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Hospital bag - single mother

(20 Posts)
Mombino Fri 26-Feb-16 17:00:42

I'm 30 weeks with my first child and starting to put my hospital bag together. I've done my research, read all the articles and lists and discussion threads etc etc but they all seem to be geared towards women who'll be in and out of hospital quickly and have someone with them during the birth, or people around afterwards to bring them things they need. I have no such helpful humans, I'm a single mother and my nearest family and friends are over 4 hours away - they'll only be coming to the hospital if something very very bad happens.

DD and I will be in hospital for at least three days (I have medical conditions, I'll need care post-birth and she'll need monitoring for a while to see if my medications have affected her) and I need to make absolutely sure that I've got everything I could possibly need with me, because if I don't, I have no way of getting hold of it.

So, what do I need?

Nappies and wipes - how many?
Underwear and maternity pads for me - is 5 pairs of knickers and 20 pads enough?
Baby clothes - how many changes a day?
Formula - I'm taking the little pre-made bottles with disposable teats, but how many will I need per day?
Food - do I bother packing snacks or will the hospital have stuff available outside mealtimes?

Bonus question - if you've been in my situation, how did you get you and baby home? I'm getting a taxi there when I go into labour, so should I take her car seat to the hospital as well so we can get a taxi home?

ThoughtfulPenny Fri 26-Feb-16 17:12:52

Defo more knickers, I went through 3 pairs in 24 hours I was in. More pads too.
Baby I would say 6 vests and baby grows should be ok.
They expect them to eat 8-10 times per day and you have to throw the pre made bottles away after 1.5 hours so you're looking at at least 30
Can't remember what else you said - posting from app!

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Fri 26-Feb-16 17:13:34

Take some mints bottle of squash phone charger lots of change for any extras -

ThoughtfulPenny Fri 26-Feb-16 17:14:29

I've just re read, if you don't have anyone nearby to bring you stuff take more clothes for baby. Say 8 of each just in case.
In my hospital there were no snacks available out of hours, my first was born at 5pm and by time I was on the ward I'd missed food so my mum had to go and buy me some sandwiches. I'd take some drinks too.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Fri 26-Feb-16 17:14:45

Hospital provided formula - need to ask about it - they let me take some home as well -

What about a baby blanket -

ThoughtfulPenny Fri 26-Feb-16 17:17:00

Sorry I'm being really annoying with my multiple posts but nappies you'd be looking at 8-10 per day too. If it's at least 3 days so possibly more you might need more stuff again.
Good luck OP! Hope it all goes well for you xx

Standingonmytippytoes Fri 26-Feb-16 17:17:28

Along with above take snacks. But if your in the UK the hospital provides formula unless it's different on the mainland than northern Ireland. Make sure you take a few sets of pj's.

sunnydayinmay Fri 26-Feb-16 17:19:27

More pads - I had to wear two at a time for the first 24 hoursblush. Disposable knickers are great.

Yes to taking the car seat in.

I would take some snacks. I struggled to walk for 24 hours, so no way could I get to the hospital shop.

Is your midwife aware of the situation? Do you have any support at all when you get home?

NotWithoutMyMerkin Fri 26-Feb-16 17:21:48

I was wearing 2 or 3 pads at once for the first week and changing them every few hours so potentially a lot of pads. I found disposable knickers (Amazon) a god send as I could throw the whole lot away at each change when it was heavy at the beginning

The challenge with pre made formula is that I'm not sure how long you can keep it and reuse what's left in the bottle if it's been opened. So if baby only has a couple of mouthfuls I'm not sure if the rest of the bottle will go to waste. I would ask your midwife what sterilising facilities there will be available to you and take some powdered formula and a couple of bottles as backup in case you run out.

Mombino Fri 26-Feb-16 22:18:46

Thank you all for your replies, you've been very helpful flowers

I'll take many many knickers, probably 10 pairs plus disposables, and add a few more packs of maternity pads. What a glamorous time of life this is!

Will be sure to pack plenty of snacks, I'm a bitch when I'm hungry so I don't fancy risking it grin

I'll have to talk to my midwife about formula, I know lots of hospitals don't routinely provide it now but I'll ask on the off-chance, if not then hopefully they've got sterilising and bottle-making facilities available so I can just take a couple of bottles and a tin of formula powder rather than 5 or 6 starter set boxes (I had no idea newborns ate so often! I thought it was more like 4 or 5 feeds a day blush) not to mention much cheaper especially if I'd just be throwing loads of half-finished expensive little bottles away.

sunnydayinmay the midwives are aware that I'm on my own and are being very supportive and reassuring but no I don't have anyone to help me at home, which is going to be... interesting. My parents, my best friend and probably my brother are all going to make the journey to come and visit at some point in the first few weeks but they won't be here straight away and won't be able to stay long, they've all got jobs and responsibilities selfish buggers

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Fri 26-Feb-16 23:25:41

Get yourself organised at home - make big batch of something easy to defrost - set up a Tesco account for deliveries - get in plenty of tea bags and freeze some milk - so you can slob at home for a few weeks days

Is there no chance of going "home" for a few weeks? Or moving back?

