Essentials for Hospital Bag
Author: Brea Walker Date Posted:17 July 2017
It is so easy to overpack when you are having your first baby/babies. You are entering into the unknown. You have no idea what you will really need whilst you are in the hospital or what is suitable hospital attire.
When I was packing for my twins, I packed 2 full hand luggage suitcases. 1 for me and 1 for the twins. I was literally moving into the hospital as I packed up my wardrobe full of maternity clothing, toiletries and more. I also went as far as packing 2 pillows and a blanket.
In the end, I stayed in hospital 6 days but spent the majority of this time in the special care unit. I wore the same two outfits for the entire stay because it was the only thing that didn't rub my C-section wound and the twins luggage went unopened due to their extended stay in the hospital.
When packing for Xavier I knew what I needed to pack and what was wasted. Did I still overpack - No. In fact, I under packed and had to ask my husband to bring in additional items. Xavier was a booked induction but due to complications we still spent 5 days in the hospital. I had only packed for 3 days maximum.
My experiences have led me to write a checklist for expectant mums on - the essentials that you need when going into hospital. Everyone is a little different and your needs will change dependant on your birthing choice and whether you choose to breastfeed or bottlefeed.
Most newborn babies will fit into either 00000 or 0000 outfits at birth. If your baby is showing small in growth scans you may want to go for the smaller sizes and maybe one larger outfit just in case. If they are expected to spend time in the special care unit due to the premature or potential health concerns - you may not need to pack much more than a beanie and some socks.
I spent 2 weeks sitting in a special care nursery and the most common thing that I heard the nurses say was "Bubs feet are cold - did mum bring down any socks". It is not an item that you think about in a tropical location such as Queensland but hospitals can be cold and babies lose their heat from the heads, feet and hands.
If you are having a C-section you will want super comfy clothing that is loose and sits high up on my waist. I wore Granny Undies for the entire stay in hospital. They sit up on your belly button and there was no rubbing on the wound. I also used to use a spare maternity pad over the wound especially on the way home from hospital with the seatbelt.
The toiletries are pretty self explanatory except for the twist top waterbottle. If you have any tearing after bub this tip is for you. Everytime you need to go to the toilet it will sting. spraying with water or saline really helps reduce the stinging and hopefully heal faster.
Now these are not really essentials but they are things that I wish I had packed.
When I had the twins - my mum brought in a big bowl of fruit and chocolate. This was the best gift ever as the fruit helped with the movement of my bowels and the chocolate was helpful on the late night expressing sessions. I have to say that I recevied some amazing food whilst I was in hospital - both private and public but the extra snacks were very handy.
The things I wish I had for both the twins and Xavier is:
With the twins I was given access to the pump and two bottles to express as they were in Special Care. It was mentioned they should be washed after each use in hot soapy water but we normally had to wash in the hand basin that was cold water.
A Haakaa pump would have been a big help being a single piece of silicone. It would also have been easier that waiting for the pump to become free as we had 3 sets of twins in our room.
I didn't do milestone cards at all with the twins. When I look back at photos now I have no idea who is who and what age they were at the time.
If I could turn back time now, an inkless imprint kit would have been the best add on to my hospital bag. We were given an imprint kit for the twins but due to their extended stay in hospital we never got around the the newborn imprint. I really wish I had one of their little feet or hands as they grow older and I grasp to hold on to them as babies.