2boys1mum: Packing Your Hospital Bag

Today’s guest blogger is Amy who blogs at 2boys1mum. Here she talks about how she took a different approach to what she packed in preparation for her second labour.
As my second baby’s arrival looms, I have been reminiscing about all the preparations I was doing this time last pregnancy. I’m currently 33 weeks and have done very little preparation for Boy2. Specifically I bought a shiny new double buggy, pushed it about a bit, then chucked it in the shed!
By this point in my first pregnancy I had decorated a nursery, bought, washed and packed away 17,000 white baby grows and had a moses basket ready by my bed. I had already packed my hospital bags and put them by the door (Who am I kidding? I’d had them there since about 24 weeks!)
This is what I remember packing for the birth first time round:
Clothes for me
                 A​ brand new red tankini (inspired by that amazing woman on One Born Every 
                          Minute who practically sighed her baby out in a birth pool looking spectacular in a 
                          red bikini).
A ‘nightie’ – an item of nightwear I hadn’t worn since the age of around 4 but I decided would be absolutely essential in labour.
​​​A large shirt – to wear while breastfeeding after the birth
​​​Maternity tracksuit bottoms – for general chilling.
​​​A few pairs of knickers and a spare pair of socks
​​​A hairband to keep the hair off my ‘gently glowing’ face in the pool.
Clothes for the baby 
                  ​3 white vests
​​​3 neutral onesies
​​​3 hats
         3 pairs baby socks
         3 pairs mittens
         2 jumpers
         1 coat
         3 blankets
Food stuff.​8 bottles of isotonic sports drinks (“it’s a marathon not a sprint”)
​​​4 bottles of Sprite
​​​3 ‘sharing’ size bags of Haribo (to keep energy levels up)
​​​2 packets of Tracker bars
​​​Straws (for sipping my sports drink whilst reclining in the birth pool!)
Other essentials​A fan (for my husband to fan me with whilst reclining in birth pool with sports drinks!)
A can of ‘spray coolant’ (y’know the type you used to get on holiday and spray all over your face to cool you down in the car)
​​​A stress ball (hahahaha! No really, I honestly packed a stress ball…)
​​​A cuddly toy for the baby
​​​Nappies, cotton wool, olive oil.
​​​Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shower gel, shampoo, hairbrush
Make up (I very rarely wear make up on a normal day, I have no idea what made me think I’d wear it after/during labour!)​
​​​Ipod dock for playing relaxing tunes
It turns out I’d over prepared! I estimate that I used less than 5% of the stuff I packed. My labour was quick (well the bit in hospital was anyway) and once they’d plonked him on my tummy, we cuddled him for a few hours, popped him in one of his onesies and went home! There was no time to show off my ‘labour bikini’ and my freshly pedicured toes didn’t get close to the birth pool. For me was a sprint, not a marathon and there was no need for refuelling with tropical isotonic juice!
I was going to finish this post with a concise, helpful “this is all you need to pack” list, but I’ve realised that I have no right to tell anyone how to prepare for their baby. Every woman, baby and labour are different and there’s no way of knowing what you’ll need or want with you on the big day (or days!)There are hundreds of lists online that will tell you everything you could possibly ever need, and more.
If you need to pack everything but the kitchen sink, do it. It worked for me, the more I packed the more prepared I felt. If, however, you prefer to ‘wing it’, just chuck a toothbrush and a couple of baby grows in your handbag and that’s fine too!You’re only going to hospital (probably one quite near your home) and you may only be there a few hours. If you need to stay longer and you run out of baby clothes you can always call your Mum/friend/neighbour and ask them to bring emergency onesies instead of flowers when they visit.
Here’s my only piece of parenting advice: do it your way. You might (no, actually you will) get it wrong some of the time but so has everyone else who is giving you advice. The best bits of parenting are the bits you’ve worked out for yourself, not the bits you try because your friend/a blogger/your NCT teacher/babycentre told you it’d work.
Pack a bag, don’t pack a bag… Baby’s coming either way!
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