MrsPCR Sat 27-Feb-16 06:06:22

Our hospital is v anti FF. There's half a page info on all that is provided for breast feeding then one line underneath saying if you plan to FF make sure you bring everything with you and basically prep facilities are crap to non-existent. Nothing like helping a new mum! Clearly personal choice is irrelevant and any who 'fail' at breastfeeding are made to feel even more anxious! Good luck OP. Hope your hospital is a little more accommodating!

ICJump Sat 27-Feb-16 06:17:25

Snacks ! Lots if snacks! One handed if possible things like musli bars, snack pack fruit and nuts, dried fruit is good as it helps keep you moving, a bit weird but some beef jerky. I was very very keen for meat after birth.

PotteringAlong Sat 27-Feb-16 06:17:55

Triple the amount of pads.
Moist toilet tissue for you post birth (normal toilet roll is uncomfortable if you're bruised)
Squash / drinks that aren't water. Cartons of juice?
Snacks
Charger
More pj bottoms / nightie than you think you'll need - it's not uncommon to leak on them and you don't want to be wearing blood stained things for 3 days.
Clothes to come home in.
some taxi companies have car seats - you could ring a few before you go in to see which ones have them so you don't need to take one in with you?

bakingcupcakes Sat 27-Feb-16 06:18:28

My hospital provided formula (the tiny bottles) which had to be thrown away after 2 hours. You'd definately need more knickers. And lots of changes of pj bottoms for the first few days.

LovelyFriend Sat 27-Feb-16 06:53:55

I got big knickers from primark rather than disposable maternity knickers. They are very cheap and more comfy than disposables.

twirlypoo Sat 27-Feb-16 07:22:03

I just wanted to say hello and good luck, you will be fine! I was in your shoes - I stayed in hospital 4 days in the end as they knew I was going home alone and wanted me to wait till my milk was in (lovely local hospital, every room was private and ensuite..... What I would give to go back there now!)

Clothes wise, def take more knickers and also make sure you have LOTS of pads - I bled a lot and was getting through loads. Take a pack of breast pads too - again, I leaked loads and it was so depressing having damp clothes.

Take a change of clothes for you to go home in. I forgot that I would be a different size to when I came in, and had to leave in my most outdoorsy looking pjama bottoms blush

Snacks - lots and lots and lots of snacks! Also, lots of drinks. My hospital were really great about feeding me at all random times though - Someone would just appear with a plate of toast. It will depend where you are I think if yours is similar.

Getting home, my mum actually came and got me for this but I was going to get a taxi. Take car seat in with you from home, and maybe a few taxi numbers. The midwives in my hospital take you to the car and will help you carry things I am sure. I cried a bit when I had to leave as I had so much to carry and it seemed overwhelming - especially as walking about hurt anyway! Try and take 1 big suitcase on wheels, and then car seat. Maybe a cross body handbag / baby bag as well, but something you will be able to manage on your own.

Lastly, be kind to yourself. I tried to put on a very matter of fact, coping exterior - I found it hard seeing the other women with their partners / visitors, but the midwives could not have been kinder and pne evenings I found myself with 5 of them sat in my room just having a natter with me. They will probably offer to help watch your daughter if you want a shower / sleep / nip down to the shop. I struggled to let them at first, but in retrospect I wish I had used them more!

My Ds is 4 next week, and I promise that whilst you will have hard momwnts, you can do this! I wish you lots of happiness for the future with your daughter flowers

strangerjo Sat 27-Feb-16 18:37:09

I think these posts have covered my suggestions. My mum raised me and my brother singlehandedly (and we were both difficult births) so I have a huge amount of respect for you. I wish you good luck and I hope it all goes smoothly! x

dreame Sat 27-Feb-16 19:46:05

Depending on how good your phone i,s and if you have one, a camera. You won't have visitors around taking photos, but you might like later to have some and most phone cameras aren't that good indoors.

I didn't feel like photos (of me) at the time, but they're really lovely to look back on now 4 yrs later. I took lots of DS sleeping from my bed.

Helps too if the PJ bottoms are dark - black/navy.

It might be an idea to check around your home one-handed to see if there are any obvious things that you might need to move around to make it easier - on the assumption that baby will be in one arm a lot.

And get a thermos mug thingy with the cover so you can make yourself a cuppa and sit down and it won't go cold before you get to drink it!

I wasn't alone so I've no experience of that directly but trying to think about some things that haven't been mentioned that stick out, these are them. I also agree about getting lots of pads and at least in hospital for the first day of so wearing disposable knickers. It's a relief to go back to normal ones, but in the early days it's good to just chuck them!!

LlamaLover Sun 28-Feb-16 18:51:36

Hi, loads of good suggestions here. I had my first when by myself and I'd say to think about after birth as much as birth. I had a couple of 'stations' set up, one downstairs, one upstairs. Each has water bottle, snacks for me, book, remote or other entertainment and nappies, wipes, spare vest and muslin cloth for baby. The worst bit of being by yourself is not having someone to just go fetch you a drink/snack etc while you are stuck under baby!

I went into a bit of nesting overdrive and had enough (luxurious!) toilet roll, deodorant, cleaning stuff and all the boring regular house stuff stockpiled for around 2 months after birth! Was one less thing to worry about. Plus the food frozen ready to eat and Tesco delivery set up.

It was a bit daunting the first night home as I looked round and saw that it was just me and baby - but it was fine. We had loads of fun, I didn't have to please anyone but me and little one. Was a very cocooning and bonding experience. One of the nicest of my life in fact!

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