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Most useful/useless things to take in hospital bag...

(50 Posts)
YummyDollie Fri 22-Feb-13 13:48:30

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?

HellesBelles396 Fri 22-Feb-13 13:50:56

most useful? wide legged, soft, elasticated waist trousers.
least useful: my then-husband. kept going for half hour smoking breaks!

mumofthemonsters808 Fri 22-Feb-13 14:00:10

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.

Bejeena Fri 22-Feb-13 14:10:41

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!

Suttonmum1 Fri 22-Feb-13 14:19:40

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.

notso Fri 22-Feb-13 14:20:55

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,
comfy bra,
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.

Hospital bag,
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,
phone charger,
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.

racmun Fri 22-Feb-13 14:28:03

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.

zipzap Fri 22-Feb-13 14:31:00

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 hmm 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!

Good luck!

zipzap Fri 22-Feb-13 14:37:53

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.

givemeaclue Fri 22-Feb-13 14:44:48

Warm socks

Feeding pillow.

Ear plugs and eye mask is yet want any sleep, very noisy on wards

LazyMachine Fri 22-Feb-13 14:57:22

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!

minicc Fri 22-Feb-13 15:11:41

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!

StormyBrid Fri 22-Feb-13 15:20:19

<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

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Fri 22-Feb-13 15:32:32

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.

kalidasa Fri 22-Feb-13 15:34:24

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!

BiddyPop Fri 22-Feb-13 15:35:17

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.

ZuleikaD Fri 22-Feb-13 17:55:08

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
Glucose tablets
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!

Dogsmom Fri 22-Feb-13 19:42:25

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.

LoganMummy Fri 22-Feb-13 21:23:51

Flip flops
Disposable pants
Dark PJ bottoms

Baby clothes

You won't need as much as you think.

space21 Sat 23-Feb-13 10:16:27

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?

CitizenOscar Sat 23-Feb-13 21:56:00

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.

MiaowTheCat Sun 24-Feb-13 12:51:00

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!

VegemiteSandwich Sun 24-Feb-13 13:53:51

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.

Miaow change is a brilliant one, thank you! I'll get DH to start collecting!!

Wishiwasanheiress Sun 24-Feb-13 14:50:14

Black out eye mask.

They NEVER turn the lights off.

dashoflime Sun 24-Feb-13 15:08:26

I went in for a scan and ended up having an emergency section then and there. I had nothing with me.

Here's what I would have liked:

Change (for the pay TV on the ward and for biscuits and things from the hospital shop)
A charger for my mobile
Flip flops.
A book or some magazines

Later on, I found my baby got through more clothes than I would have expected. I'd say pack for three outfit changes for each day you expect to be there (so assuming a three day stay, pack 6 vests and 6 sleepsuits)

For knickers I like mens pants (very comfy)

Least useful was the baby book and teddy I had someone bring in. I was a first time mum with no clue about what newborns are actually like

MiaowTheCat Sun 24-Feb-13 15:46:42

Actually the other thing I've vowed to pack this time - bulldog clips because no one ever closes the blooming cubicle curtains properly!

Eye mask IMO was a necessity last time for me. I was induced and was in for a day and a half before I actually went into labour, would not have been able to sleep without one. I think the staff thought I was a bit of a diva but i was in a bed next to the window in summer and the curtains were as thick as tracing paper hmm funnily enough the eye mask is the only thing that I can think of to pack this time hence me searching for lists on here....

Pudgy2011 Mon 11-Mar-13 14:53:26


Seriously, that stuff on a pad is absolute bliss for your fanjo. I would never be without it after having a baby.

ButteryJam Mon 11-Mar-13 15:10:50

Pudgy2011 Did you get this one?

LikeCandy Mon 11-Mar-13 15:19:31

jam if you have a savers pharmacy near you it's £1.49 smile

TwitchyTail Mon 11-Mar-13 15:38:21

An ipod/MP3 player or similar loaded with cheesy 90s boy band tracks. I got to transitional labour with no pain relief just by singing along through contractions grin

Cheap packets of paracetamol and ibuprofen for post-birth in case you need to stay in. You don't want to be relying on doctors prescribing it and nurses giving it to you. Just make sure you let them know you are self-medicating and the maximum doses of each in 24 hrs.

