I left it a bit late to pack my hospital bag this time; almost until 37 weeks into this pregnancy! To be honest, I think I’d got swept into a false sense of security thinking that we’d just use all of M’s old things for the new baby. I failed to consider the fact that I might need to actually buy some things. As a result, I had a slight panic at 36 weeks and went on a mini shopping spree, which made me feel a bit better!
Anyway, I thought I’d share what I packed, in case anyone else is wondering what on earth you’re supposed to take!
I’ve chosen to pack Pampers Premium Protection nappies for the new baby, even though we are total Asda Little Angels converts for M. I signed up to Emma’s Diary and printed off the vouchers for the free gift packs, which to my delight, include a free 22 pack of Pampers. I do love a freebie and the 22 pack was the perfect size for our stay in hospital after M was born last time.
I had intended to pack M’s old sleepsuits for the new baby, but I couldn’t resist some gorgeous little bunny-themed sleepsuits from Next. I thought this baby deserved a treat as most of her clothes and toys are going to be hand-me-downs. She can at least have something that’s brand new and all hers as a first outfit!
A top tip I heard when I was packing M’s hospital bag was to pack outfits into resealable sandwich bags. So, in each bag, I put a hat, vest and sleepsuit. This meant hubby or I could just grab a bag and know that we had a complete outfit inside. It worked a treat, so I’ll be doing the same thing this time!
I took myself off to Primark and bought a new button-down cotton nightshirt as I found the one I bought when M was born to be the most comfortable thing in the days and weeks after she was born. I had others that were just like t-shirts and had to keep stripping off to feed/express, which wasn’t ideal. I’m not a massive fan of the designs in Primark (my new one has little unicorns all over it!) but I am a fan of the low prices, especially when there’s so much other stuff to buy! I also bought a lightweight dressing gown for the hospital as I know that my towelling one will be far too hot in there.
I packed maternity pads just in case but I didn’t need them last time – for some reason my postpartum bleeding didn’t start for at least a month after M was born. No one has been able to explain to me why, but I didn’t want to go without them just in case! Ditto breast pads. My milk didn’t come in until I’d returned home after my C-section with M, but given that I didn’t know how long I’d be in hospital, I thought it best to be prepared.
Snacks-wise, I packed some gluten free chocolate chip cookies, gluten free flapjack cookies and a packet of Jelly Babies. Someone told me to pack straws in my hospital bag when I had M and I’m so pleased I did – it was much easier to drink from a straw than a cup or glass when I was finding it challenging to sit up or while holding M. So they were a hospital bag essential this time around!
I packed isotonic drinks and arnica tablets as I’d heard that both can speed up recovery after a caesarean. I checked with the doctors to make sure that it’s safe for me to take them; I’m determined to do anything I can to make this recovery easier than last time.
The same applies to the nipple shields, really. I remember saying in hospital that M’s latch wasn’t right as it was causing me a huge amount of pain. I vividly recall begging the midwives to let me try using nipple shields but they refused to provide any and said I didn’t need them. I know it’s better not to use them, but I wanted to have some in my bag just in case as I’d rather feed this baby with a nipple shield than not at all.
If you’ve ever had a C-section before, you’ll know that giant knickers are essential. I’m a pre-pregnancy size 10 but bought Asda size 20 full briefs to go in my hospital bag. Buying knickers this huge ensures that there’s plenty of space for maternity pads, and they also come right up my body so there’s no risk of rubbing on my C-section wound.
I crammed most of the above into my fabulous Babymule changing bag. It has tons of handy pockets, which makes it ideal as a hospital bag as I can compartmentalise different things so that hubby and I can find them easily. Unfortunately I’m one of those people that always packs far more than I need, so I had to have a secondary bag for the overflow, but my Babymule definitely managed the essentials!
Disclosure: I received a Babymule changing bag free of charge as part of my role as a Babymule ambassador. However, all opinions are my own.