We found ourselves staying in hospital for just under a week following Mini’s arrival and while I had packed my hospital bag with the view to us only being in for a couple of days, there were a number of items that served us well throughout our stay that I thought would be worth sharing with you.
You may find that your hospital essentials differ slightly in design or taste but I think that overall, the items we found we needed (and which consequently became our hospital bag essentials) will be universal for all parents to be.
You’re provided with a hospital cellular blanket during your stay which allows greater air circulation around your baby but we also found that the soft texture of a fleece blanket helped soothe Mini. It’s also a good way of introducing new textures as the main way babies learn is through sensory experience.
The cloud blanket featured is from La Redoute (c/o) and fits perfectly with Mini’s nursery theme.
ASOS Nursing Essentials Hospital Bag
Having a newborn isn’t a walk in the park so anything you can do to make life easier for yourself is worth doing. Shopping for clothes was a task I found quite difficult whilst pregnant as so many of the maternity lines aren’t available to try in store (as mentioned in a previous post) so when I spotted the hospital bag set from ASOS that included most items I’d need to get me through a day or two post birth, I knew I had to have it.
The set periodically goes on sale so there’s often the chance to get it cheaper than full price and the drawstring bag was perfect for holding all of my clothes (making it easier for anyone else going through my bag to find what I needed).
The nightie from this set is my favourite piece of nursing nightwear and I hope that ASOS will add individual nightwear pieces of a similar cut and design to their wider offering – it’s really comfortable, a good thickness and gives me confidence when people are visiting even though I’m still effectively in my pjs.
My only criticism of the set is that the trousers were far too big for me in both width and height but the other items in the set ensure that it’s worth the overall price.
We decided long before Mini was born that he would be breastfed and we were unsure how much we’d need certain items as they tend to be synonymous with formula feeding. Bibs were one of those items and while we still bought quite a few, I was unsure as to how much we’d use them.
As it turned out, we had to feed Mini formula top ups whilst in hospital to help flush out a bout of jaundice and bibs were very much required (breastfed babies are fed formula via a cup rather than a bottle so that they don’t get nipple confusion and this can lead to a lot of dribbling).
I’d definitely recommend taking a few of your own whether you’re formula feeding or not.
Blankets and Beyond Swaddle
Hospital staff can be a tad iffy about promoting swaddling but if there was one thing that every midwife and hospital staff member commented on, it was our soft swaddle blanket with elephants design from Blankets & Beyond.
The swaddle blanket had been an impulse purchase from TK Maxx as it has a velcro fastening to keep baby in place and I thought that it would be perfect for newborn days as it’s a reasonable thickness. We tend to use the blanket between short periods of skin to skin contact where Mini is just in his nappy to ensure that his body temperature doesn’t drop too much.
A number of blogs and parenting websites already recommend snacks for during labour and whilst I wasn’t able to stomach them at that point, I definitely required snacks during the night throughout our stay. Breastfed babies tend to be awake quite a lot in the night, particularly when you are establishing feeding (though I anticipate this will continue for a while!) and as dinner is served at 5pm and breakfast at 8am, that’s quite a long window to go without sustenance.
I found myself turning to snacks such as yoghurt Go Ahead bars, chocolate covered raisins, bananas, cookies, flapjack and the like – pretty much anything I could eat one-handed to give me a short burst of energy. At home we’ve continued with much of the same but with less sugary snacks and more fruit filled ones.
Muslin cloths are one of the holy grail products in parenting – they’re reasonably low cost and you can use them in a number of ways. From swaddling and wiping up sick to helping remove excess lanolin cream from your finger after application, they’re there to help and are easily cleaned.
We bought a number of our muslin cloths from Primark with some from supermarkets such as Aldi and Morrisons too so if you’re looking for nice and affordable options, I’d definitely recommend taking a look at their selections. Most are gender neutral too.
Not all hospital beds have hand sanitiser attached to the end of the bed and after nappy changes, you want to feel clean even if you’re not very mobile because you’re feeling pretty tender post labour. Travel size antibacterial hand sanitiser is the perfect solution – it won’t take up half of your hospital bag and it gives peace of mind that you’re being as sanitised as possible around your newborn – even if they require almost constant attention.
HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream
Most recommend application before and after each feed so you’re left feeling like you should have bought shares in the company with how fast it feels as though you’re going through it. However, it’s a price worh paying as it really does help with the discomfort and sores created by a bad latch.