Lightweight dressing gown. Light slippers (NOT great big furry bootie ones - voice of experience). Many, many maternity pads. Andrex washlets.

Most importantly: a lackey who can run to the local supermarket and pick up the stuff you only discover you need while in hospital, and some decent food.

Pudgy2011 Mon 11-Mar-13 15:40:33

Hi Jam - afraid not, I live overseas so just used a bottle from a pharmacy here. Stick it in the fridge if you can, it's wonderful.

I also recommend getting yourself a really lush bottle of smelly shower gel or similar that you like. I remember getting into that first shower after baby whilst the nurses were cleaning my room, and it was seriously the best shower in the world. Now, whenever I use the shower gel it reminds me of that day.

MortifiedAdams Mon 11-Mar-13 15:44:32

A light weight zip up.or button up cardi/fleece. Im a right prude so would throw it on during visiting times so as not to wave the boobs round to all and sundry.

Startail Mon 11-Mar-13 15:44:32

FOOD, for you and DH, the hospital vending machine is rubbish. This applies to accompanying DC to hospital, with broken arms in years to come too!

Comfy day clothes, you feel a right twit in a short night shirt a visiting time.

More maternity pads.

BettyStogs Mon 11-Mar-13 15:45:39

Energy drinks, I got through litres of the stuff.

Water spray very useful, it was ridiculously hot.

Stress balls (as recommend by my birth skills book)

MrsPennyapple Mon 11-Mar-13 15:49:32

I'll be taking some sugar sachets when I go in to have this DC - was in for three days with DD trying to establish bf, they were lovely and brought me cup after cup of tea, but kept forgetting to put sugar in! I can force one cup down out of politeness but I need sugar in my tea!

MrsHoarder Mon 11-Mar-13 16:00:29

In my bag I packed two changes of clothes and about 5 nappies for the baby. Then another 4 sets/20 in the changing bag in the boot. Then you can send DP to fetch them once you are settled on PN ward. Otherwise you will end up dragging several bags between rooms as you get examined, admitted, hours and hours days in delivery and postnatal when you won't need most of it until well after birth.

Plenty of "bottoms" for you, not just knickers pack a few pairs of cotton jersey leggings or pj bottoms (in dark colours). Again pick ones you're happy to throw away if wrecked by blood/lochia. I took the ones I'd gradually stretched through pregnancy which were nearly ready to bin.

Take nighties or summer dresses (again, ones you don't love) to wear post birth in case of catheter.

And yy to spare change. We had to pay £16 in pound coins for the parking (we bought a week and it saved us money by the time I'd finally given birth/been discharged and DH went back to register DS).

Things we could have done with: some socks, underwear and a toothbrush for DH. By the time DS arrived he'd been by my side in hospital for 48 hours and there was another 12 hours of visiting. He'd done that without the above and would have felt much better if he'd been able to take them to the visitors' toilet. And shampoo. I discovered I didn't have this just after giving birth and moisturising shower gel leaves your hair greasy.

Ok, I don´t know if any of this is relevent as I drove to the birthing center 4 hours each way in a mediteranian country! But he´s what I took

Squash (I don´t always like water and a bottle of quash makes it much better)
fruit juice the little boxes with straws
A small hand held fan
yoga pants wide leg, cotton (gents) dark blue 3 pairs.
Tena Pants (Great things)
Huge towels proper bath sheets dark colour took about 4 left 3 in the car! sa on them to come home - go - use after a shower.
Pinic blanket (the ones with the plastic on the back) did I mention I drove for 4 hours!
Cake I made several in advance, potioned them and froze them - bliss when I wanted a sweet fix.
breast pads
A list of phone numbers just in case the mobile dies etc.
Pad and PEN!
Button up cotton shirts (I felt much more human in a shirt during the day)
Food snaks anything I could think of including nuts, raisens etc.
Fruit (took loads I am a fruit bat)
Whitch Hazel
Light weight cotton dressing gown
Toiletries including Deodrent but NOT including make up!
Vasiline found about a billion uses for it
Kitchen bin bags
Several changes of clothes for DP
All the normal stuff for baby but I took 3 to 6 month as DD was going to be big
Change take loads of it!
I took wrap around baby vest which are great for new borns
Plant Spray Bottle (I was hot in labour and it was great to cool down with)
Sports bottle I used mine to direct on the area when peeing

