Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.
Most useful/useless things to take in hospital bag...(50 Posts)
I'm sick of looking at hospital bag packing lists! Do I really need to take everything except the kitchen sink to the labour ward with me?! I've bought 8 pairs of black cotton pants (asda 4 pairs for £4.00! Bargain!) so don't mind throwing them out afterwards is 8 pairs enough or nowhere near enough do i need more? I keep seeing other people's hospital bag ideas and feeling like an unprepared mummy! What was the most useless and most useful things you took/are taking in your hospital bag?
most useful? wide legged, soft, elasticated waist trousers.
least useful: my then-husband. kept going for half hour smoking breaks!
Lots of maternity pads, with my first delivery I naively only brought one pack in with me,I went through them within an hour.I would also take more knickers but it does depend upon how long you stay in hospital.Very grateful I took my flip flops rather then my slipers because the bathrooms were very wet.Don't stress too much about packing the right items your OH can always bring more supplies.
Why on earth would you throw the cotton pants out afterwards? Have I totally missed something here? I was just going to take lots of pairs of my normal pants and wash them afterwards. But throw them away - isn't that a bit wasteful?
Saw a really useful post on another thread the other day (can't claim as my own!) suggesting leaving spare stuff for u and baby out in the open, on a table/bed etc so if u need more things they are easy to find by however goes to fetch them!
I over packed for DD1 and not for DD2 but its hard to judge, agree that comfy trs are a must, if they double as pj's and trs all the better, and take layers my cosy pj's were way too hot in stuffy hospital. Take a couple sizes in baby grows they always catch u out being bigger or smaller than expected!
Cooked, cooled and frozen pizza. Grabbed from freezer when we went in, ready to eat when baby arrived. Kept partner going in middle of night too. Biggish clock with second hand to focus on during contractions. Really useful.
You may not want to look at let alone wash the pants when you get home.
You need two bags, one for labour and one for the post natal ward.
IMO Labour bag should have
something to wear in labour, I wore the same old t-shirt for my four DC,
maternity pads (I wore three at a time one in front, one towards the back and one over the middle),
2 pairs big cheap knickers,
something comfy to wear afterwards, not white and not too hot if you are staying in a vest top and a cardigan is good,
flip flops for the shower,
big old or cheap dark towel,
hair bobble and brush,
toiletries for you,
bin bag for washing,
nappy, babygro and vest for baby,
My hospital provided formula for those who needed it, drinks, and bendy straws.
more maternity pads,
rest of your big knickers,
spare pj's for you,
spare clothes for baby,
slippers (slide on are easier if you have to wear lovely stockings like I did)
wipes or cotton wool in a tupperware which you can fill with water,
vaseline to stop the first poo sticking everywhere reducing you to tears,
toiletries for you, transfer these from labour bag,
bag for laundry,
non perishable snacks and any cold drinks you might like,
magazines, books, kindle, a pen,
Leave at home in the carseat,
whatever you want to wear to come home in including underwear,
whatever you want the baby to come home in including a blanket,
Have emergency PJ's and underwear, baby clothes, nappies, maternity and breast pads together somewhere incase you get kept in or use up your supplies.
Definitely flip flops or crocs and antibacterial/dettol wipes. The hospital I was in was rank - there was no way I was showering without something on my feet.
Also you have open wounds down below and the toilet was not clean enough for my liking so a quick wipe round that and the sink made me feel much better.
I also wiped the cot etc that they put your newborn in and took my own bedding in for the baby.
I sound anal but I don't think you can be too careful in a hospital which is full of really nasty bugs.
straws were useful (the ones with a bendy bit in) - if you are in labour and thirsty someone can hold a drink up for you (make sure you practise before you go in though as everybody seems to hold the drink higher than you want, or tip it the wrong way and the more you try to indicate it's wrong the more they move it the wrong way. Also good for afterwards - if there is a straw in your drink you can just move towards it rather than need to hold it (if sore from a CS or holding baby etc)
Snacks - hospital food is rubbish. second time around I seem to remember eating lots of nuts and banana chips for energy as you can buy them in advance and leave them in your bag for whenever you need them. If you end up staying in, fresh fruit is great but you need to get someone to bring it in for you nice and fresh, you don't want to be messing around with it beforehand or worrying about it squashing in your bag. Bottle of squash as it can be very hot and you can end up drinking lots, plus you need even more to drink if you are breastfeeding, the water is not the nicest!
