I have never done this before. This is my first baby so if you think my packing is over the top, remember that I have no idea what to expect. I’m an over the top packer at the best of times as I like to be prepared for all eventualities.
I have spent a lot of time online researching this but because everybody seems to pack something different, my list of things I need to bring has become incredibly long as I have added all of the other lists I have read together. I may do a follow up about all the silly things I brought that I really didn’t need in the first place to warn other first time mothers. Or perhaps I’ll follow up with a ton more bits I wish I had packed!
I first packed my bags at about 24 weeks (they advise that you have them packed by 30) but I have been putting things in, taking things out and going back over things ever since!
Firstly I have two bags which seems to be generally recommended. One is for the pre-labour ward and hospital stay while the other is to bring with me into the delivery suite while I am actually giving birth.
The one to use while I’m giving birth is from a Soap & Glory Christmas set a few years back. I have never actually used it for anything before but I always knew it would come in handy as a sort of vanity bag at some stage. (Rationalising like that is how you get on your way to a successful career in hoarding).
The first thing in this bag is a plain black t-shirt. An old t-shirt or nightdress is recommended to wear while pushing the baby out. This is one I got for free from an old job of mine a few years back and I only ever wear it to bed. It’s old, it’s dark and I don’t mind throwing it out afterwards. It’s also the softest material ever so comfortable AND practical. It was a no-brainer.
I threw in a pair of cosy socks from Penneys (Primark) as people claim your feet can get cold in labour. These come in a three pack and only cost a few euro. I actually got mine as part of a Kris Kindle present from a girl in work so thanks Karen!
I added a pair of slippers for walking around the hospital in. These were a Christmas gift from my sister and came with a matching leopardprint mug. (Very on-brand for me) and I picked up this black kimono from the Lidl Esmara range. I think it cost about fifteen quid. It is the first thing I actually bought specifically for the hospital and perhaps I won’t get much use out of it in there but it is something I will definitely wear again. My cousin had a baby recently and when we went to visit her, it was insanely hot in the ward so I wanted the lightest, flimsiest dressing gown I could find, just in case I wanted to throw something over me to go to the toilet or something – and again, black is always good because who knows what kind of things you might be leaking afterwards!
I packed some Water Wipes (€3.49 for 60 wipes from Boots) in case I happen to be wearing makeup when I get to the hospital and want to get it off me before I sweat it off me, or just because they might feel nice on the back of my neck if I get too hot. They also double up as something I can use on the baby afterwards.
I have a Vichy Eau Thermale water spray (€9.99 from Boots), also to cool me down. I got mine as part of a skin care set I received as a Christmas gift.
An addition I’m not so sure about is a bottle of Lucozade Sport – I saw quite a few people recommend this to sip on to keep your energy up but have heard conflicting reports about whether or not it’s allowed so this might not get any use while I’m in labour but I can always have it afterwards if I want. I’m sure somebody can grab me some water if I would rather that instead.
I packed some hair bobbins and pins because I hear labour is pretty hard work and one of the first things to stress me out when I’m trying to do something/getting too warm etc. is my hair getting in my face!
A lot of people have recommended to pack a lip balm and I rarely go anywhere without one so I chucked one in. This The Body Shop Coconut Lip Butter (€6.50 for 10ml from TBS) is something else I got in a Christmas set (Seriously, shop your stash! I found so many things.)
And of course, a phone charger so we can keep family updated on the progress and take approximately one thousand photographs of our daughter once she is born.
The final item in this bag is her first outfit. I packed all of her outfits into individual ziploc bags as I saw a lot of people recommend this. This includes a nappy, a short sleeve baby gro (This unicorn one is from a set I picked up in TK Maxx), a long sleeve baby gro (a gift that came in a set from Next), a hoodie (from H&M), a bib (also from a set although I can’t remember from where, this kid has so many clothes already!), a pair of socks (a gift that came in a set from Penneys), scratch mitts (a gift that came in a set from Dunnes Stores), a hat that came in that same set and a hair bow from Wish.com. Both baby grows are newborn first size which goes up to 7.5lbs so let’s hope she isn’t any bigger than that!
