I received a list from my lovely sister when I was first expecting. I added to it after my first child and adapted it further after my second. After a few friends commented ‘If I’d known I’d have taken some make-up’ or ‘I had none of the right things with me’ I told them about THE LIST. I often get requests to email this list to my friends and their younger siblings, so it’s been around the block. I hope it helps.
- Vaseline – hot and thirsty = chapped lips
- Hair band – bringing a baby into the world is hard work, you won’t want to worry about your hair swinging in your face in labour or washing it straight after
- Hair brush – the day after, tasks like brushing your hair will make you feel you’ve climbed a mountain.
- Toothbrush + toothpaste – you will feel like a minty-fresh goddess once you’ve made it to the sink and scrubbed your pegs.
- Shampoo + conditioner – labour/delivery is a sweaty old job. You may not want to wash it for a day or two, but when you do that tropical smell will reassure you that you are presentable and clean.
- Shower gel – A simple, non-perfumed one (not rubbed into your nethers’) will make you feel lovely and fresh.
- Deodorant– don’t sweat it. I mean only bother putting this on when you can be bothered. Usually after your first shower.
- Make up – you think it will be the last thing on your mind, but if you’re in for over 24 hours you may want to throw a few basics on if you have visitors. It made me feel a tad more human as I left after a 5 day stay.
- Earplugs – if you’re on a communal ward these may be helpful when you’re sure baby is ready for a proper kip and you need to rest.
- Phone charger & headphones & docking station/speaker – Your connection to the outside world and vital for SOS signals “When you come in please bring: Cadbury’s flake, strawberry Ribeena, my black feeding bra, the ginormous granny-pants and another sleepsuit”. Headphones – playing some quiet music can be soothing again if you need to rest or during labour. Speaker for the labour room if you want to listen to your own playlist. Don’t forget your hypno-birthing music if you’re going for it.
- Nipple cream (Lansinoh) – some say put it on before they get sore, some say it’ll mean your baby can’t learn your scent. Either way, if you’re in beyond day 3 (when the milk may come in) have a tube just in case you get cracked nips and pop it on early-doors.
- Dark loose nighty – I got a lovely stretchy black one (a few sizes too big), great in labour or for receiving your first few visitors in.
- Sanitary pads (Always ultra night) – Take at least two packs in. Best to have plenty in stock so you/your partner don’t have to dash to the shops as soon as you get home. Go for heavy-duty ones initially then the slimmer version.
- Breast pads (Lansinoh) – again have one pack in your bag for when the milk or colostrum comes in, if you’re in hospital for more than 3 days. Go for good quality thin ones and change them quite regularly.
- Slippers/flip flops – great for walking round the hospital in, either in labour or after. Comfy and easy to get on and off.
- Dressing gown (dark) – good for after baby arrives. You can shuffle to get a cuppa (when you’re ready) or have your first shower/go to the loo in some dignity.
- Dark towel – for after you’ve showered. Don’t take your favourite white one. That’s all I’m saying on the matter.
- Snacks & drinks– vital before, during and after. We had a whole bag of goodies: cereal bars, fruit, chocs and treats. Water and juices . Saves you spending a fortune in the hospital canteen.
- Loose pants/knickers (2 sizes larger) – trust me, me loose pants will be your only friend for a while after birth
- Loose trousers – I was leant a pair with a lovely stretchy waistband and baggy crotch. MC Hammer eat ya’ heart out.
- Breast feeding vests – pack a couple of your big loose ones.
- Tens machine + spare pads – if you’re in early labour this may provide some distraction. It also gives your partner ‘a job’.
- Clary sage oil – this is the only slightly ‘alternative’ item you’ll find on my list, but it was a comforting smell for me and takes away the hospital smell. I dabbed a bit on a muslin and inhaled it.
- Money – change for the hospital car park and snack shop
- Your partner – if you have time for nothing other than getting that baby out, you will be fine. Your partner or family will bring you everything you need. You can issue them with a shopping list!
- Baby vests (short-sleeved pop-up) x 4 – usually in new born or 0-3months.
- Baby sleepsuits x 3 – I’d recommend buying 0-3months. Any baby over 7.5lb will grow-out of new born very quickly. But you can ask friends or relatives to buy more in the right size. They’ll be delighted to!
- Baby hats (newborn) x 2 – Adorable and great for hiding any lumps/scratches. Remember not to leave them on when in a very warm room.
- Baby blanket – lovely to bring your own to wrap them in. I’ve become very sentimental about ours.
- Muslins – at least 3. Do not buy white for the first two weeks. If you breast feed, they get covered in a dark yellow colostrum. Nice.
- Nappies (size 1) – have at least 1 big pack. I recommend Pampers Baby Dry or Boots own.
- Cotton wool/water wipes – when you change their first few nappies you tend to use a large cotton wool pad and water. You can buy wet wipes that claim to be like water now.
- Bottles and formula – For if you choose not to breast feed or can’t. We packed one bottle and a few little cartons of Aptamil. Our favoured bottles were Tommee Tippee. But Dr Brown’s are good for anti-colic.
- You – you are all your baby needs. If you forget your bag/haven’t had time to get one together, the hospital and your friends and family will make it right and at least you’ll know what colour and size to get!
PLEASE NOTE: these opinions are solely mine and based only on my own experiences (2 babies, 1 c-sec and 1 vbac). I am non-medical and this post is not sponsored.
I’d love to hear what your essentials were? Perhaps together we can build THE definitive list of all time!