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Hospital Bag... have I packed too much or not enough?(23 Posts)
I'm planning an active-birth/water-birth. During the tour of facilities midwife said they like to transfer new mums to postnatal ward after birth and keep you in for 24-48 hours to make sure everything's ok and baby's feeding properly. I'm also aware this could be a longer stay if I end up with complications or EMCS. Birth-partners can stay overnight on labour-ward but have to leave at 8pm on postnatal ward.
So far I've packed 3 bags... 1 for me, 1 for DH and 1 for baby, but the zips barely close and lots of stuff doesn't fit. Would be glad to trim it down but equally I want to have all the essentials so DH doesn't have to pop home while i'm in labour!
old dress to labour in (loose fit, thigh-length, can be binned after)
old tshirt for pool
2 pairs socks
lightweight navy dressing-gown
sweets (for energy)
basic toiletries (toothbrush, soap, wipes, lipsalve, shampoo, deodorant etc)
basic make-up for first photos
2 bath-towels (navy)
bags for dirty laundry
10 pairs huge black high-waist knickers (5 pairs 1 size bigger than normal, 5 pairs 2 sizes bigger as not sure what size I'll need... usually wear shorts-style only)
maternity pads (2x pack of 10)
breast-pads (6 pairs)
2 XL stretchy sports bras (plan to wear for BF as can pull cups down)
1 nursing-sleep-bra (in case sports bras no good for BF)
1 pair nursing PJs (black)
1 nursing nightie (navy)
1 shawl for BF discreetly on ward
going-home outfit (nursing dress, over-bump leggings, cardigan)
Phone and charger
wallet, spare change
change of clothes
pillow, blanket (labour-ward don't provide for birth-partner)
tablet with spotify playlists and games
snacks (biscuits, crisps, cereal bars)
1 pair socks
28 nappies (1 pack)
You are unlikely to need 28 nappies! Even with a 48 hour stay. I'd pare that down to 10 or so, as they sell them in hospital shops in any case.
I'd pack a pair of thick warm socks, your feet can get quite cold whilst labouring, and swap the slippers for flip flops (nice to wear in the shower).
I probably wouldn't bother with a blanket for dh either, hospitals are not known for being cold.
Otherwise it looks about right.
You won't need 28 nappies but think a couple of extra vests and babygrows in case. We were in 24 hrs and my dd leaked a few times we went through a good few changes and ran out by the morning so had to borrow hosp ones.
Will the babygrows have built in hands and feets if not another socks and some mittens
If the bags are too full, split yours and baby's into 1 labour and first night bag then a 'later bag'. DH will have to go home at some point after labour as, at least in my hospital, partners cannot stay overnight or use the shower facilities etc. he could then take the labour bag and bring back the stay/going home bag.
I also found there was limited space in the delivery room and ward cubicle so 3 bags may be too much.
3 bags?! I have one small 'carry on' but then here they will release you after 6 hours if everything ok.
With DD1 I was in for 24 hours but took the same small bag. I had a shower and got changed before l went into hospital and so wore those clothes home. 2 nighties, knickers, big pads, breast pads, 2 vests, 2 sleep suits, flip flops, maybe 5 nappies, towel, toiletries and mars bars.
Agree with fewer nappies and flip flops. You probably won't need the shawl unless you are really concerned about showing any flesh but could utilise one of the hospital ba y blankets Im sure. Nightie and pjs seems excessive - go for pjs. Have you thought about snacks? Don't just pack sweet stuff! I took some cheese straws but would have loved to nibble on a cracker or something to and so would have dh.
You could always leave going home stuff in the car too. I just wore a vest to labour in and the pool. Once you've arrived and had a midwife you have just met stick her hand up you, wondering round in a vest and no pants will not bother you at all.
Yes to more baby vests.
I agree with a PP that you can split thus into a "labour" and an "after" bag. Even if you have a swift labour & are discharged that day, your DP will have to go to the car for the car seat so can get your going home outfit from the car at the same time.
I also don't think you will need a shawl to bf discreetly. If you want privacy from the ward, you can pull the curtains; if you want privacy from visitors, use a muslin BUT the first few feeds are such a faff of positioning the baby and getting them latched properly that you really won't care if anyone sees your breasts. Also, you will be too busy gazing adoringly at the baby to want to hide them under a shawl.
I had a labour bag with immediate post labour bits in (knickers, nightie, maternity pad), a baby bag, post labour bag & then I had stuff arranged at home so I could easily direct DH to it - eg bring my nightie from the top drawer & two sleep suits from the second drawer of the baby's chest of drawers (as opposed to the bottom drawer which had 3mth+ clothes in). This reminds me - let your DP know what is in which bag. As I was being prepped for a c-section, DH was having to find a sleep suit, hat etc with me yelling directions of "not that bag", "no, that's a vest" etc.
Yes- labour bag and after bag. Husband won't need a blanket, hospitals are boiling. What I do advise is packing away some more clothes/nighties/underwear etc for DH to bring in should you end up staying longer. I was in 10days in the end, and can't bear lounging around in pjs, even when ill. All I wanted was leggings/tracksuit bottoms and t-shirts. My husband grabbed the most random selection of ridiculously warm clothes for me! He was exhausted, and thinking of clothes I would wear at home when ill to be fair.
