A friend who is having her first baby asked me what she should pack in her hospital bag. I really enjoyed thinking about what I packed (and didn’t pack) and also got so carried away, I also wrote a list of what you need before baby arrives and top tips post labour. This is all my opinion (and no brands are sponsoring this post!) so I am sure there are some things you will disagree on but hope you will take away some top tips!
Necessary Items Before Baby Arrives
There is so much paraphanlia on the market and especially if it is your pfb ‘precious first born’ it is easy to get sucked in and think you need everything. In hindsight I wish I had bought when I needed rather than ‘just in case’. So what do you actually need?
3 baby grows
A Moses Basket. The Baby Cot Shop is gorgeous to indulge your wishes. But if they are above your budget (!), Mothercare is a good bet.
A couple of sheets. Willa and The Bear fitted sheets are BEAUTIFUL.
These Muslin Blankets are so beautiful and super versatile. Swaddle, Shroud (over buggy if you want them to sleep) etc
A car seat
A snowsuit if winter or cardigan if summer.
I am going to expand on the last one.
People think it is tempting fate to look into the future and buy something under the proviso that you may have another kid and need a double buggy. I don’t believe in superstition, so I would say do it. I had a Bugaboo that took me through all 3 babies but in hindsight I would have loved an Icandy that you can chop and change adding chairs, basinets so you could push two kids of different ages and not have to buy a double buggy further down the line.
If you are superstitious and want to buy just for now. Get a Maclaren Techno XLR. You will end up buy a Maclaren for ease of throwing it in the back of the car so why not buy it from the offset and just have 1 buggy. This will take you from newborn to lazy pre schooler who still likes the odd buggy ride. Trust me! I love my Mclazza.
Not essential, but I wish this was around 6 years ago. The Cuddledry Baby Bath Towel keeps you dry and enables you to bath baby hands free!
If you want to get a breast pump, I liked Medela but you can also hire industrial ones from the hospital.
What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag
A friend made me a batch before I went into hospital (I know, how nice is that) and after labour I pretty much devoured the whole lot. If you don’t have a baking pal, Sugarella brownies are unbeatable.
Present for Midwife
The love you have for your midwife after little Timmy pops out is like no other. High on serotonin she is your best friend and you can imagine going out for a glass of wine. But you won’t. So give her a present instead. I think a Love Story Candle from Tussie Mussie would be a lovely present.
Imperative you don’t forget them if you have long hair. I love these ones!
Size up. Actually go two sizes up. Head to M and S and get the biggest granny bashers you can find. 100% Cotton. In BLACK!
As above. Huge ones. Lots of them! Buy more than you think you need.
For the above.
I get the nervous giggles when I think about the pure pain of your uterus shrinking back down size in the aftermath of labour. Excruciating. Especially when you are breast feeding. Take Paracetamol as soon as you feel it it coming on!!
Easily forgotten. Pain in the butt if you forget it.
Bottles of Water
Buy more bottles of water than you think. I have never had such a dry mouth. Get a sports bottle size that you or your partner can squeeze into your mouth when you are on your back.
Elasticated Loose Trousers or Long Skirt
Whether you can fit into your pre baby jeans the next day or not (not) wear soft stretchy bottoms. I found a long skirt was perfect, especially to disguise said ‘big pants’.
Soap, Moisturiser, Toothbrush, Dressing Gown, Flip Flops.
That shower is the best shower you will have ever had. Don’t ruin the experience by forgetting the above.
What Does Baby Need?
I bought ‘newborn’ baby grows and they were two small, so I would take a newborn and a ‘up to 3 months’ baby grow. Crane Bump Baby sell adorable ones if you want something a bit different.
I forgot these once and it was unbelievable how hard it was to get the hospital to give me a couple!
Blanket or Muslin.
I adore this from The Little Art Collection.
So many car seats out there but we have used a Maxi Cosi Familyfix for all 3. So you have a base and you change the seat on the base as the kiddies grow.
I am not a fan of even water based wipes on a newborn and think cotton wool and water is the way forward until they are atlas 6 weeks. That tiny little soft bum. Make sure you dry it before you put the nappy back on (and don’t let them hang in a wet nappy for too long) to avoid nappy rash. If they start to get it, get fresh air onto it.
What Happens When You Get Home?
Pre natal classes are great for telling you how to get the baby out, but not quite so hot on what to do once you get your baby home.
(If you are looking for an ante natal class, I hear fantastic things about Lulubaby.)
I remember coming home with my first asleep in his car seat and saying to my husband ‘So what do you think we should do? Wake him? Feed him?’
Oh, we wonder why the first ones are so ‘first bornish!’ #pander.com
Leave them! They will wake when they are hungry. The tears will trigger let down (when your boobs do tingly and the milk comes in) then attach them (literally try and put the whole of your boob in their mouth – you won’t suffocate them – you do not want them just sucking on your nipple. Then frequency frequency frequency. To establish the milk you need to tell your brain to keep on producing and by feeding, this does it. And so on.
Ann Dobson is the lady to call if you are having problems.
Anyway, I found breastfeeding so so so hard, so persevere but don’t worry if you think formula would be better. We used Aptimel. It will def help you all get a bit more sleep!
I actually found visitors who literally popped to say hi unannounced much easier than a planned visit. Atleast with a spontaneous visit, it doesn’t matter that you open the door still in your pjs. If its planned you are expected to be dressed, make tea etc. Anyway that was just me.
Don’t arrange visitors before 11am. You need the morning to go back to sleep.
Don’t arrange visitors ‘after work’. This is when witching hour is and everyone is tired. If yo have other children, you also have their bedtime as well as cluster feeding your newborn.
Day 3 Tears
I don’t know the science about the day 3 tears, but it def happened to me. Literally, the smallest think could make you cry. Be gentle on yourself. It is so normal.
Speaking of which, ‘baby’ hormones stay in your body up to 12 months after. Looking back – with this and tiredness I can see I was prob a bit of a nightmare at times to people around (prob still am!) so tell them this and apologise in advance!
Oh and get an account for Deliveroo!
I am going to do a post on non essential items too and what you might need as they get past the newborn stage.
There are so many wonderful new baby & maternity products and clothes out there, so stay tuned. (Like And Breathe Post Natal – retreats to get away from it all where you can bring baby too!)
What tips do you have? I would love to hear your stories and please do forward this on to anyone who is having a bubba! xx