Whilst most mums-to-be have a good idea of what they will need to pack in their hospital bag for labour, others tend to leave packing and planning until the very last minute. Some of the essentials your bag should contain include: pyjamas and a dressing gown, nappies and outfits for your baby, pillows, and plenty of underwear. But what about the less obvious things that you might want to pack?
Here are five unexpected essentials that every pregnant mum-to-be should remember to pack in her hospital bag.
Labour can be a lengthy process, particularly if you are having your first baby. Whilst you may well think that you’ll be too busy to eat, in reality it is important to enjoy regular snacks to keep your strength up, and your birthing partner will benefit from regular snacks too. You might end up going to the hospital earlier than expected or false labour might cause you to spend hours in the hospital before being sent home. It’s best to be prepared, just in case.
Obviously, you won’t have the time or the energy to eat a full meal, but eating little and often will help you to avoid a massive energy dip and will prevent you from suffering nausea throughout the process of labour and birth.
A Teddy Bear
Giving your new-born their first baby soft toy is a moment that most parents will never forget. Whilst this may not seem like an essential, your baby’s hospital bed will look very empty without a friendly companion inside. Baby soft toys come in a wide range of different sizes so, if you’re tight on space, pick a smaller bear for this first important outing. Plus toys like this will also be great for your baby to snuggle up to at home (see more).
The soft toy you bring will also make a great prop for your baby’s first photo shoot. You know you and your family will want to capture a range of pictures of your new baby to share with friends and family and treasure forever.
Packing a few accessories and clothing with this in mind will certainly be a good idea.
Because new-born babies need to be kept warm and cosy, the temperatures on the labour ward are likely to be much hotter than you might expect. As a result, many mums report that the high temperatures left their lips feeling dry, chapped and irritated.
This constant irritation can be prevented by packing lip balm in your hospital bag. Ask your birthing partner to reapply this for you regularly to ensure that you can focus on the business of having a baby and not on any other issues.
Finally, if you are spending a day or two in hospital, you will make several trips to and from the toilet. To make these trips as easy and hygienic as possible, remember to keep a pair of flipflops in your hospital bag.
Waterproof, easy to slip on and off without bending over, and incredibly lightweight, flipflops are the perfect choice.
Flipflops help to keep off the floor and protected from germs. Easy to wear in the shower or for trips to the toilet, they also don’t take up much room in your bag. Plus, unlike slippers, flipflops are easy to thoroughly clean and disinfect once you get back home.