What i'm packing in my hospital bag

Two weeks to go and we're all just waiting on you now, baby. Bassinet is set up and ready, clothes are washed and folded, and hospital bags are packed (which is probably my most favourite thing to do). I find it really satisfying trying to get my hospital checklist down to the smallest number of necessary items. Third time around and I'm feeling like I've got a good idea of what to expect
, what I definitely need (nursing pads!) and what I definitely don't. Something that helped keep my pregnancy impatience at bay was scouring pinterest and blogs for every hospital bag checklist ever written and then compiling my own. So at the end of it all, this is what I have narrowed it down to. This is my ultimate (but compact) hospital bag checklist.


- my pregnancy booklet. All of my details will be in the hospital's computers, but having this on hand is helpful for the midwives during and after the birth to get a quick idea of how my pregnancy went.

- dressing gown. Good for added warmth and doesn't hinder the breastfeeding. I bought a light thin one from Kmart because I get easily hot, but a fluffy thick one would work just as well too.

- nursing nightie. For my last two hospital births I had packed plenty of track pants and pyjama pants which are great for comfort, but not so great with the number of toilet trips, nurse checks and pad changes. So this time around I bought two of these (but in navy stripe) which I won't mind wearing day or night and makes access downstairs just a little less cumbersome.

- socks

- going home outfit. A stretchy stripe skirt, black nursing singlet, and a grey long cardigan. Reasonably put together looking, and still super comfortable

- nursing sleep bra. With my first baby, I was totally, completely, 100% unprepared for everything that would happen to my boobs after giving birth. I knew I was going to feed my baby with them of course, I had a small idea that it would be uncomfortable for a while and take some practice, but I had no clue that they would turn into giant boulders that would spray milk like a burst fire hydrant. (TMI? Sorry.)  So aside from a couple of nursing pads, I had nothing. Not even a bra that could hold the nursing pads. I know for lots of mothers the milk doesn't come in for a few days, and when it does it resembles more of a leaky tap than the raging Niagara Falls, but I was not so lucky. An older midwife who was on night shift the second night of my stay must have taken pity on the young woman with the saturated clothes and bed linen, because she showed me how to make a bra out of a towel (which, she said, a lot of women her age knew how to do). I was mighty impressed and mighty grateful to her that I finally had something that could help contain the flow.  So, lesson learnt. A couple of nursing friendly sleep bras are an absolute must. I'm using these.

- wallet 

- pen for signing things, filling out forms or writing notes

- glasses + case & cleaner

- snacks.  I actually quite like hospital food, and I especially like that I don't have to cook or clean up after it. But I don't like being a little peckish in between and not having anything to munch on. So snacks are an important one. This time I'm taking a lot of granola bars, mixed dried fruit and some beef jerky.

- drink bottle. Because cups are irritating when I'm lying down and don't want to sit up because ouch.

- iPhone 

- iPad 

- charger 

- flip flops 

- blistex

- something to read.  I'll have my phone but reading on a small screen bothers me so I'll take along a book.

- "hello my name is" stickers + sharpie. This isn't a necessity, but I've seen so many cute baby name announcements like this and this one, that I just had to do it too. 

- slippers 

- u pillow. Mostly to help while we're both getting the hang of breastfeeding, but also to cushion the tush when I'm sitting down because again, ouch. I just use this one from Kmart with a few covers for rotation. 

My hospital (and many hospitals in Australia, I think?) don't provide baby & recovery items like most hospitals in the USA do, which is why the items in this list may seem over excessive to some!

- singlets. About 5. I'm taking three 0000 and two 000 (just in case baby is far chubbier than expected)

- grow-suits. Same amount and sizes as above

- 1 blanket

- 2 swaddles. I like these because I am an incompetent swaddler.

- 2 pairs of socks

- beanies. I like to take two, one plain, easy to clean one that they'll pop on her head straight after birth, and one for later when we're all washed and tidy in our room

- 2 bibs

- gifts for Nancy and George. When George was born, he "gave" Nancy an I'm-so-happy-to-be-your-little-brother present when she first came to the hospital to see him. Nancy loved it, so I'm doing it again this time around. Just a book each, something I know will get a lot of use and love.

Instead of another bag for all the bathroom things, I use a small clear storage container. It's easier to see everything that's in there and I'm not rummaging around in the depths of a bag trying to find the nappy cream.

- nursing pads. Lots. 

- laundry bags. I'll just take two of the Woolworths plastic bags to throw all the dirty laundry in, and that Ty can then take home to wash.  

- depends. So, if you don't know what they are, they're these. Hear me out. My hospital told me to bring super duper larger than life pads to wear for after the birth because things get messy. And they were so right. I took the super pads for Nancy's birth, and they worked ok-ish. The occasional leaking because it would shift around and wad up in places when I was sleeping was super irritating, but I just figured that was life. But then I read this hospital bag checklist when I was preparing for George's birth and ta-dah! I was introduced to the beauty of adult nappies. I'll admit at first it felt like a slight hit on my pride when I was purchasing them at the supermarket, but after using them for George's hospital stay I am a whole hearted fan. They were brilliant, and so much cleaner and more comfortable. And I didn't have to worry about undies! So there was no shame this time around at the supermarket. I grabbed a couple of packs and threw them on top of my trolley items without even bothering to disguise them beneath a packet of pasta. 

- nappy bags for stinky nappies.

- newborn nappies

- baby wipes

- baby soap 

- nappy cream. I just take the little sample tubs they give me in the information pack at the start of my pregnancy

- disposable change mat

- squirt bottle. Because weeing stings, especially if you tear, which I did both times previous. I only discovered this tip in preparation for baby number three, but they say spraying some warm water down there while you wee helps dilute it and make it sting less. Toilet trips were my most painful part about the post birth healing, so I'm open to trying anything.

- ural. Again, to help with the acidity.

- toiletries travel bag which will include shampoo, body wash, moisturiser (all travel size), deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, face wipes, loofah and hair ties. Nothing fancy here. I just want to be (and feel) clean. 

So that's it. I don't have a bag for labour, because I've never really wanted anything but a warm shower or someone's hand to squeeze the blood out of when I'm in the middle of a contraction. And speaking of labour, I'm trying not to be nervous about it. Nancy's was horrific and long, but George's was intense and short. I had every pain medication under the sun with Nancy's, but George I had nothing. Not because I didn't want nothing particularly (pretty sure I was begging for an epidural near the end) but because it went fast enough that the support people around me understood that George was coming very soon. And I'm glad it worked out that way. Physically and mentally I was in a much better state after George than with Nancy and I think being in total control/awareness of my body the whole time helped with that. 
So this time I'm aiming for another medication free birth. I've done it once, so I'm hoping I can do it again. And if not, oh well!


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