed an old towel which has been accidentally dyed in the wash several times and I think has possibly been used for the dogs as well, so not fussed if it gets chucked.

AmandaCooper Tue 25-Jun-13 08:58:09

After I took a shower along the corridor from the delivery room I had to walk back through a fairly public area past the relatives of other women in labour, so I was glad not to be carrying an obviously bloody bundle of clothes and towels.

beginnings Tue 25-Jun-13 17:22:44

One more thing I've just remembered. This was a piece of advice from my NCT teacher who was as mad as box of snakes that really helped. Cut kitchen paper into squares and use them to rinse yourself and then pat yourself dry after you've been to the loo. Very hygenic and means they won't break down or catch on stitches like loo roll.

Also, I found the best way to avoid stingy wee was to drink tons of water. Also helps with milk supply which is an added bonus. I had a third degree tear and never felt the need to pour water over my ladygarden. What was coming out was dilute enough.

rockybalboa Tue 25-Jun-13 23:02:01

Bollocks to not taking in own pain relief. I don't know how many times I asked for some bloody paracetamol for hideous after pains after DS2 only to be resolutely ignored. My bag this time includes vast amounts of paracetamol and ibuprofen!! And cotton wool is an utter bitch so I will be politely ignoring anyone who might suggest it is a 'wipes free' hospital, will they confiscate them?!? And how exactly does any hospital 'make' someone put a hat on their baby for 24 hours?!

Lip balm as so warm on the post natal ward, and some moisturiser as hands do dry out a but from washing after changing nappies etc

MostlyCake Thu 27-Jun-13 09:31:48

I've packed arnica tables for post birth bruising, rennies (as am going through about a million a day at the moment) and a little hand held fan from the boots holiday section smile

Wickedgirl Mon 01-Jul-13 16:35:42

Polo mints as your mouth will feel horrid if you have gas and air. They will also help if you feel slightly sick

Cloudkitten Mon 01-Jul-13 16:51:01

Dressing gown - for wandering to the loo and back in your nightie. There's a lot of dads all over maternity wards in the daytime plus lots of other visitors around.

Cheap ordinary knicks from supermarket or Primark - get black ones

Flip flops for shower also hospital floors can be surprisingly dusty/dirty and you may well rest your little baby on your bed at some point, so you want slippers that you can easily flick off before getting on the bed. This is the same reason why visitors are not supposed to sit on your bed as they bring dirt/bacteria directly onto your bedcovers, which is particularly important to avoid if you have had any kind of surgery including a ceasarean)

oscarwilde Mon 01-Jul-13 16:57:13

Def more pads. My waters broke about 8 hrs before I went into labour so used up my post natal stock before I even had the baby. I'd get the ones from Boots with wings

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