Leeds, UK

I’ve come to realise that the vast majority of hospital bag posts have been written pre-baby and although interesting & insightful, they don’t give that ‘real life’ quality that could be achieved though writing post-baby. And this is what I’m bringing for you today.

What we packed in our hospital bag & what we actually needed.

We packed our hospital bag when I was around 36 weeks pregnant, which is when midwive’s typically advise you to do so - Little did we know at that time we’d still have five weeks left to go before we could put it to good use.

We looked at countless hospital bag guides that advised us which sort of bag to use as well as what to pack – Packing was usually split into three sections; Things for me, things for the baby & things to pass the time.

The bag.
After spending numerous nights googling hospital bags and to be honest feeling a little disheartened at how expensive they all were, we stumbled across a brand that ticked all of the boxes. We discovered Lekebaby on Amazon, a brand which makes practical but still super cute bags, which after nights of searching was pretty hard to come by. We opted for the satchel style which is lovely, but in hindsight we should have probably bought the rucksackstyle, just from a practicality point of view. The satchel is quite big and bulky, which is great for keeping all the baby crap you seem to accumulate in (because you WILL accumulate that shit) but not so great for actually carrying on your shoulder for long periods of time. 
We’re lucky because the Uppababy Cruz pram we have has a huge carry section underneath so we just bung the bag under there and it fits perfect but for carrying purposes I think a rucksack would be way more comfortable.
I’d definitely stick with the same brand though and will probably end up buying the rucksack a few years down the line when Amelia isn’t as reliant on her pram. The simple reason I’d stick with the Lekebaby brand is that even now, three months down the line we’re still discovering new pockets and compartments to the bag we have – And you’ll discover that literally the more pockets the better when it comes to hiding all of that baby crap!

Things for me.
I think comfort is key when you’re about to go into hospital and after reading ‘your baby your birth’ by Hollie De Cruz I went into the birthing room wanting to make it as homely as possible.
I’d packed a long line capped sleeved top from Primark (two sizes too big) to wear during the birthing process which proved really useful – I was a bit nervous going in that I was going to lose all of my dignity during childbirth so wanted something loose and comfortable to wear to try and save whatever dignity I’d have left… And this did the trick! I’d packed a couple of pairs of pyjamas too for afterwards, but truth be told I didn’t wear them, I spent the rest of the day braless in another baggy tshirt and some mens joggers from primark.

Speaking of braziers, I’d packed two maternity bras which I never ended up wearing… When it came to feeding Amelia I just whipped a boob out and she got herself all cosy in the excess fabric of my two sizes too big longline tee.

I’d read a lot of guides which advise you to take lip balm to combat dry mouth when you’re gas & air. I asked Dan to apply lip balm to my lips twice during childbirth, so I would say it is useful to take with you, but what I’d recommend more is juice…. And lots of it! We took two bottles with the intention of having one for me and one for Dan, when truthfully I had them both & could have probably done with another two. Eeek! We went for ones with a sports cap too, which was a life saver when I was in full on angry beast childbirth mode.

As well as lip balm I took a few extra beauty products with the idea that after popping this child out of me I deserve a bit of a pamper… How wrong I was! You won’t have time for that shit! I took makeup, moisturiser & massage oils, all of which didn’t really get a look in. I was too in love with my baby and the family we’d then become that I didn’t give a rats ass about how I looked.

I made sure to pack plenty of maternity pads, but in all honesty I didn’t realise how many I’d actually go through. As minging as this sounds I’d never really thought about what else was to come out of me other than my baby, and the fact I’d be needing to change pads every two hours definitely took me by surprise! I packed disposable pants too (yes they’re as sexy as they sound) but didn’t end up using them, I’d been living in those packs of Primark pants before birth & they didn’t fail me afterwards… You’ll (as well as my husband) be pleased that these pants no longer live in my wardrobe – They’ve been banished to the bin!­­

Other articles I’d read included taking a tens machine, which to be honest I never bothered looking into in that much detail. I’m glad I didn’t buy one though as I really didn’t need it to get me through the birthing process & it would have been a complete waste of money; and when you’re living on a maternity wage, every penny saved helps!

Something we should have taken, and this is peak parenting… Is a couple of plastic bags for dirty clothes, blood stained clothes, baby pee stained clothes - You get the jist!

Things for baby.
We took way too many clothes for baby, like it was actually ridiculous, although I do think it’s better to over pack than under pack, we took things to the extreme. We packed three bodysuits, three sleepsuits, three tops, three bottoms & so on and so forth. We even took two pairs of boots… Which looking back now is totally stupid! A newborn baby isn’t going to get dressed up in full on outfits! Ooops! During our time at the hospital Amelia only made use of two bodysuits and two sleepsuits, and to be honest she only wore the second  outfit due to peeing all over us during her first nappy change.

For changing we took nappies, bags, wipes & cream – The usual stuff all the guides tell you to take. For us this one was quite straight forward and we made use out of everything we took.
I decided I wanted to breastfeed so didn’t take any bottles or formula with us, which In hindsight probably wasn’t the best idea, just incase Amelia couldn’t latch on, or I couldn’t get along with it – It’s probably a good idea to pack something for those ‘just in case’ moments.

Something we could have done extra with is blankets. We only took one, but it got drenched during the pee fountain we had to deal with. We probably have about ten different ones now at home, all of which get used so often – I definitely think it’s worth taking a few extra. You could even use them for yourself because lord knows the hospital beds aren’t all that cosy.

Truth is babies don’t actually need all that much – Just warmth, love & grub.

Things to pass the time.
We read so many guides that advised us to take everything but the kitchen sink pretty much when it came to passing the time, things such as phones, laptops, music or books, but when it comes down to it, you will literally have NO time to do any of this!

Throughout my 23 hour labour, I must have picked my phone up only a handful of times, and as soon as Amelia was here I only used it to take photos of her. Proud mam and all that! If I took anything else it would have been a total waste.

We packed a couple of drinks which I’ve already noted that we could have done with double the amount; But we also packed a couple of snacks too – Power food – Such as breakfast bars, banana’s and oranges, which we managed to make our way through pretty quickly, we could have definitely done with more... After leaving the delivery suite and making our way onto the ward it became apparent that it would only be myself that would be fed, thankfully the meals were quite generous so Dan & I managed to share them between us both, but we could have definitely done with extra food, especially for him after I’d given birth.

In conclusion I do think it’s useful to gather as much information as possible when it comes to packing your hospital bag, and I do think it’s better to overpack, but what I think there should be more of is hands on experiences from women after they’ve given birth reflecting on what they’d packed. I should have probably written up a blog post before I had Amelia for comparison, but hey ho, we live and learn… I’ll do it for the next one!... Although you may be waiting a good few years before that happens again… Because parenting is HARD!

What did you pack in your hospital bag that you didn’t use?


Have you read my other Pregnancy & Child birth posts?

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