I'd leave out the shawl for breastfeeding discreetly. If this is your first baby you will need to watch your baby during feeds to ensure correct latch and feeding technique. If you are desperate for privacy I suppose you can close your curtains for a little while but I'd definitely leave out the shawl.
I wouldn't take the shawl. Maybe a few more muslins though. Yy to flipflops.
And make sure if you do have a labour bag and an after bag that DH knows which is which
glares at DH who took the bag with all the clean things home
Agree with the flip flops and shawl. You probably won't need so many knickers and bras though.
Do you need to take towels as they are so bulky and my hospital provided them (which meant I didn't have to wash them!)
I think it's unlikely you'd be in for 48 hours if it's a straightforward birth - my hospital is 6 hours for a straightforward birth, although if you give birth at a time when they can't discharge you, you might stay overnight. 24-48 hours is typical for a section.
I was in for 8 nights and I don't think I had that much stuff. If you end up with a long stay (which isn't likely) you could put dirty things in a carrier bag to be taken home and get someone to bring you in more nappies, clothes etc. Perhaps leave a bag packed at home or in the boot of the car in case you need to stay?
So I'd bring one towel and less clothes. Up to you but wards are baking so I wouldn't bother with blankets pillows etc. I had an EMCS and after that you're wearing the hospital gown anyway.
Lastly does your hospital let you bring that much? Some have a one bag policy now, or you have to unpack into the cupboard, because there's not much room.
I don't think you'll need a nightie and PJ's!
Why do you need to wear a t shirt in the pool? I did it naked!
You don't need two different things to labour in. One is enough. The last thing you are going to want to do is fuck around getting changed.
You don't need 2 dressing gowns. One is ample.
You don't need all those knickers. Ditch half.
Flipflops instead of slipper
Ditch the nightie
Ditch half the nappies.
Add some more baby vest and grows.
Also socks and mittens
You don't need the shawl.
You will need something more than energy sweets. If you labour at night there might not be access to food.
Also take something to drink.
He can sort out his own stuff.
He will be sent home when on ward, so he can get stuff then if you run out of nappies etc.
I don't think your DH will need all that stuff either especially if he can't stay on the ward. He can get changed the next morning at home and most wards say showers etc are only for patients, so I'd just stick in a change of underwear and toothbrush for him. Perhaps I'm mean but I wouldn't be having DH playing games on a tablet when I'm in labour either
Am not being funny but what do newborns need socks for when their babygrows / sleep suits already cover their feet?
I've always wondered
You don't need towels! Hospitals have towels (I work in one). And trust me if the towel is going to get mucky it's better to get the hospital towers mucky rather than wash your own.
We also have large plastic bags, I'm not sure what you mean by laundry bags.
You will not need 28 nappies.
Your baby doesn't need socks if they have a baby gro/sleep suit on. Hospitals are hot. Yes to more vests and baby gros. Have you got a drink? Something sweet is good and straws! If you're in the pool your DH or mw can just hold the straw near you so you don't have to hold it yourself whilst you're concentrating (trust me on this one!)
The ward will provide a baby blanket too. I doubt you'll need a shawl to bf, you'll be too busy trying to get the hang of it and you can always draw the curtains round.
The wards are baking, I didn't want sleeves let alone my brand be dressing gown so wouldn't bother, just take a thin cardi.
No need for BF shawl as you have curtains for privacy
I didn't need the breast pads I took as it took a few days for milk to come in and I didn't leak with colostrum but I guess maybe some people do.
Lots of maternity pads, lots
Flip flops not slippers
I took make up but ended up with a traumatic birth and emcs so didn't give a damn about makeup
Took my kindle but didn't use even though I was in for 48 hours after my emcs as I was either holding my baby skin to skin, feeding her, eating myself or sleeping. Didn't get time to read.
No need for baby socks but take more vests.
My hubby brought nothing and needed nothing as he had to leave at 8pm both nights. Oh he did bring himself something to eat as hospital didn't provide him meals apart from sandwich at lunch after the emcs.
Bring yourself snacks for afterwards
I was in for 48 hours. Had unplanned complications (ventouse delivery in the end) and midwives advised me to stay the extra night as I looked pale and baby wasn't latching well as yet.
Maternity wards are very hot so lose the blanket for DH, the PJs (I'd take a couple of nursing nighties - I bled through the first one) and the dressing gowns.
My hospital provided towels.
I couldn't bear to put on make-up till a few days post-birth when we went out the house. I don't look too bad in the photos
I took slipper socks (thick socks with grip on the sole) as they were much smaller to pack than slippers. The shared bathroom on our ward was kept very clean so I wouldn't have needed flip-flops.
You won't need a shawl. You won't want anything in the way of seeing if the baby is well-latched and swallowing. You'll have a curtain for privacy.
I didn't need breast pads until my milk came in (day 4 for me), my colostrum never leaked. I would just take a nursing bra in addition to the bra you wear to go in. You will want super-easy boob access. I went bra-free most of the time in hospital (and I have H cup boobs!).
You could take less nappies if space is an issue. I would take more vests and sleepsuits. My baby was sick (mucus post-birth due to speedy delivery) a few times so needed several outfit changes in the first 24 hours.
I just used cotton wool balls at first on baby's bum. Got the tar-like poo off easily.
I wore a bikini top in the pool (for support and coverage). I had to get out a lot to pee so I think a T-shirt would have dripped everywhere. You could go naked. I wore a nursing nighty to give birth. It got very dirty but all the mess washed out just fine.
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