Several outfits for new baby - might not all be needed but if you end up with a baby that has frequent poo explosions they can go through them very quickly. Plus at least one pack of nappies (and make sure there are more at home so your dh can bring more in if you are in there for any length of time - they can go through 10 or more in a day sometimes so you will be amazed how quickly you get through a packet. Wipes are also great - I know they say to use cotton wool to start with, but the MW I had when ds1 was born said she used wipes to wipe away all the dirt and then just finished up with a bit of cotton wool and water to rinse afterwards. Seemed a pragmatic way to get the best of both worlds!
Agree with wet/messy bathroom floors. I took some supermarket crocs instead of slippers that cost a couple of pounds and that I didn't mind throwing away afterwards if they got too yukky. Plus they were easy to wash off to keep clean while you were there.
chargers for things like phone and camera etc
books or magazines or kindle etc - simple stuff as you might get lots of interruptions and if you're sleep deprived or tired you don't want anything too heavy going. plus being able to hold it one handed is a plus if you need to hold the baby too.
Find out if you need a padlock for the bedside locker.
I had my stuff packed in 3 bags - one for during labour, a smaller one (that was the Boots/Pampers freebie at the time) with all the stuff the baby would need - from nappies to clothes etc and one for afterwards if I was admitted (first time I was in for 4 days, second time I went home after about 4 hours!). However second time around, dh forgot to pick up the bag with all the baby's stuff in - when I asked where it was, turned out it was still at home where he thought it was still in use as ds1's changing bag. So make sure your dh knows exactly what you have with you and what you want and when you want it!
Oh and get a couple of the cheap plastic jugs from the kitchen section in Tesco etc - usually less than 50p.
If you are really sore down below after giving birth you can fill the jug with water and then pour it on yourself as you pee to reduce the agonising sting of peeing. if you have 2 you can have 2 lined up rather than having to refill it half way through!
How is it that despite the fact that you are really sore and it really hurts to pee, they just tell you to grow up and ignore the pain? You'd have thought that in this day and age they would have got some sort of cream you could put on to numb the area a bit. Not like the baby is going back anywhere near there again. grump grump rant rant.
I ended up with several so there was always one near me and one in each loo at home, two in my bathroom! They have now been repurposed and are really useful if anyone is feeling sick - leave them by the bed as sick bowls. And if they get too yucky or buggy they are cheap enough to throw out and not worry about the cost of replacing them.
Ear plugs and eye mask is yet want any sleep, very noisy on wards
Fig rolls were the best thing in my suitcase. Good to munch on during a
ridiculously, extremely long labour and even better at 2.00am on the ward while snuggling my gorgeous newborn!
A light dressing gown- seems unnecessary but I sat in on my daughters paed check in an ugly pink nighty surrounded by medical students. Would have felt much more comfy had I had a dressing gown or something round me! Get visitors to bring fruit if you are in overnight. Hospital food is rubbish and it helps with the first poo discomfort (especially if you have stitches!)
Best of luck!
<waddles off to pack towels and different-sized baby clothes>
Note to self: buy vaseline and fig rolls.
<sits back and waits to hear about everything else she's forgotten>
food,food and more food. I was starving hungry through labour and hospital food didn't touch the sides.
moist toilet paper wipes for the first poo
sports water bottle easier to drink from when in labour and bfing afterwards
Best thing was a 3/4 filled bottle of water stored in my freezer which I filled from the tap on the way out of the house. Cold water all through labour - bliss! Didn't need or use books/kindle/iPod etc. DC1 I packed 2 large bags full of stuff I thought would be indispensable; I've just packed my bag today for dc2, just a single carry on suitcase. Carry on suitcase on wheels is great - if DH can't park/has to sort out dc1 at least I can just pull a little case to labour ward rather than having to lift a bag.