Okay, completely overzealous I know! My thinking is thus: the long sleeved baby grow is complete with feet and hands attached rendering the socks, mitts etc. pointless but if it is cold, I can layer it over the short sleeve and if it is warm, I can put the short sleeve on her by itself but add the socks/mitts/hat if necessary. Having two headwear options is also ridiculous but hey, someone has to think of the cute pictures!
My bag – or should I say suitcase – for the pre-labour ward and hospital stay is just a small cabin bag size case I borrowed from my mother. No glamour here. This is surprisingly full. I ended up emptying some bits out of it because I couldn’t get it to close but my family will be in and out to visit so if I’m stuck for something, I’ll be able to get someone to bring it in for me.
For showering, I have a black towel. Again, dark colours were advised by everybody. I have heard a lot of people recommending to pack two but I simply didn’t have the space.
I threw in a pair of old flip flops to wear in the shower and I picked up a mini Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo and Conditioner (€3.49 each from Boots) as well as a mini Batiste Blush Dry Shampoo (€3.49 from Boots although that and the Aussie bits were 3 for 2). I hate washing my hair at the best of times so if I can get away with dry shampoo and a hun bun, I’ll do it for as long as possible but obviously this will depend on how long my hospital stay is.
Toiletries-wise, I have a Champneys Shower Scrub and Shower Gel that came in – you guessed it – a Christmas gift set.
I have a sample of Dermalogica Precleanse that I found in my stash. I like it because it is really oily so if I happen to be wearing waterproof eyeliner the day I’m admitted, this will do the job of getting it all off.
The Dermalogica bottle is actually filled with Vichy Purete Thermale 3-in-1 One Step Cleanser which I decanted from a larger bottle (€14.99 for 200ml full size from Boots) and I threw in both the Vichy Aqualia Dynamic Hydration Light Cream (€22.99 for 50ml full size from Boots) and Night Spa Thermal Cream minis (€27.99 for 75ml full size from Boots). I decided to pack both because they’re tiny so take up no room and my skin has been so all over the place that I have no idea what it will need. All of the Vichy bits came in the same gift set I received the Thermal Water in.
Finally I have some cotton pads and a Mitchum Powder Fresh Roll On Deodorant (€3.99 from Boots) as it is my favourite scent (like baby powder!) and I presume we shouldn’t be spraying antiperspirants in a room full of newborn babies.
In the clothing category, I have two maternity pyjama bottoms in dark colours (both were about €7 as far as I can recall from Penneys) and two maternity strap tops (the set of two was I think about €15 in Penneys) to wear as pyjamas. The tops open for breastfeeding. Many people recommend nightdresses with buttons but I’m not a nightdress kind of person and once I can pop a boob out the top, that’s all that matters.
I packed a maternity bra because that is something else that is on every list I have seen but if I’m in pyjamas, I doubt I will be wearing a bra!
I packed a four pack of the biggest knickers I could find (€3.50 for 4 pack from Penneys) with the intention of throwing them out afterwards. This seemed to be recommended by a lot of people.
I also have a 20 pack of maternity towels (These were a few euro in Tesco). I forgot to mention that I packed one pair of pants and one maternity towel in my labour ward bag for immediately after the birth.
Something I saw crop up quite a bit was a notebook and pen to keep track of feeds and nappies. Obviously this could be done in my phone but I am kind of old fashioned and prefer to write things down. Both are from a Bioderma event I attended a few years ago that I happened to find in my bedroom.
I picked up two crossword books to keep myself occupied (as if I would get bored looking at my baby but hey, you never know!)
Some miscellaneous things that I know I need to bring but know nothing about are breast pads (these were in a giant hamper we received from my husband’s aunt), Multi-Mam Nipple Balm (€9.99 from Boots), Multi-Mam Compresses (a sample I received at the Pregnancy Fair that I thought I’d throw in to see if it’s any good), Nelsons Arnica Tablets (Pretty sure these were €6.99 in Boots but I can’t find them online) which are said to be good for healing after the birth and a bin bag for throwing my dirty washing into.
