So your due date’s getting closer and, together with the little kicks you can feel in your tummy, you might be a mix of excited, scared, overwhelmed and apprehensive.
This is all totally normal. You’re preparing to welcome another member to your family.
But as you’d like all guests to feel welcome when visiting your home, you might wonder what exactly to pack and what you should do to make your little one feel welcome in this world once she’s born.
Here are some guidelines to follow from packing your hospital bag to bringing baby home for the first time.
Where to start
So before you go and buy every single baby grow you can find, start simple. Start by making a few lists of what everyone will need: you, your baby and your birthing partner.
This way, you can think carefully about what you’ll all need – and you’ll save a few euro.
Make sure you have two bags you can take with you to the hospital: one for labour and one for your stay in the hospital.
What you’ll need
Before, during and especially after birth you’d want to be as comfortable as possible. Here are a few things that might help with that:
- Your personal toiletries (shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush, etc) and a hairbrush. Remember to also pack some flip-flops to wear when you take a shower.
- A nightdress or pyjamas with a wide neck opening/buttons to allow easier breastfeeding and skin-to-skin with your baby
- A light dressing gown. You might not actually need this as the wards are generally warm, but you never know
- Non-slip slippers. You wouldn’t want to walk around in your socks making it easier for you to slip and fall
- At least one packet of maternity pads. You’ll be bleeding a lot more than usual, so be prepared
- Breast pads and a supporting maternity/nursing bra.
- Lip-balm for when your lips are dry while breastfeeding
- Two dark coloured towels for when you get out of the shower.
- Mobile phone and charger. Don’t worry about answering messages or calls. The phone is to keep you busy when you’re alone with the baby during skin-to-skin or breastfeeding. It’s also handy if you’d like to take some pictures of your new little one.
- Light snacks. You might get hungry between meals while breastfeeding
Things your baby might need
To prepare for your little one’s arrival, there are a few things to take with to the hospital:
- Six pre-washed baby grows (use a non-bio detergent) (https://www.babyelegance.ie/clothing/unisex/2pk-sleeper-one-solid-cream-one-cream-beige-stripes)
- Six pre-washed vests (https://www.babyelegance.ie/clothing/unisex/2pk-short-sleeve-vest)
- One pre-washed baby towel
- One cardigan (https://www.babyelegance.ie/clothing/unisex/baby-essentials-cotton-cardigan) and one hat (https://www.babyelegance.ie/clothing/unisex/hat-solid-cream)
- One packet of newborn sized nappies
- A packet of cotton wool balls
- Six baby bibs/dribblers (https://www.babyelegance.ie/clothing/unisex/2pk-bib-one-solid-cream-one-cream-beige-stripes)
- Two cotton cellular baby blankets (https://www.babyelegance.ie/bedding-bales/blankets-accessories/cellular-blanket-cot)
- Your baby’s first outfit in a plastic zip bag. It’ll be easy for your birthing partner to grab it after your little one’s born. (https://www.babyelegance.ie/clothing/unisex/bebe-2-piece-set-grey)
- Also be sure to pack something warm for your baby for when you’re finally going home.
For your birthing partner
Labour can be a loooong and boring session of waiting – if you’re not the one fighting through the pain, of course!
So be sure to pack the following things to keep your birthing partner busy while waiting:
- A phone charger
- Light snacks
- A toothbrush
- A spare T-shirt
- Some loose change, enough for the parking machines
- Something to read or watch to pass the time during quiet times
- A list of contact details of family and friends who will want to hear from you after the birth
Bringing baby home
The last day of waking up in the hospital might be one of the exciting times of becoming a mother because you can finally take your baby home and settle in.
But to do so, you’ll have to be prepared. A baby needs lots and lots of different things, so where do you start?
For starters, you can learn what things are essential and what are nice to have (https://www.babyelegance.ie/blog/newborn-baby-essentials-vs-nice-to-haves/) for your newborn.
Be sure to have the following ready:
- Car seat: It’s unlikely that the hospital will let you go home without one. The Maxi Cosi Cabriofix car seat (https://www.babyelegance.ie/travel/car-seats/maxi-cosi-cabriofix-car-seat-nomad-black) is the perfect car seat to take your little one home in.
- Cot and bedding: Your baby will need a place to sleep as she’ll be sleeping quite a lot during that first few weeks. A cot, like this Laba Cot (https://www.babyelegance.ie/nursery-furniture/cots/laba-cot-pine-1831) is the perfect one for your little one’s much-needed sleep. Make it cosy and warm with this eco pocket spring mattress (https://www.babyelegance.ie/mattresses/cot-bed/eco-pocket-sprung-mattress-cotbed), fitted sheets (https://www.babyelegance.ie/bedding-bales/sheets/cot-bed-fitted-sheet-jersey) and cellular blankets (https://www.babyelegance.ie/bedding-bales/blankets-accessories/cellular-blanket-cot).
- Pushchair: You’d want to maybe go out for a walk somewhere in that first few weeks to get some fresh air. This Mist Travel System (https://www.babyelegance.ie/travel/buggies-travel-systems/mist-travel-system) is the perfect system to get you and baby up and about.
- Nappy bag: Changing nappies can happen anywhere, any time. So be prepared with this beautiful Carry All Bag (https://www.babyelegance.ie/travel/accessories/carry-all-bag-coffee).
- Bath: At first you’ll be too scared to even try and wash your baby in a big bathtub, so opt for one that’s made especially for your newborn like this 100cm Bath With Stopper (https://www.babyelegance.ie/bathtime/bath-100cm-with-stopper) or this bath unit (https://www.babyelegance.ie/bathtime/bath-unit-grey-star) to keep all the bathing accessories close when your little one’s getting cleaned.
- Food: You’ll be too tired to cook during those first few weeks, so make sure you batch cook lots of meals and freeze them before your baby’s born. This’ll make it easier for you and your partner to still eat nutritious food without the hassle.
- Comfy corner: You’ll be spending a lot of time sitting or lying down, so make sure everything you need is where you’ll be most of the time. Get a small table next to the couch or bed where you’ll be breastfeeding and have skin-to-skin contact with baby. Always keep a bottle of water beside it, snacks easy to grab and a book or the TV remote to keep you busy while feeding. This is a lovely time to really bond with your baby. Make the most of it.