One of the most important bags you’ll ever pack, it will sit by the door for weeks as you await the arrival of your new baby. There’s plenty of guides out there on the items you must include, yet we wanted to know, what are the things you’re most likely to forget or wish you had when the day arrives? To find out more, we asked our Mother&Baby mums to send in their forgotten essentials – some might surprise you!
- Ear plugs – If you’re kept in overnight with your new-born, you’ll soon experience the joy of a post-natal ward. Despite being exhausted, you’ll be surprised at how difficult you find it to sleep on a noisy ward.
- Comfy slippers – It’s normal to feel cold during labour and hospital staff will not be happy with you walking around in bare feet, so make sure you pack a pair of comfy slippers, even if you won’t wear them at home.
- Extra maternity pads – A common one mums mentioned, although most of you will already have these on your list, you might be surprised by how many you go through during labour itself, so pack some extra ones to get you home! When we asked Clemmie Hooper, midwife, mum of four and author of ‘How to Grow a Baby and Push It Out’ this question, she recommended mums looked for incontinence pants with a built in pad. Although they may make you feel like you’re wearing an adult nappy, they’re far comfier than pads and you can just throw them away.
- Snacks – Although you’ll be fed, it’s worth packing some extra snacks for both yourself and your birth partner. You don’t want them flagging when you need them most, and although most hospitals do have shops, they might not be open 24 hours. What’s more, a lot of mums said the last thing they felt like was hospital food and wished they had some more of their favourite snacks.
- Headphones – Most delivery rooms will have a CD player for your birth playlist, but it’s worth having a pair of headphones that will block out all the other noises around you.
- Dry shampoo – The one beauty product every new mum swears by; although you might not feel your best (or care how you look), clean feeling hair can always help.
- Spare nightwear – Giving birth is a messy experience. A lot of our mums wished they had an extra pair of pyjamas in their bags, for those last minute changes.
- Lip balm – Gas and air can make your lips feel super dry, so make sure you’ve got your favourite lip balm to hand.
- Chocolate – This is one of those moments where devouring chocolate is totally ok! By the looks of things, loads of you craved it and desperately wanted that sugar boost. What’s more, dark chocolate is packed with iron, so it’s a great way to increase your levels of this.
- Squash – Although you might not be allowed fizzy drinks, a lot of mums messaged us wishing they’d packed something to make the hospital water more bearable.
- A hand fan or face spray – Labour wards can be hot, so hand fans or cold flannels can really help make you feel more comfortable.
- A hairband – Loads of mums who got in touch wished they had something to scrape all the hair away from their face during labour. Dig out that wide headband you haven’t worn in years – you won’t regret it!
- A can of cold coffee – If you’ve been up all night with your new arrival, the wait for that morning trolley can feel like eternity.
- Mints – A lot of mums told us the gas and air left a horrible taste in their mouths, so a pack of polos could be a good addition to your hospital bag.
- Shampoo and conditioner – If you do get a chance to freshen up before going home, it’s always worth packing your own shampoo. One of our mums told us she sent her husband off to buy her some after realising she’d forgotten hers, when he came back with Dove exfoliator she was so desperate she used it anyway!
- A phone charger – You’ll be so busy taking photos of your new arrival and answering congratulation texts, you might not realise your phone is running low on charge. That said, a few of you recommended taking a camera as well, just in case the inevitable does happen!
Have we missed anything? Add your forgotten items to the comments below.