Now that I’ve given birth, and knowing what I know now, I’d adjust those bags slightly because I found I over packed… yet I thought I was being really practical.
This has also been requested quite a few times across all my social media platforms and whilst I started replying individually, I thought it might be helpful to do an update blog post.
The hospital I am going to gives me a maternity pack with a lot of the toiletries, like nappies and cream and so on, but not all hospitals give you a maternity pack, so I’m posting what you generally need. I’d definitely suggest you find out what your hospital provides for you so you don’t take the same things – it’s unnecessary and you end up lugging duplicates home with you again.
- Nappies – I’ve got the Huggies New Born. I love that it has an umbilical cord cut out. Clever. We brought with us and never used them because the hospital supplied.
- Wet Wipes – I often laugh because I don’t use wet wipes now, so I always say it’s: Life before Wet Wipes vs Life after Wet Wipes, when your life can’t co-exist without them. You’ll definitely need these, but again, check if your hospital supplies.
- Bum cream – I’ve got Sudocrem, which comes recommended by almost all of my friends. The hospital provided me with Vaseline and we have actually stuck to using that – it’s just so easy to smear on and works well as a barrier. We now Vaseline during the day and Sudocrem at night.
- Organic Coconut Oil. I scooped out a little into a jar because I’ve heard it’s excellent for getting the Meconium off (babies first tar like sticky poo.) It’s also antibacterial and will be moisturising on his new skin. I used it once for his meconium poo- it’s not 100% necessary, but it’s nice to have if you want to put some oil on babies scalp or even on your own face/lips.
- Cotton Wool. Supplied. I’d also have brought ear buds to dip into the Surgical spirits to clean the umbilical cord.
- Surgical Spirits. We were provided with a bottle in the maternity pack, but if yours doesn’t provide, I’d get some. You clean their umbilical cord each time you change their nappy.
- Dummies (Pacifiers) – I have a newborn NUK and MAM dummies. I introduced this to him on Day 3 when he was using my breast as a pacifier and damaging my nipples. Don’t feel bad about starting them on a dummy early – it helps them soothe and the earlier the better for that soothing reason.
- Pacifier/Dummy cleaners. I genuinely think I bought this as a novelty, because in reality I probably won’t be as pedantic. It depends on how little he is, but I think some germs are good and I’ll probably just rinse it off/pop it in my own mouth, depending. Let me tell you, it’s not a novelty. I used them in hospital and they’re something I use daily. If the dummy falls at home, I generally scoop it up, pop it in my mouth and it’s fine to pop back into his… but if we are out and the dummy falls onto a restaurant floor, I’m not popping that into my mouth, so I’ll use a wipe before popping it back into his mouth.
Even though I’m having a Winter baby, newborns cannot regulate their temperatures, so it’s important to bring warm clothes anyway.
- 3x Prem onesies/babygros. I’m really glad I packed 3 prem baby grows, which I bought from Woolworths and Next. He was born at 3,060kgs, but babies drop weight in hospital, so he went down to 2.7kgs…. his newborn clothes drowned him. Obviously, it depends on how big your baby is going to be. Anything over 3.5kgs, I wouldn’t worry about prem then.
- 2 vests. I hardly used these because the hospital is so warm in order to keep baby warm. I did use one vest when we left the hospital though.
- 3 newborn onesies/babygros. Sox can always bring more of the correct size if need be. We never used Newborn babygros, but it will depend on the size of your baby.
- 2 beanies. You really only need 1.The hospital will also provide you with one as they’re born.
- 1 pair of socks and 1 pair of bootie bear socks that were too cute not to buy. I used them for photos, which was cute. I’d also have packed another 2 pairs of socks.
- Bibs. Absolute waste. I never used them once.
- 2 Swaddle cloths and burp cloths. I would definitely pack 2 swaddle cloths, but burp cloths are unnecessary. They’re not getting milk whilst in hospital – only the colostrum and it’s such a small amount, there won’t be any spit up.
- 1 Baby blanket.
- Jeankelly Feeding Pillow. This is so clever. It comes in a waterproof cover that makes it great for traveling. You slip the pillow onto your arm, making it really easy for breastfeeding/bottle feeding. I must admit I tried using it in the hospital, but in order to get the breastfeeding right, I didn’t use it straight away, so I wouldn’t bring it to the hospital.
- Mina Moo multi functional cover. This is possibly for when I breastfeed (if we have visitors at feeding time) and when we cover the car seat for when we take Baby G home. I never covered up with visitors, they would just pull the ward curtain closed for any male visitors. We did however, use it for when we took Baby G home as a wrap over his carseat. I would suggest rather bringing a big scarf to wrap around you – easier to drape over you, especially while you try to get the hang of things. This cover is great for when you’re more comfortable with breastfeeding.
There isn’t anything else that I would take for Baby. They really don’t need a lot.
- Pajamas. I have 2x long sleeve, button up nighties (easy access for breastfeeding) from Woolworths and also 2x strappy breastfeeding nighties, because I know it can be really hot in the wards. I would have swapped the long sleeve PJs out for short sleeve/strappy PJs. The hospital is WARM for babies sake, plus I got night sweats from the hormones… Having more short sleeve button ups /strappy PJs with a robe would have been perfect.
- A fluffy, warm robe. Yes.
- Slippers and Havaianas that I can just slip on. Yes.
- Nursing Bras. H&M, Cotton On and Woolworths have lovely ranges. I’ve also discovered Sophie and Jane nursing bras too! I had a problem with my milk coming in, so those bras held frozen cabbage leaves and frozen nappies to help with the hardness.
