Once you start getting closer to your due date you'll probably find people start making the same comments from 'gosh you're big' to 'have you packed your hospital bag'. I was due the same day as a good friend of mine and when she went into labour a few weeks early I was suddenly motivated to get my bag for hospital ready for the big event.
There's no way to know what your labour will be like and impossible to know exactly everything you might want to hand but there are a few essentials as well as a few optional extras to consider. Also remember that your partner will have to lug the bag into the hospital with them as well as keeping you calm so don't pack like you're going on a two week holiday to Africa.
A bag with wheels but is also easy to carry is ideal
I found it easier and more convenient to pack two bags. One for the baby and one for me. This meant it was easy to find what I needed and to know where to look rather than a panic scramble to find the first nappy and babygro.
Here's a checklist to consider.
Bag For You
Clothes during labour
You might want to start off with a loose t-shirt and maternity jogger bottoms and remove then later. if you're planning a water birth then you might want to bring a bikini.
Unfortunately, once your baby arrives it will take some time for your baby bump to reduce so don't forget to bring your loose maternity clothes to wear after the birth.
Nightie or PJs
I found PJs that unbuttoned at the front the easiest so I could easily open my top to breast feed.
Hospital floors can be cold and it's lovely to have something comfortable to walk around in.
I was definitely not in the mood for snacks but if you have a long labour your partner needs to keep his energy up too.
You'll definitely want the first photos of your baby so don't forget your camera and the charger too.
It's unlikely that you'll be chatting to friends during labour but it's great to be able to text an update to family or send out an announcement once your baby has arrived.
Strange thing to add I know but if you have a start stop labour or you're hanging around waiting to be induced then it's worth having a book or some music. I listened to some calming music at the start of my labour too.
Bag For Baby
Pack a few different items and I'd also recommend newborn as well as the 0-3month size. Some babies are born bigger than others and you don't want to be caught out with very mini clothes.
Baby blanket and hat
How many layers you pack for will depend on the time of year and the weather
It's recommended to use water and cotton wool when you're cleaning a newborn nappy. However the first poos are very thick and sticky. Wipes suitable for newborns do wonders at cleaning this away
Muslins have a 101 uses
Car seat (if you're travelling home from hospital by car). You can leave it in the car until you need it. There's no need to lug this in for the labour.
If you have any top tips on what to pack, why not leave a message in the comments box.
I'd also recommend some nipple pads and an all-natural lanolin ointment. I was in hospital for 10 days after Josie was born, unexpectedly. By the time I'd left my milk had really come in, and so the pads were useful. The cream was useful too because my nipples got a little sore. Sometimes the hospital can give you these items, but it's handy to have them just in case.