I was completely and totally convinced that I was going to go into early labour and consequently ordered my lovely personalised weekender bag (shown below) from Emily and Heath and had everything packed and ready to go ridiculously early, as in, from 26 weeks. It was also one job off the list that I knew would be pretty impossible to achieve closer to arrival date due to a rather time consuming toddler.
Having learnt from round one with Poppy where I didn’t pack things like makeup or nearly enough PJs or baby grows which resulted in mad dashes to the shops by visitors, I would say that with Felix I had absolutely everything I needed making my experience far more pleasant.
Bag for Mummy – Everything I used is marked in blue
- Slippers – No matter how many times they are cleaned, the floors always seem to be dirty. I have a favourite pair of lovely Boden slippers that I wear every day and wasn’t willing to risk them getting trashed so bought a pair of £1 trashable ones from Premark. I’d recommend getting them in a dark colour so you can’t see the grime from walking around.
- Loads of huge dark cotton knickers – You definitely don’t want anything tight on a post-labour tummy plus they have to be big enough to accommodate the huge maternity pads. I would recommend getting a size bigger than you are for extra comfort space.
- Makeup and wash bag – See contents below.
- Toothbrush – Nothing worse than furry teeth! Wasn’t actually required as we were discharged so quickly!
- Flipflops – Total necessity, showering post birth with feet touching hospital tiles is really not great, trust me, I wish I’d taken them first time round.
- Dark button-front PJs – There’s no nice way of putting this, lets just say that dark hides everything. I got mine from John Lewis and love them.
- Dry shampoo – Who knows how long or how sweaty labour will be.
- Maternity pads – and lots of them. I found the Boots ones the best.
- Ear plugs – Either during labour or post, these are essential! Thankfully my labour was pretty quick and I didn’t stay in long but so wish I had them first time around.
- Nipple shields – You might not need them straight away but with both children I was in complete agony and these were the only things that made feeding bearable.
- Hairdryer – Anything that makes you feel good after birth is a total essential.
- Hairbrush – It’s incredible how messy and knotty hair gets during labour.
- Dark towel (not shown) – For post labour shower. First time I relied on NHS towels which were so crusty and horrible. Not at all what you want after not sleeping for 3 days and everything else that goes with little one’s arrival. I would highly recommend not taking light coloured towels, child birth is a messy business!
- Second and third pair of PJs/nightie (not shown) – you never know how long you’ll need to stay in for post-labour. First time I was in for three days and had to ask visitors to bring extra PJs, this time I was discharged the same day but it never harms to be prepared!
- My going home outfit – I packed leggings, a loose shirt and jumper that I felt comfortable in and felt like myself in.
Wash bag/makeup contents – Everything I used is marked in blue
- Travel size shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and moisturiser – Whether you have a full shower or bed bath, there’s nothing more refreshing after labour than water on your skin and smelling fresh and familiar again.
- Mascara – I’d recommend packing a trial size or old mascara so you don’t have to try to remember to pack your usual one before leaving to go to hospital during labour. I put a little bit on before heading home and it made me feel a whole lot better about having no sleep. I didn’t pack any with my first and after 3 days of being awake, I looked pretty darn horrific and hated looking in the mirror.
- Moisturiser (trial size) – Labour and hospitals are bloody drying.
- Serum (trial size) – Anything that helps to reverse the visual effects of missing a ridiculous amount of sleep is an essential in my book.
- BB cream (trial size) – I’m not a big one for foundation but after my first labour I looked like death, I didn’t want a repeat performance so popped a bit on before leaving hospital.
- Blusher – For the reason above, having a little colour in my cheeks when leaving hospital made me feel so much more normal.
- Blusher brush – ditto no.6
- Concealer – Let me just say DARK CIRCLES!!! Inevitable after labour.
- Painkillers – I always carry them! Never know how much the hospital will give out when you leave so I like to be prepared.
- Lipgloss – Why not have a little colour!
- Vaseline – As mentioned in no.3, hospitals and labour are bloody drying!
- Day moisturiser (trial size) – I didn’t realise I’d packed two moisturisers…but I guess you can never be too prepared 😉
- Night repair serum (trial size) – This stuff is magical and is just the kind of thing you want working away after the exertion of labour.
