We asked, your told us! Here’s our take on the most comprehensive (and realistic) hospital bag checklist.
Well at Mum Central, we value what our community has to say. We ask and we engage and we listen. We’ve put together a top 20 list which we have compiled from real mums. Some first timers, some veterans but ALL sensible and helpful. You may recognise some of these suggestions as your own and some of these may surprise you. Whatever the case, if you’re expecting, print it out and put it on your fridge as a go-to.
Our mums have told us what they couldn’t do without and we’re sharing the love.
Have you ever experienced a urinary tract infection? It’s horrendous. It feels like you’re weeing broken glass and Ural is your best defence. I suggest you start drinking it straight after you meet your baby.
It’s likely that you may never read one cover to cover [ever again, in fact] but there’s a chance that you will have a moment to yourself and be interested in something OTHER than the new beautiful little life you’ve just created. It’s also great for visitors who may wish to
avert their eyes distract themselves as you’re trying to get your baby to ‘latch-on’ to your enormous, engorged breasts.
You’ll be KNACKERED and the sugar hit will help you out, particularly during labour.
4. Range of clothes for bub
It seems that many a mum has been caught off guard with a baby that was bigger/smaller than they expected. Most hospitals do actually provide little baby gowns [which is what I kept both of mine in until I left – so much easier than getting them in and out of tiny outfits] but lots of mums like to dress their little one in their own gear right from the get go.
5. Nice body wash
Make no mistake, childbirth is incredibly traumatic on your body, irrespective of HOW you birthed. A little luxury when you’re alone in the shower is very, very welcome. Of course, just being alone in the shower will become its very own luxury once your baby comes home!
6. Maternity pads
Hospitals will provide you with maternity pads and you will DIE when you see them. They are enormous and incredibly uncomfortable. They also do not have any adhesive, or fancy wings, so they tend to move around in your [gigantic] knickers. You’ll want to use them for the first 24 hours ’cause it’s quite likely you’ll bleed like there’s no tomorrow, but once you’re up and about you’ll probably want something slightly smaller than a mattress between your legs.
7. Your own pillow
This was a popular suggestion and one I wish I had done myself! Hospital pillows look clean and fluffy but they sound like they’re full of potato chips. They are NOISY. If you can pack your own, it’s a good idea.
8. Big knickers
Pack lots. We’re talking huge. If you’ve had a natural birth then everything ‘down there’ is sore, swollen and possibly even held together by stitches. If you’ve had a c-section then your abdomen is tender and you’re definitely held together by stitches. On top of all the discomfort you bleed A LOT and need enormous pads so the bigger the knickers, the better. Think Bridget Jones.
This is an absolute MUST in my [and many of our mums] books. Breastfeeding is not easy and many, many women even find it too difficult to persevere with due to the pain it causes. Lansinoh is pure lanolin which provides almost instant relief to
ravaged traumatised nipples and is so pure that it does not need to be removed prior to breastfeeding. Which is important because you do not want to be wiping your nipples. You won’t even want to dry them after a shower. Air dry and Lansinoh. You’ll thank us later.
“Lansinoh is pure lanolin which provides almost instant relief to
10. Front opening tops
Breastfeeding is tricky enough without having to navigate your clothes. Having button through or zip up tops make access to the breasts sooo much easier. Pack a few though ‘cause you’ll almost definitely leak milk onto at least two of them and old milk, even your own, is not nice to sleep in.
11. A few pairs of pants
Whether you’re in pyjamas all day or dressed, it’s sensible to pack a few pairs of pants. The likelihood of you bleeding through your gigantic knickers and maternity pads is HIGH and no-one wants to be THAT girl on the maternity ward with blood on the back of her pants.
Well you don’t want to be walking around the hospital in bare feet and you’re probably not going to want to wear shoes.
13. Phone/camera AND charger
You think you take a lot of photos now. Wait until you’re a mum. It feels like you live your life through a camera lens. If you’re bringing in your phone and/or digital camera, make sure you’ve got your charger too. There’s nothing worse than going to catch that priceless moment only to discover your battery has run out!
14. Lip balm
The air-conditioning in hospital is nightmare on the lips and you do sooooo much kissing of that new little baby that your lips need some extra loving.
15. Hand cream
You’ll do a lot of handwashing and you’ll want your hands to be soft ’cause you won’t be able to stop touching your baby!
16. Dummies [if you’re into them]
Some say ‘no’ some say ‘hell yeah’! If you’re a mum who’s into dummies, pack them. The hospital won’t have any.
17. Toilet paper!!
Surprisingly, this was one of our most popular suggestions! Even though you may panic at the thought, you WILL need to go and nice, soft toilet paper will help your visits. Lots of mums also suggested taking a pack of those flushable wipes. Both are a good idea and trust me, you’ll want to be kind to your southern regions after what you’ve been through.
18. Hair ties
From the feedback we received, it looks like lots of our mums got caught out fighting with their hair during labour! Pack some hair ties to keep your hair off your face. They’re also handy to move from wrist to wrist as a reminder of which breast your baby last fed on. Oh don’t worry, you will forget and you’ll be grateful for the tip!
We all know about hospital food but even if you like it, it’s not enough for a breastfeeding mum… and, contrary to what the media bangs on about, now is NOT the time to be thinking about losing your baby weight. Bring some snacks you can either keep in your drawer or the fridge. Nuts, soft cheese [how much did you miss that?] crackers, fruit, chocolate, chips, etc. You’ll be surprised how hungry you get and especially when you’re starving at 3 o’clock in the morning. Pack any specialty tea bags you may like as well. I can’t live without my Twinings Earl Grey tea so I packed a box of them and the cafe on the ground floor took care of my coffee needs.
20. Disposable camera
This is actually something I wished I had done. My first son came early and I didn’t have the camera packed and my phone was almost dead so we didn’t have any photos of when he first came into the world. I tell everyone to just put one of those disposable cameras in their bag JUST IN CASE you’re caught totally off-guard.
So there it is! Our top 20 Hospital Bag MUST-HAVES!
What about you? Did you have something you just couldn’t live without? How about something you wished you’d packed?