I packed two bags, one for Miss M and one for me.
In Miss M's bag I had:
- outfits (relevant for the weather, and easy to access their nappy) - as I said before, I should have packed double what I did, as she was a spewer, and babies wee and poo a lot more than I expected!
- singlets (I like the singlet suits that snap together underneath - the other singlets roll up)
- nappies (I used the hospital's cloth nappies, but Miss M leaked out of them, and therefore I used more outfits. Next time I will be bringing my own disposables)
- light blankets (depending on the weather - the hospital does have these, but photos look a lot cuter with your own blanket!)
- wraps or love to dream swaddles (the midwives should teach you how to wrap)
- dummies (I was told not to use a dummy for at least two weeks until feeding is established, but I'd take some just in case)
- wipes (these will be provided at the hospital though)
- jacket (the hospital can get quite cool, even in summer)
- beanie (newborn size)
- baby powder
- baby bath wash (this is provided though too)
- car seat (make sure this is put in, and checked by a local mechanic/fitter/dealership - safety first!!)
I also took toys and books, but didn't use these for obvious reasons! I remember someone telling me that a set of jiggling keys is like an air show to a baby!
In my bag I had:
- comfy clothes (I took clothes I assumed I would fit into, but I didn't! Take maternity clothes, and oversized normal clothes - you want to be comfy! Next time I will take about 6 or 7 pairs, as Miss M spewed on me a fair bit!)
- pyjamas or nighties that allow feeding (I still wear the Bonds feeding singlets - they are $30, but I found them at Big W on special for $20 - they are worth every cent!)
- lightweight dressing gown (in case it gets cooler, a heavier one for winter)
- toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap/body wash, razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hair ties/bobby pins, face moisturiser, makeup for photos)
- face washer
- nice soft towel (the hospital ones aren't great)
- straightener and hair dryer (it felt good to wash my hair and do it again after labour!)
- nipple cream and nipple shields (will be provided if you need it though)
- old clothes to wear during labour, as well as massage oil/lotion and snacks (e.g. lollies) for your birth partner, and a spray bottle to spray your face with water during labour
- lip balm
- snacks for the middle of the night (my hospital provided sandwiches and biscuits, and I was told it was good to increase fruit intake to help with milk production)
- books and magazines and dvds (I didn't actually get time to read anything that week though!)
- phone charger, phone, wallet
- ipod and charger
- camera and charger
- nursing bras
- breast pads (disposable - you don't want to be washing straight out of hospital)
- maternity pads (at least 2 packets)
- large underwear that you can chuck out if need be!
- water bottle
- thongs for the shower (especially if you share a bathroom)
- fancy toilet paper (splash out on this - you will feel better for it!)
- box of tissues
- notepad and pen
- own pillow (I couldn't stand sleeping on the hospital ones)
- breastfeeding pillow (I didn't end up using mine, and have since sold it)
- manual breast pump (the hospital have electric but I much prefer my manual pump)
- An extra bag or two to take home all the presents!
The biggest thing I wish I had was a collapsible laundry bag or a giant Aldi bag so that through the week I could have collected all the dirty washing, and it would have been in one bag to take home and wash.
Hopefully that helps to provide a bit of insight into what you might actually use and what you won't! I was super-thankful for my own towel and own pillow, as well as super-soft toilet paper. I felt a lot better each day once I'd had a shower, gotten dressed and tidied up my hospital room ready for visitors. It's just a small luxury in what was, for me, a crazy week!
Miss M at 2 days old
Our first family picture in Hospital - such a special time!