The Happy Baby Project

A happy baby needs a happy mum

My Hospital Bag


35 weeks on Saturday, all baby stuff bought or borrowed, and I’m now planning what to take to the hospital with me (while simultaneously harshing The Chef’s mellow with random home improvement requests).

I’ve seen hospital bag lists on numerous brilliant blogs (see Mums Make Lists or The Mummy Adventure) and also on various preggie Apps and retail sites (see Mothercare’s) but I have to say…

….I find the whole thing slightly ludicrous.

It feels half way between packing for a romantic minibreak – do you think the blue or the grey nightie would suit me best while I’m on all fours mooing like a cow? –  and packing for Armageddon; as if we will be stranded in a crevice a la 127 Days, having to rely on lavender oil and arnica to get us out alive.

Only women could come up with pre-labour grooming routines and hospital outfit ideas, as if our babies push happily through our opening cervix only to cry in disgust at an un-waxed bush.  However, I too have booked in for a pre-labour haircut, manicure and eyelash tint. Mock me all you like ladies, but I’m not the only one.

Friends of mine have got pre-labour spray tans, eyelash extensions, and bikini waxes (ouch). They’ve planned their labouring and day-after outfits to the last detail. Mummy forums* and blogs discuss the perfect baby going-home outfits and the most glamorous nursing tops.

Why on earth do we put pressure on ourselves like this? I guess it’s all part of this perfect family fantasy which we bought into as little girls. You know – the photo of you propped up in bed holding cute baby in novelty hat, husband’s proud and loving arm around you while you look, all glowing and wise, to the camera? Or the photo of you holding baby for his first trip home, him in perfect cutesy matching outfit, you both looking on in awe?

My own mother wasn’t impervious to this pressure either. She bought some fancy lace babygrow thing from Paris to clothe my 1 day-old self on the way home from hospital. This is captured in a gorgeous photo – me, angelic in said white lace gorgeousness, held by my proud father.

Oh, apart from the giant poo stain that soaks through the lace, covering the entirety of my lower region.

Let’s face it ladies. We will just have pushed a baby out of our bodies with great pain and effort. We will be pale, with bloodshot eyes, greasy hair, floppy boobs and bellies. We may not have had time to get our immaculately-packed hospital bags out of the car in the first place. We will be so excited about our new babies that we are unlikely to give a toss whether our toenails are painted or our outfit matches.

So, with this in mind, and with the emphasis on comfort and familiarity, here is what I’m planning to take with me:

Mummy bag:

  • Medical notes
  • Stuff to get to hospital & labour in: nightie from Primark (£3.50), Uggs, dressing gown – if I’m in the birth pool I guess I’d want to be naked
  • Stuff to make me comfy during labour: Cushions from home (I bought 2 for £7 from Primark),  Pillow from home, Throw (£7 from Primark)
  • Stuff to make the room nice (wishful thinking): Iphone and mini speakers, iphone charger, LED candles
  • Snacks for labour: fruit juice cartons, bottle water, healthy snacks, bag of Starburst, chocolate
  • Pain relief and comfort stuff: Tens machine (borrowed), Avene water spray, lip balm, flannel, handkerchief and Lavender oil, frankincense (yes, yes I know, but it works honestly), ear plugs, eye mask
  • Stuff to wear afterwards and the next day: cheap black knickers, comfy socks, nursing bras, nightie, slippers, cardigan, leggings, loose dark vests & shirts from Primark –  all very cheap
  • Post-birth  essentials: Arnica for bruising, nipple cream and pads, maternity pads
  • Flip Flops for shower
  • Dark towel
  • Magazines for hanging around
  • Hair bands & toiletries
  • Anti-bacterial hand gel
  • Plastic bags for laundry
  • Camera and charger
  • Boxers, toothbrush, socks & contact lenses for The Chef

Baby bag:

  • 4 x sleepsuits
  • Going-home outfit – yes I know but still succumbed as they can be so cute. Bought this one:

Product Image

  • 4x muslins
  • Hat
  • Cardigan
  • Blanket
  • Coat
  • Nappies (at least 24), H20 extra sensitive water wipes (thanks for the tip Look Mummy No Hands), cotton wool, nappy cream
  • Car seat

*baby forums should be avoided if at all possible. I’ve found them to be full of slightly hysterical women of the type who buy nappies in bulk at 10 weeks pregnant, or who moan about gaining 2 pounds in the first trimester


15 thoughts on “My Hospital Bag

  1. Do they allow mobiles in hospital. Also remember you might not be same size coming out that you were before pregnancy so make sure going home clothes ar roomy and stretchy!

  2. Great list! I would add a plastic jug – grim to think about but great to soothe post-birth loo trips (and I didn’t fancy using one from the hospital…). Also lovely hand cream – I was fed up of smelling like a hospital and hand cream was easy to apply (even after a section) and made me feel just a bit fresher! I also took a book of sudoku puzzles, can you believe, and found them nice and distracting when I was waiting to be induced with baby no.1. Best of luck – you’ll do great x

    • A squeezy water bottle was better than a jug, I thought. Go for a 750 ml or 1l one. Also : phone charger, and dark hand towel to use as make do changing mat for baby. Main recommendation though is to pack in lots of smaller bags that you can put into the car as they are used (eg labour stuff/ immediate post labour clothes/ longer stay in hosp clothes) as the cubicles around the bed are tiny and you need all the space you can get for sorting out baby.

  3. Good list! I also did the haircut, manicure etc thing, as I thought I wouldn’t have much time after. I made the mistake of only taking 0-3 months sleep suits, Jamie looked sooo lost in them! So get a newborn size one, in case you haven’t already (I didn’t even know that there were newborn sizes…)

  4. All getting very real for you I’m sure. Another thing to mention is chocolates for the nurses/midwives although that might be an Irish thing?! Also, I’m sure you know this already but don’t bother with any maternity pass other than the Bastos Viegas ones. They’re a must. I also found loads of bottled water good. I was parched after labour and water is good for healing and helping the milk in as well as for thirst. I drank gallons! Best of luck. It’s amazing. I’ve really enjoyed this blog and can’t wait to hear news of baby’s arrival. Sending you lots of love and luck. Put the feet up now and bank some sleep while you can!

  5. Haha love this post and oh so true! I took my makeup etc just in case and as I’d expected it never left my bag! Purely couldn’t be arsed, I’d just had a baby don’t you know and that’s hard work! So all photos are au natural where I’m all puffy from lack of sleep and looking slightly worse for wear or side face shots and do you know what, I still love em!
    I hope you have a lovely labour and coming out of it glowing and if not, who cares, you just got your baby! Good luck! 🙂 x

  6. Fantastic! very concise list, just please … triple check for tooth brushes for you and the chef!

  7. I know what you mean about going over the top. However, I couldn’t help myself BUT I am yet to book in for any of the preveiously mentioned beauty treatments apart from a half-head of highlights and cut (note, only a half-head – ultimate restraint). My list is here if you fancy a peek

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