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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.

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

I used this stuff. straight from the bottle.

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
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
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!

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