- Panties. I bought the Cariwell Maternity mesh panties that hold the Maternity Pads and I also bought high waisted panties that are good for my C-section cut and also hold my tummy in a little.) Don’t bother with the normal panties. In hospital, and even a few days when you’re back at home, those SEXY Cariwell mesh maternity panties are great and all you’ll truly wear. They are just so practical for those giant pads… I wish I had got a few more. The panties I bought to suck my tummy in; I’m only wearing now. You’re so swollen from the surgery that they’re uncomfortable. Obviously if you’re having natural birth, you can decide on bringing normal panties if you’d like, but for the most part they’re unnecessary.
- Arriving/ Going Home outfit. I’ll probably wear the same Maternity dress and jacket I arrive in, home (it will still be clean as I’ll arrive and change into a hospital gown.) My tummy will still look like I’m pregnant from the swelling of a C-section, plus it takes a while for your Uterus to go back to normal, so I’m not bringing pants or jeans. I’m so glad I wore a dress to and from hospital. Very comfortable to slip on.
- I got the large Lou Harvey cosmetic bag in Olivia Blue print. I love that it fits everything. I’d highly recommend this.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Fragrance free deodorant. I’ve chosen a fragrance free one, so that Baby G can get used to my natural scent and not a perfumed one. I’m glad I got the fragrance free one, but it’s up to you if you want to use a scented one. I would just leave any perfume at home.
- Letibalm – a great repair balm for lips and nose, since my lips dry out so badly in hospital. You can also use the coconut oil if you choose to bring some.
- Face wipes. I used these more than actually washing my face, to be honest with you.
- Face cloth and Exuviance face wash. I definitely used it when I took my shower, but the face wipes were used more.
- Exuviance Toner and cotton pads. Nope. I didn’t have time to do my normal skincare routine.
- Exuviance Moisturiser. My skin dried whilst being in hospital from the heat, so I definitely moisturized (after my face wipes.)
- Clarins Eye cream. I didn’t use this… just my moisturizer.
- Wella Shampoo and Conditioner (in case, although I think my reality will be #11.) I’m laughing at what I have in brackets, because it’s true. I never washed my hair – didn’t have time to dry it, you see? So I did use number 11, which is fine because you can wash your hair at home. It’s obviously up to you though.
- Travel size dry shampoo. An absolute must.
- Travel size body wash. Yes, the hospital showers don’t supply anything.
- Nipple Pads – Bamboobies and I have the Pigeon disposables. I didn’t use them. Your milk is so minimal that it won’t be leaking.
- Nipple Cream – Mama Mio. YES!!!
- Maternity Pads. I’ve bought the Cariwell, the Clicks and even Night time pads, but I’m obviously not taking them all with me. I’ll take the Cariwell, and keep the others for at home. Those thick Cariwell pads are a must and work well with the Cariwell Maternity Mesh panties.
- Tangle Teezer hairbrush, hair clips and invisibobble hair bands. Thanks to the night sweats I got from the hormones, my hair got quite knotted. You will keep your hair in a high pony or what I lovingly call, a Mom Bun. Embrace the Mom Bun. 😉
- Make-up bag: I was in 2 minds about this, but I figured that if I look good; I’ll feel good and vice versa. I might not even have time to, nor want to put make-up on, but I’d rather bring a small bag than ask Sox to pack one for me – which could be hilarious. I have my Vichy Eau spray, MAC tinted moisturizer, Chanel CC cream, LOV blush (so I don’t look too pale), a Catrice eyebrow pencil and Benefit eyebrow wand, mascara and my Clarins Lip Oil. I’ve chosen products for some coverage, for my eyebrows and to hydrate my lips and give a little natural colour, rather than full eye make up. I never used all that make up, which I thought might happen. I had my lash extensions done before and let me tell you, I’m so happy I did. If you don’t do lashes, the only thing I’d suggest you bring is mascara to make you feel slightly human. You’re not going to need anything else, especially not lipstick because you’ll be kissing baby a lot! Again, it really is up to you, but I doubt you’ll have time for make-up.
- Big scarf. I wish I had brought a big lightweight scarf with me because visitors can pop in at anytime and trying to get the hang of breastfeeding is hard enough… but you also don’t want to have ask your visitors to wait outside – which I did, when it came to male visitors. I could have wrapped something light around me if need be.
- iPad and iPhone – I have audio books and my Kindle app. I never used my iPad once. I think it’s lovely in theory, but there’s just no time and if there is, you should sleep.
- Headphones. These are from Sudio. Get 15% off by using my code: VANILLABLONDE15
I never used my headphones once…I didn’t watch TV or listen to audio books like I thought I might.
iPhone charger and double adapter (hospitals don’t usually have 2 pin plug points, so be prepared.) I’m glad I brought the double adapter.
- Camera and charger. Absolutely. Also don’t be shy to ask friends and family to use your camera to capture moments of you and your husband with your new baby, family members and so on. My Mom snapped this candid photo and it’s my favourite.
- Journal and pen. I want to write down everything that happens. Everyone says the days are a blur and you forget so much, so I’ll bullet point journal things that happen. This is my journal I’ve kept from the day I found out I was pregnant. I sadly didn’t have the time to do this, but I caught up with it once I was home. However, I would take a notebook with you to write down questions you have for the doctors and the hours baby fed and poo’d. You will be AMAZED with how forgetful you are, so rather jot things down.
- Folder with: ID Book, Medical Aid card and other important documents. Definitely!!
- Snacks. I’d pack more snacks or ask your friends to bring you snacks… I loved rusks and tea! The breastfeeding makes your hungry and thirsty!
I really hope this helps you and that you have a wonderful birth!