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Ok, panicked FTM - What do I actually need in my hospital bags?

(82 Posts)
LJHH Wed 18-Jun-14 11:06:26

Trying to be sensible and get this done instead of leaving it to the last minute plus need to go out and buy what I actually need (I'm 31 weeks, have a feeling this one is going to pop early) have googled and seen all sorts of different lists telling me I need different things.... like a sieve, really do I need a sieve?! I was planning a water birth but even so....

Then I'm reading you need tiny baby clothes, newborn clothes, 0-3 clothes in case I have a porker. Baby will need a hat/Baby wont need a hat, Bring a blanket/Baby wont be allowed his own blanket and will have to use hospital stuff. Aaarrghh.

I am not going to breastfeed, I know its best and the midwives will try and force me too, but I have made my mind up. Do i need to bring bottles or will the hospital have this?
Same with nappies, pack my own or will they have them?

I know people also say you wont care about your dignity when you're in labour but I would like to try and keep the top half of me dressed if at all possible, I know I would feel more comfortable less exposed. Again with the water birth would prefer not to be completely naked if possible.
Any ideas of what I can wear??

This is all SO CONFUSING!
Any advice is gratefully received.

Clargo55 Wed 18-Jun-14 11:15:50

Sieves are usually recommended for water births to remove poo. I would take one just in case the midwife does not have one.

I would take 2 bags,
A labour bag for you and a baby/going home bag, to be left in the car and brought in when need.

Next do baby clothes in two sizes that I would get for the hospital, First size (7.8lbs) and Up to one month (10 lbs). I would leave the 0-3 months at home these are usually 14lbs.

I would take 2 vest and sleepsuits in first size and 3 in up to one month. If you get ones with built in mitts then you will not need any scratch mitts.

Baby will need a hat for going outside especially and a blanket. These can be worn on the way to the car. Hospital will put baby in a hospital blanket after birth.

Make sure you take some flip-flops for yourself (showers and floors can be grim). Also dark comfy pyjamas, lots of maternity pads.

You can maybe wear a bikini or tanking top in the pool?

Clargo55 Wed 18-Jun-14 11:18:41

Also I would get some of those ready made liquid formula from the supermarket, they are already sterilised and no need to mix up powder.

Yes do take some nappies, and a barrier cream for the first tar like poo. Also something to clean baby up with, midwives like us to use cotton wool and water, but I would get some of those water wipes.

LJHH Wed 18-Jun-14 11:22:34

Thank you, that's really helpful smile
I have a couple of bits of the Next up to one month so was planning to bring those plus newborn size, I am hoping he wont be big enough for 0-3

CatherineHMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 18-Jun-14 11:27:05

Hi - we've got a handy hospital bag checklist right here you might find useful as a starting point.

TheBookofRuth Wed 18-Jun-14 11:30:07

I packed an enormous bag for my first. The only thing I used from it was lip balm, and that was at the insistence of the midwife - she kept yelling at me "where's your lip balm, your lips are drying out!" while I stared at her in bafflement and wondered whether she'd not noticed what was going on at the other end of my body.

DD used nappies and her wee hat. Everything else either could've been brought from home by DH later (going home clothes etc), or didn't get used at all.

Just my experience of course, YMMV.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 18-Jun-14 12:40:58

Don't forget the car seat!

Drinking straws are useful, much easier for your DH or the mw to get you to drink from straws then you try and use a bottle during contractions. Especially if you're in the pool. It's important you keep hydrated.

Yes to a hat and blanket and formula if you have already decided not to bf. A cuddly toy for the cot, you don't need it but it's cute. Something for them to wear home, don't forget an outdoor outfit if it's cold. Vests and babygro's. Nappies, they can provide you with cotton wool and water to wipe with.

Something for the pool if you want, I bought a bikini top but when it came round to it I couldn't have cared less and I was naked. Nightie and something to go home in. Don't forget maternity pads, take more than you think. At least two packs. Take underwear and a nightie you don't care about as it may get thrown away afterwards.

Phone charger! Food.

LJHH Wed 18-Jun-14 13:29:51

Oh car seat! Hadn't even thought of that..... This is why I need a list hmm

ithoughtofitfirst Wed 18-Jun-14 13:58:17

Baby wipes for the baby but also for you. Hospitals are always warm and they're nice to just give your face/neck/hands whatever a nice freshen up between showers.

I forgot my glasses last time and couldn't watch tv but stuff like that you can just send people out to get you anyway.

I will be FF this time and have no idea whether I should be taking bottles or what but I've heard that they just give you the stuff anyway.

Ps you don't need to answer to anyone about bottle feeding... we're all friends here I reckon.

Mummymidwife87 Wed 18-Jun-14 14:04:35

Don't take the car seat with you in labour... Leave it in the car.
Big knickers.. Don't bother with disposable as they are small fitting. Just get cotton ones from tesco or primark.
Lip balm, moisturiser... Hospitals are very dry places.
Towel for you.. Hospital can provide but are usually very small.
Check with your midwife re. Formula. Some hospitals provide it for you.
Cotton wool and nappies. Wipes are a bit harsh for their skin, even the water wipes. Don't bother with cotton wool balls, get the make up remover ones (oval shape)

Mummymidwife87 Wed 18-Jun-14 14:05:39

Arnica tablets for bruising.
Any essential oils you might want for labour. I'm taking clary sage and a diffuser for contractions

PickleMobile Wed 18-Jun-14 14:13:26

Lip balm
Frozen bottle of water so it's always cold during labour
Dark pants
Dark jogging bottoms
Vest tops
Thin dressing gown (labour wards are warm!)
4 short sleeved vests for baby (maybe 2 tiny and 2 up to 1 month)
Same for baby grows.
Hat if you want to take them home in but I never bothered bad mother
We took our own nappies and I would take some milk as not all hospitals provide it
Maternity pads
Breast pads (your milk will come in whether you breastfeed or not)
Phone & charger
Camera and extra memory card/batteries
We took cotton pads to clean babies bum but water wipes or something would be better as it was a pain getting a little tub of water in the ward.

