Even though I'm planing a home birth this time round, it is still advisable to have a 'hospital' bag packed.
One, on the off chance you actually have to go into the hospital.
And Two, so that everything you need is easily accessible and you're not having to direct your midwife/ partner/ friend to the second drawer on the left to find the baby a vest or you a pair of pants.
Two is especially important for me, as my husband can't seem to find anything, even when it's directly in-front of him.
I'll give you a laugh for an example; last night while I was doing bed time, Daithí escaped and walked into Shane in our bed room calling 'Dad, Dad, Dad'. I called in, 'Shane, can you grab Daithí there please', his response 'yeah, where is he?', (?!$%^*) Seriously? He's at the foot of the bed you're currently sitting on!
Anyway, you'd image packing my 3rd hospital bag, I'd be a dab hand, but I'm still learning.
This is what I've included this time.
I used my Yummy Mummy Changing Bag
15 newborn nappies (Aldi Mamia)
Cotton Pads (in a lunch box, ready for water to be added) I't's advised not to use anything other than cotton wool and water on a baby for the first 6 months of their lives, as their skin is too delicate and sensitive. Even products that say 'from birth' contain chemicals that are just not necessary, and can cause nappy rash. It's also cheaper!!)
5 Burp Cloths (I found these in Dunnes on Daithí, I don't know what they're technically called, but I love them! Perfect for covering the top of your boob while feeding for a little bit of modesty, super soft for wiping milk off babies face, and just the right size to put on your shoulder while burping)
5 Small Muslin Squares
1 Large Muslin Square
3 outfits (vest, baby-grow, cardigan) wrapped in individual sandwich bags. This is something I read recently, and went to repack my bag to do. It keeps the vest, baby grow, cardigan and hat all together, so that whoever is with you, can take a bag, and everything is in it ready to go.
Especially important for us, see point two above.
A little side note about scratch mittens, I wouldn't bother. Most, if not all first size baby grows have built in scratch mittens that fold down over the hands, so no faffing about trying to keep them on.
Also remember, babies are NOT meant to wear puffy jackets/ snow suits in the car. Even if you're having your baby in the middle of winter, layers of clothes and blankets are better than big jump suit. Yes they look adorable, but they're not safe for the car.
I used a small, carry-on size suitcase
1 Water Bottle (one with a sports cap, this was my only form of pain relief on Fionn, as the Gas&Air made me feel sick, the cold water was amazing!)
1 Bath Towel (Dark Brown)
1 Hand Towel (Dark Brown)
4 Face Clothes (two different colours, for your face, and for your foof!)
1 Pack of Big Pants (I just bought cheap ones that can be thrown out rather than the awful disposable ones)
Sanitary Pads (Always NightTime are the best I've found)
Breast Pads (Even if you're not planning on feeding, you'll need some for when your milk comes in)
2 String Tops (I wear a H&M Nursing Top, day and night, they offer a little support without a bra, so welcome when your milk comes in and you feel like a block of cheese!)
1 Night Dress
1 Wrap Around Cardigan (rather than a bulky dressing gown, maternity hospitals are HOTT)
1 Pair of comfy Pjs (Pennys/Primark, Navy and Disposable)
1 Pair Maternity Jeans, 1 Feeding Bra, 1 Nursing/Maternity Top, 1 Hoodie (You may not even want to get dressed going home, but don't for a second think you'll fit back into anything pre-pregnancy, I was horrified to learn you leave the hospital just as swollen and bloated as you went in! So pack a going home outfit for comfort)
A Wash Bag Containing
Cotton Pads, Cleanser, Eye Cream, Moisturizer, Cotton Buds
Tooth-brush & Toothpaste
Dry Shampoo, Hair Brush, Bobbins, Clips, Hair-Band
Other things I plan on bringing, but wont be packed, as I'm using them daily are;
Pregnancy Notes & 'Plan B' - My not a birth plan one sheet, outlining a few things I'd like to keep inmind.
Birth Ball (Most hospitals have their own, but I'm an abnormally tall person, so need my giant one)
Pregnancy Pillow (Hopefully I wont be in for long enough to need it to get comfortable, but decent pillows are a rare commodity on a labour/ post labour ward)
(Is yet to be packed, although I've left instructions, so will probably be an Asda carrier bag, if it gets packed at all)
1 Boxers & Socks
Toothbrush & Deodorant
Pj Bottoms (Our hospital has just introduced a Mum+1 policy, meaning Dads can stay over, so something more comfortable than his usual Jeans may be necessary)
Hypno-birth scripts & Music
Water and Snacks (Shane left while I was in labour on Daithí to get a pizza, that was when things started going wrong, bleeding, low blood pressure, etc. I lost control of my head. He's been warned he's not leaving me by myself this time)
Obviously, everyone will have their own priorities when it comes to what they want/ need to bring. This is just what I know I'll need from experience.