Extra pillow is really useful - there's never enough and a nice fluffly pillow (rather than an incredibly thin hospital one) is handy for feeding the baby as well.
Charger for phone.
Moisturiser/face cream/water spray. Wards are v. hot and dry.
Something light to read if you feel like it when you find yourself hopelessly awake all night long. (Almost inevitable.) Ditto some snacks for the middle of the night when you are sleepless and starving.
Definitely slippers/flipflops, and a towel/bed jacket/dressing gown/big knickers all in dark colours are a good idea.
All this is for afterwards though. I don't think I used a single thing from my bag during labour itself, but my labour was quite intense and not too long so there was no stage at all when I was with it enough to want to read/eat/call someone/listen to music or whatever. Evidently some people have longer slower labours and do need more stuff. I didn't need a change of clothes for labour either, I just gradually took off what I'd had on to start with!
In the labour bag, put a bottle of water with a sportscap (buy in supermarket type bottle - not a "proper" sportsbottle - reasons will become apparent). Useful for during labour to sip, or for DH to drink, as needed, without having to search for water.
Then, keep the bottle, and in your ward bag have a bottle of tea tree oil and a bottle of witch hazel (and a spare washbag if you can). Load this up everytime you LEAVE the loo with fresh undies, pads, the tea tree, WH and waterbottle. So you can just grab when you are going in next time.
When you get in, fill the water bottle with luke warm water (NOT HOT), and add about 10-15 drops of tea tree. Use this to dilute wee as it comes (lessens stinging - and gentle warmth can help soothe as well) and then rest is used to rinse area (so you just have to dab gently to dry rather than having to drag tissue across to clean). Pour a capful of WH onto the pads as you are putting them into the undies - relief, refreshing, and helps promote healing in those tissues.
YES to throwing away the pants - honestly there is a LOT of lochia (womb-lining, blood, clots etc) and you will not want to put them in the washing machine. I don't buy washable pants, I get the disposable briefs (about 20 pairs) then just whip them off with the maternity pad and throw the whole lot away.
I always take the bare minimum because DH can easily bring in anything if I have to stay but I'm usually going home within three hours of the birth anyway.
This time I'm taking:
T-shirt to labour in
Warm socks to labour in
2 sleepsuits (don't bother with vests, newborns HATE having anything put over their heads) to allow for wearing two at a time.
Couple of newborn size nappies
Vaseline for putting on baby's bum to make cleaning off meconium easier
Pack of maternity pads and disposable knickers
Clean pyjamas for me
toiletries for shower afterwards
Flask of tea and packet of sandwiches for afterwards - IME the tea-and-toast they give you is completely inadequate to the purpose!
I went to a midwife talk this week and she said to pack plenty of clothes for the baby, apparently 6 vests, 6 babygrows, cardi, hat for going home and socks instead of mitts as they dont come off as easy. Also a full pack of nappies and maternity pads.
My bag is now bulging as I was clueless.
Also put a lipsyl in as apparently G&A makes your lips very dry.
Dark PJ bottoms
You won't need as much as you think.
Most useful - throwaway knickers and lots and lots of cheap night time sanitary towels. You really won't believe how much you bleed.
I also recommend lineament oleo calcaire for cleaning babys bottom - I live in France but it is available on line.
Least useful - I totally overpacked for ds1 so it's hard to say! People can fetch and carry to the hospital for you though or you can leave spares in the boot of the car?
My most useful things were a pack of small cartons of apple juice with straws. Really helped during long & hot labour. Pretty much the only things I used during labour.
Post-labour: snacks, nappies, baby clothes etc but DH could have brought any of it later.
Parking change! I keep on chucking spare pound coins in my bag cos otherwise sod's law will be we'll have to detour to get cash out, then break a note to be able to buy a ticket to park up!
Tena lady pants. I had an EMCS and lived in them for the first 10 days. Unsexy as hell, but so comfy. Nothing pressing on my scar and I didn't have to worry about a pad moving as I dragged myself across the bed.
Join the discussion
Please login first.