That's about it that I used. I took loads more but didn't need/use any of it. I took books and all sorts!

PickleMobile Wed 18-Jun-14 14:14:14

Oh yes and towel and toiletries for you.

LJHH Wed 18-Jun-14 14:38:16

Thank you! It's all v helpful

proudmama2772 Wed 18-Jun-14 14:39:46

Nursery rhymes. Especially if its your first. You want to talk to the baby and sometimes you feel stupid because you know the baby can't understand what you're saying- and it feels cheesy.

You'll get tired repeating the same nursery rhyme, 'Do you know the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man ....' the one you can remember from childhood. A small book of nursery rhymes or a good bookmark on your Ipad

LJHH Wed 18-Jun-14 14:44:54

Haha! I already have a chat with my bump, my DP thinks I'm mental. Poor baby, he's probably sick of my voice already smile

Minicooper Wed 18-Jun-14 14:54:33

Hospitals vary so much; hospital didn't have a blanket for dd1 so she was wrapped in a towel. So I'd say definitely a blanket, hat, vest, babygro, nappies and cotton wool for baby. Straws, maternity and breast pads and dark knickers for you. Hope all goes well!

Pisghetti Wed 18-Jun-14 15:48:05

Don't forget to take something for you to go home in. I took lots of nighties but nothing else. I asked DP to bring something with him when he came to pick us up and he brought some sixe 10 button top trousers and a short jumper. Not really what I had in mind.....

Also gentle toiletries. For reasons I simply cannot fathom I packed a brand new bottle of shower scrub instead of shower gel. You really won't want to wash your poor bits with a scrub after giving birth!

LJHH Wed 18-Jun-14 16:01:54

Also, just out of interest, how long were people in hospital for?
I have a bit of an issue with hospitals so whilst I will want to leave as quickly as possible, the thought of being responsible for a person and not really knowing much about newborn baby care and being turfed out quickly does worry me....

I sound like I'm about 12, I promise I'm a proper, council tax paying grown up! The closer I get to due date the more worried I'm becoming, even though this was a much longed for and wanted baby, I think the realisation that I'll be the mum and won't be able to hand him back when he's screaming is kicking in smile

EllaBella220 Wed 18-Jun-14 17:08:25

Our hospital provides milk in little disposable bottles for bottle fed babies. They also provide blankets and towels although sometimes they run out of blankets and give you a towel to keep baby warm. Nappies aren't provided so take plenty of those.

For you: Dark Pjs and slippers. Pants. Pants. Bra. Toiletries. Our hospital provides tea/toast at any time so I won't be packing snacks. And visitors can be sent to the vending machine/shop if you really need anything to snack on. Book to read if you think you'll get bored but really you probably won't be in there long enough to get bored as ours seem to want you out ASAP if all is well! Leggings and top for going home.

Baby needs: Vests, babygros, nappies, a going home outfit (which can be brought by your partner when you are ready to leave....same with car seat, no need for that until going home and our hospital won't let car seats stay in the ward so can only bring them when going home) socks and dummies if you are using them.

I think we all tend to really overpack when in reality anything can be brought by the hospital if you've run out and some hospitals will happily give you something if you've forgotten it (I forgot wipes so they gave me box of really soft tissues) or creams etc if baby or you need them.

I was in hospital less than 24 hours after birth but my sister has been allowed home 6 hours after. It all depends how well it goes.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 18-Jun-14 17:10:56

I was in overnight, but that was because I haemorrhaged after the birth and they just kept an eye on me.

LJHH Wed 18-Jun-14 17:22:18

We only live 20 mins from the hospital, so anything we do forget, DP can be sent back home for it, although this will have to be post birth, if he leaves me on my own during, I'll kill him wink

Xenadog Wed 18-Jun-14 17:27:58

I would suggest:
Mini toiletries or decant your regular stuff into small bottles (saves a fortune).
Phones and charger
Hair brush and hair ties
Maternity pads
Big knickers, bra
Pjs and dressing gown in dark, busy patterns
Tissues and wipes
Boiled sweets, cartons of drinks, emergency chocolate, snacks
Flip flops
Hair dryer
Vests and baby gros, hat, cotton wool.
Nappies
I took milk but it wasn't needed as they had mini bottles.
Car seat and blanket

Mnippy Wed 18-Jun-14 17:40:22

Make the toiletries nice ones. That first shower was like heaven for me!

Don't bring the car seat into the hospital, there won't be space for it. Even if you have a private room.

Better to overpack than under pack in my opinion. The hospital staff are often overworked so even if they do have stuff in stock they can take time to bring them.

Light cotton dressing gown and slippers were essential for me.

wafflingworrier Wed 18-Jun-14 18:43:41

I was just talking to my friends about this in the pub last night.

lots of good advice, I would only add 2 things
1-paracetemol. it takes about half an hour for a nurse to go and get you some, and I would advise you take some as soon as you remember after giving birth as the afterbirthcontraction thingys can be painful and they take the gas and air away
2-a sports drink. think of labour like a marathon, you may not want to eat anything but need to keep going

congratulations on your pregnancy and I hope you have a safe and straight forward labour

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