Birth Pack

Now I was very poorly after giving birth (Sorry don´t mean to frighten you) and DP could have done with a few emergencies like the following (NB we had a room to our selves with a shower etc and two beds - private hospital) to be kept in the car

A book, anything to have kept him busy
Food anything to munch as he sat up all night.
a what to do with a new born book (I was out of it and he felt out of his depth)
A warmish jacket (spent a lot of his time pacing out side waiting for my parents outside my window)
extra money just in case
a small ipad / portable dvd player

Congratulations and good luck

LuckyOwl28 Mon 11-Mar-13 16:32:01

Off to repack hospital bag for the 4th time......

glossyflower Mon 11-Mar-13 20:21:59

And whilst we are on the subject my list says a 'top and tail bath' for baby - what is that? I have a baby bath but there's no way I'm bringing that in its too large and cumbersome!!

YummyDollie Tue 12-Mar-13 00:32:23

glossyflower its basically a plastic bowl you fill with water to dip cotton wool in to clean babys bum (as wipes arnt recommened on newborns but theres plenty of threads with differing opinions on the whole newborn skin wipes argument) and clean baby "top to toe" smile

Eskino Tue 12-Mar-13 01:15:34

Things that arent obvious:

Ear plugs! Because nothing is more annoying on the postnatal ward than everyone elses baby!

Bags of sweets, little bars of chocolate and snacky bits to keep you company when you're up all through in the middle of the night while you try to feed, change, feed, change, feed change and gaze at your new baby.

One of those mini battery powered fans. Do not underestimate how bloody boiling it can get on the ward.

This time round I was in for 4 nights after my c-section. It felt like 4 years sad

McPrice Tue 12-Mar-13 01:45:12

i gave birth 6 weeks ago. my advice is pack a couple of bags. and only take a small easily carried one for labour. my poor dh was lugging a rucksack,large yoga ball and suitcase also my thick winter coat around and i was moved as emergancy to about 5 different places. he had to carry the lot. id pack one for labour, another for ur stay and one with the coming home outfits (leave the last 2 in the car).
thinking back the nice items to have were 2 large mens shirts for bf baby. a flannel that dh wet and dabbed my brow, and nice smelling shampoo and soap to make you feel human after (mine was a emergancy csection) and this helped me feel like me again wink

FergusSingsTheBlues Tue 12-Mar-13 01:51:35

I had my baby last week. Best things were eye mask and ear plugs, you underestimate how fecking noisy the shared wards are. I was given a private room the instant i begged for a sleeping tablet to drown out the noise of the selfish one opposite me who talked ALL night....had great sleep after that. You are lonelier in private room, but so much better rested.

Other thung, diluting juice. You get sobored with all that room temperature water.

McPrice Tue 12-Mar-13 01:53:16

the most useless things i brought were jumpers, the hospital is so hot. i also brought books and mags that i never read. i wish id have brought more food snackwise for dh he hardly ate for 3 days, and i wish id brought a few bits of makeup as i felt and looked like death.

HermioneE Tue 12-Mar-13 02:44:29

Bin liner for taking home your soiled clothes in. Not to be argumentative wink but not everyone bleeds that badly, my pants were only manky cause I'd dropped them in the shower!

I packed several of DH's oldish tshirts, figuring that either one of us might potentially need something fresh but ruinable to wear. Saved packing for each of us separately.

Hat for baby for going home in.

Plenty of car park/vending machine money.

Least useful- face wash and moisturiser. Quick scrub with a flannel was all I wanted in the end, not faffing with my usual lotions and potions when I had a pfb to gaze at grin

MrsHoarder Tue 12-Mar-13 06:20:34

I found a book and a diary that I could write my thoughts down in invaluable. But I only read the book whilst waiting for induction drugs to work (between walks around the hospital). The stuff I wrote whilst watching ds sleep in hospital is lovely though.

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