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Woman holds bump

Alex Gladwin, who blogs at Bump to Baby, tells us about what she packed in her hospital bag when she gave birth to her second child, Logan

Essentials for baby

“First off, nappies – you can’t get far without them after having a baby! I packed Tesco Loves Baby nappies in two sizes, both size 1 and size 2 as I wasn’t sure which size I would need because my first-born weighed a hefty 4.5kg.

“For cleaning my new baby’s bottom after nappy changes, I included trusty cotton wool balls too, which are particularly gentle against a newborn’s sensitive skin.

“I packed three sleep suits, three matching vests, bibs, hats for warmth, two muslin cloths for any spit-up and a coming home outfit. There was also a baby blanket plus scratch mittens so he wouldn’t accidentally scratch himself.”

Essentials for me

“Don’t forget your needs too! I packed my swimming costume, just in case I felt like using the birth pool during labour, and because you feel better once you’ve had a shower after natural labour, I put a shower cap into my toiletries bag, plus travel-sized Colgate toothpaste, and deodorant with my other bits. I also included maternity towels and breast pads – I used both of these after giving birth to my first baby, and they were great.

“For after the birth, I needed clothes that felt comfortable and were easy to take on and off. I packed a pair of cosy mule slippers, two maternity bras, a maxi dress and a black legging and baggy top combo.

“Hospital wards can get quite hot, especially in summer, so I chose nighties to sleep in, rather than pyjamas. For my first labour, I brought my dressing gown but didn’t bother with it this time. While it’s comfy, you don’t need it as the post-natal ward can get a bit stuffy. It also took up a lot of space in my bag.”

Snacks and pick-me-ups

“I chose these goodies as I knew they would improve the whole birthing or hospital experience – for example, my hot water bottle was there to help me beat back pain, which I’d experienced during my first labour. A hot water bottle laid against your lower back can really take the edge off your contractions. I also made sure I popped in my Vaseline Lip Therapy as your lips can get quite dry during and after labour.

“I also packed snacks and drinks. You never know how long labour will last so include more than you think you’ll need. I had a banana for me for slow release energy, plus Tesco Rich Tea Biscuits for my husband and I to snack on – I could always take any leftovers to the post-natal ward as supplies. To drink, we had Lucozade Energy and water from my Brita Fill and Go water bottle.

“I knew I’d feel hot in labour so packed a refreshing spray for my face and body. To wipe down the shower if I needed to, I had some cleaning wipes and once I was in there, I’d also wear flip flops too.

“For sentimental reasons, I included the same necklace I wore when I was in labour with my toddler (Ethan, who’s two).

“The rabbit and books were chosen as gifts to and from my baby and his big brother. It’s good to start that sibling relationship early…

“So there you have it – my hospital bag. Not quite the kitchen sink, but there are an awful lot of things to remember!”