Hospital Bag Lowdown: 3 Helpful Tipsby Jo Townsend
Sorting the hospital bag is one of those last tasks you can do before you go in and have your baby. It can feel overwhelming and a lot of mums end up reorganising it multiple times before the big day. I remember taking everything out and repacking every time I got a tinge in the last week. While it was less stressful second time round, I did have the added pressure of making sure we had enough as I knew I couldn't have visitors if I stayed in and wasn't sure if my husband could even drop off more stuff for me or baby (the hospitals all seem to have different rules on this during Covid times). When you look online, you will find that there is so much info out there about what you should put in your bag. On Instagram, you will find a load of posts from influencers in which they talk about what you need to put in. While some items are useful, there is a lot of unnecessary items they place in the bag (likely for sponsored purposes). After having to pack hospital bags twice, here are a few tips which might help you when the time comes.
Do take multiple bags
It really depends on the size of the bags but I found it very useful to take multiple bags when I went into the hospital. I had one bag for the baby and one for me and my partner. It might feel like you are heading on holiday with several bags, but I found it so much easier to organise the items into two separate bags. That way, I didn't have to look through everything just to find something I would need for the labour. I had all the baby items together so that I could easily find all the nappies and baby clothes in one place. If you do want to take just one bag, find one that has multiple compartments. That way, you can explain easily to your husband where everything is when the time comes for him to pass you the baby hat or the first nappy etc.
Do take stuff for your partner
So many people forget to pack things for their partner. But there is a chance you could be in labour for several days and your partner will need some bits to keep him going. For example, a toothbrush and some deodorant for your partner should go in the bag. You should also pack a warmer jumper; if you are in the hospital in the middle of the night it's likely to get cold. Also, while you will be given food and drinks, it's unlikely your partner will except for a cup of tea or coffee after you give birth. The first time around, my husband was in with me for several days and both sets of parents had to bring him food and drink when they came to visit.
Do take formula (even if you are planning to breastfeed)
I think you should take a pack of ready-made bottles with the teats with you, even if you are planning to breastfeed. You might want to top up with some formula or might find that breastfeeding is not for you, so having the bottles there will help you to get started. The hospital does have some available but they prefer you to have your own. I put some into the bag. Cow and Gate do a pack of 6 bottles which come with teats which is perfect to put in your bag.