Mummy stuff - Packing your Hospital Bag

I remember the first thing I did on the first day of my maternity leave was pack my hospital bag. I have a couple of friends going on maternity leave (September seems to be the month for babies!) and I was thinking about what I wished I had known when packing my bag. I didn't anticipate a longer stay than about 4 days and I ended up there for 7 nights. Needless to say, I didn't pack enough clothes for me or for Miss M, and each day I sent Brendan home with a Coles bag of washing, which only made it to the car. I remember getting home from hospital, and it was a really hot day, and I had about 15 plastic bags of washing and other things to sort through - the absolute last thing I felt like doing when sleep deprived!

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)

 - socks

 - mittens 

 - 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!

 - socks

 - 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!)

 - sanitiser

 - 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!

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