The fun thing I have packed is my makeup bag. I have had family laugh at me and roll their eyes. ‘Typical Dani wants to wear makeup while giving birth’. Well, not necessarily while giving birth but I know there is going to be a hell of a lot of photographs taken when my family visit me and the baby after she’s born and I want to look back and love those photos, not cringe at the state of me! And yes, I’ve packed a full bag. If the baby sleeps a lot (here’s hoping) I could be bored and fancy doing a full face. Chances are I’ll throw on the bare minimum just so I don’t resemble a corpse but at least I’ll have the option!
I have packed all my favourites; Make Up For Ever Step 1 Smoothing Primer, Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation in Vanilla, MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC15, RCMA No Colour Loose Powder (Decanted into the Kat Von D Powder Tub), MAC Select Sheer Pressed Powder in NW20 (not my perfect shade but it’s what I have at the moment), MAC Groundwork Paint Pot (to contour), Urban Decay Beached Bronzer in Sunkissed, MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul, Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal, Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette (full of my favourite shades and a giant mirror), MAC Pro Longwear Eye Pencil in Engraved, Inglot Eyeliner Gel in 77, Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper, Penneys Eyelash Curler, Urban Decay Perversion Mascara, Mac Eye Brows in Stud, MAC Pro Longwear Brow Set in Bold Brunette, MAC Lip Pencil in Spice (that I can wear with lip balm for a natural look) and MAC Retro Matte Metallic Liquid Lipstick in Gemz n Roses.
This makeup bag is currently living on my vanity so I can still use everything but it is ready to go when the time comes. I also have a tube of my favourite makeup brushes out that can be chucked in my bag also. Obviously they could do with a wash first.
Other things I have yet to pack are my toothbrush, toothpaste and hair brush as obviously I use them daily. If I go into labour at home, hopefully I’ll have time to throw them in my bag before leaving the house. If not, obviously I’ll get someone to bring them into me.
For the baby, I have an additional five outfits which again seems excessive but hey babies are known to be dirty things so she may need to be changed several times. I packed two more newborn outfits for babies under 7.5lbs and three newborn outfits for babies under 10lbs. I was 9lbs 9oz when I was born so I live in constant fear that she is going to be a little chub monster. I have organised her outfits at home by size so again, if I really need some more or she doesn’t fit either, I can ask someone at home to grab some bits for me.
The first baby outfit that I packed in my labour ward bag contains the most and the rest of the bags are not so full. The others each include; a nappy, a short sleeved baby gro, a long sleeve baby gro, a bib and a pair of socks. Every second bag contains a hat or pair of scratch mitts as she obviously won’t need a new one every day (if it all) and I can obviously mix and match between them. The hoodie I packed in the first bag can be used if necessary with any other outfit.
Also for the baby, I have a pink cellular baby blanket (unpictured), two hooded baby towels, two muslin cloths (which everyone swears to me are lifesavers) and extra nappies (€2.49 for 44, Newborn Size 2, from Aldi). I think all of those bits were picked up by my mam during the Lidl or Aldi baby event so I have no idea of prices and I’m pretty sure they’re no longer available.
In the line of baby essentials, I have Mamia Nappy Sacks (less than €1 from Aldi), Sudocrem (two samples I received at the Pregnancy Fair), Baby Essentials Cotton Wool Balls (around €2 in Boots) and PS Hand Sanitiser (€1.50 in Penneys). I also have that packet of Water Wipes from my labour ward bag! Again, these were all things I read about but have no idea if I will actually require all of them.
I have heard that packing a bag for daddy is the done thing but he has insisted that he will take care of himself so I’m not arguing. I also have a going-home bag packed with just a baby blanket, outfit for me and outfit for her that he can bring in on the day we’re discharged.
I feel like I have severely overpacked but I guess everybody’s situation is different. You never know what could happen and how many days you will be in hospital for or what size the baby is going to be, and I’m the type of person who likes to be prepared for all possibilities, so we’ll just have to wait and see what actually gets used.
I’m reluctant to ask for recommendations if you think there is something I’m severely missing as I really don’t think I can squeeze anything else in but do let me know. If you have kids, what was your experience like with your hospital bag? Is there anything you wished you had or anything that you really didn’t need?
Nothing to declare. All of the products were bought with my own money or gifted to me by friends and family as stated. No affiliate links were used.