With my due date rapidly sneaking up on me I've finally packed the hospital bag and thought I'd show you what I've taken this time round for the birth of baby 2 and a little bit of experience...
I think the hospital bag should be all about you - yes of course you need a few baby essentials in there but ultimately what is going to make your experience as comfy, positive and relaxing as possible at the hospital? Hopefully you won't need to be in more than a night or two but if you are remember people can always bring you extra stuff if needed. We turned up with so much last time it was out of control and we hardly used any of it. I'm determined to make this a more compact and positive experience this time! When I took these photos I also talked through everything with my husband - so he knows what i've packed and why, where to find it and also to go through what he's taking. Luckily our hospital lets partners stay overnight (albeit in a chair) so his main luxury item will be a sleeping bag. I'm sure he's hoping I won't be pulling his chest hairs out this time round ;)
My essentials are:
I love this MAMA one recently treated to myself from The Gray Store, it's huge and will make a brilliant zip pouch for essentials in the nappy bag later (it also fits an iPad). Kokoso Baby coconut oil (great for massage during labour and smells so yummy), Lasinoh nipple cream (if breastfeeding), Water facial spray - Boots have a few, great for cooling you down throughout a long labour, hair ties or head band, lip balm, toothbrush and toothpaste (a travel kit so no need for any last minute bag throw in). I'm also tempted to buy some Clary Sage Oil which is supposed to be helpful for contractions, Sanitary Towels /Maternity Pads (there will be blood!) and disposable pants both bought from Boots (very glamorous but needed).
Energy energy energy - you're going to need lots of it! I like nuts for slow release, Ribena for a sugar fix and your partner can feed you it with the straw, Glucose tablets for both of you and cereal bars for the next day. Yes that is a sneaky bar of Green and Blacks hiding in the picture - not sure how long it will last (even if it makes it out of our house in the first place) but again could be nice post birth when feeling weak or whilst waiting to get discharged when can be a long process.
Loose PJs, comfy and loose clothes (my maternity leggings and an oversize sweat) to wear home (you will still have a 6 month looking tummy remember and a massive sanitary towel on), cotton pants, nursing bra (I lived in these Emma Jane ones last time but also like the Bravado ones) or comfy crop top, socks, slippers (or flip flops if your feet have a tendency to swell) and a lightweight dressing gown. I'm also taking my reliable oversized Mother Tee.
Yes Mum to be mantra cards - great to keep the experience positive, dot them around the room or get your partner to read them out , mini speaker (John Lewis and Amazon have them for under a tenner)/ happy music - again anything to keep you calm and those cortisol and adrenaline levels down.
10 newborn nappies, cotton wool (not baby wipes as they are too harsh for a newborn bum), 3 baby grows (M&S and Mothercare are best for basic ones and the Bright Company for a more special one) , muslins (for swaddling and baby sick), knitted baby blanket, knitted hat, snowsuit (it's going to be cold for our journey home this time) and baby socks.
Mine is the Raf holdall from Tiba and Marl and is also my nappy bag, it's huge and I love it!
Dad bag (Not shown):
iPad, phone, proper camera (for great newborn shots rather than labour shots!), present for Finn from the baby (still need to get this!), bin bag or plastic bag (for any dirty/ ruined clothes from the birth), hip flask & booze, phone charger. We will also have the baby car seat and a sleeping bag for that comfy chair he gets to sleep in ;)
And don't forget your hospital maternity notes!
It's anxiously waiting by the door now. Anything I've missed? Tips and recommendations always welcome :)