- Arnica tablets – These are a herbal remedy to heal bruising super fast. I started taking them as soon as I left hospital and couldn’t believe how quickly I healed this time and hardly experienced any pain. I’m not sure if arnica was a contributing factor but I’ll be using them again if there is a ‘next time’.
- Sunglasses – I remember my friend suggesting this and I initially laughed but why not hide behind some big sunnies when heading home or even pop them on in hospital and catch some zzzz?!
- Deodorant – Need I say more?
- Lanolin cream – Bloody expensive but worth every penny. Seriously, this stuff is magic. Warm a little between your fingers and apply liberally to the whole nipple. It heals amazingly well and prevents cracking.
- Breast pads – New mums get all the best stuff 😉 They not only soak up leakages but also stop cracked nipples from sticking to bra fabric that can all-too-easily be pulled free, ouch!
- Face wipes – The quickest way to freshen up. It might not be possible to walk to a sink to do a full face wash job so having a pack of these stowed is a live saver. I used them throughout the day to freshen my face up as the hospital was so hot.
- Windeze – After that big old baby has vacated and freed up some space, your intestines have a good move about and in doing so, get a whole lot of wind trapped which can be totally excruciating.
Labour and post-labour snacks – Everything I used is marked in blue
- Energy bars – I ate the majority of these post-birth as I was soooo hungry as soon as Felix had arrived. Oliver loved these too.
- Chocolate button – I just couldn’t stomach the idea of chocolate during labour so these remained untouched and went into my baby bag as an emergency snack. They did’t last long in there!
- Leftover easter eggs – for the reason above, these remained untouched.
- Fruit in a pot + spoon – I thought these would be good for energy and re-hydrating. I had a pot post-birth and it tasted sooooo good.
- Cartons of fruit juice – These were amazing during labour. Never underestimate the importance of a straw during labour 😉 A hit of sugar and water when I couldn’t eat anything, just what was needed.
- Sweets galore! – The Natural Confectionary Company Jelly Snakes. Once I had my epidural in I wasn’t allowed to eat anything but was allowed a sweet every now and then. These were perfect as they weren’t too sickly.
- Sweets galore! – Drumstick Squashies. These were slightly too sweet for me during labour but I couldn’t stop eating them once we got to the ward, seriously addictive.
- Sweets galore! – Candy Kittens Fresh Raspberry sweet – All natural sweets made from fruit juices. I had a few of these during labour then devoured them on the ward.
- Cakes (show below) – I baked lots of banana (for slow release energy) and raisin muffins as well as brownies well in advance, wrapped them individually in cling film and froze them so that we could grab them before leaving the house during labour. Oliver ate 90% of these, after all, he was having a pretty tough time >-)
The baby’s bag – Everything used is marked in blue
- The first outfit – I chose this sweet little smocked baby grow from Mini-La-Mode in gender neutral beige. All of their items are unbelievably soft.
- Tiny vests x 10 – With Poppy I used them all and needed more, this time I used two.
- Little booties – I basically bought these because they were adorable but they aren’t really necessary for tiny babies as their feet are always covered in baby grows. I’ve only used them once and they fell straight off.
- Scratch mits x 2 – Definitely required as newborns tend to scratch their faces when they’re hungry and they’re hungry ALL THE TIME!
- Cardigans x 2 – I didn’t use these in hospital as it was so hot the week that I gave birth but used them as soon as we returned to our Arctic house.
- Baby grows x 10 – As with point no.2, with Poppy I used every one and had to send Oliver out to buy more. This time I only used a few as I was allowed home so quickly.
- Hats x 2 – The recommendations for new baby clothing has changed recently. When Poppy was born she had to have a hat on at all times, now the advice is to only put a hat on a newborn when you’re outside. I tried to put these ones on Felix but his head was so blooming big they wouldn’t fit!
- Snowsuit (not shown) – Obviously this one is season-dependant. Even though it was a warm week when Felix arrived it wasn’t warm enough for just a baby grow.
- Size 1 nappies x 1 pack – Hospitals are very reluctant to hand out nappies. You do get a few free from the Bounty packs but they may take a little while to arrive and babies need changing A LOT!
- Cotton wool or baby wipes – I took 2x packs of Water Wipes as I couldn’t be doing with the faff of cotton wool and warm water. They’re completely natural and only contain water and a tiny bit of grapefruit extract.
I really hope this helps you with your decision making and packing x