Baby // What's in my Hospital Bag with M&S* // AD

May 15, 2019

AD, this is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own // I don't think I understood the importance of packing a hospital bag until, of course, I was pregnant myself. But even then, for the first couple of trimesters I was really relaxed about it, it felt like such a long way off. All of a sudden, that time is now here! And a friend of mine recently went into labour over four weeks early, her biggest message in our pregnancy Whatsapp group is 'Pack your bag now ladies!'. You're actually meant to carry it around in the car with you, or at least have it prepared a good six weeks before. And so it becomes this really lovely ritual, part of the nesting process, of getting everything prepared, thinking ahead to the time when you'll give birth, what you'll need, for both you and the baby, with both the essentials to the little things that could make your hospital visit so much more comfortable, to save your partner from running out to the shops at that special time. I'm really grateful that M&S asked me to partner up with them on packing my hospital bag as apart from the pharmaceutical type products, they have everything you need in one place with a quality you can trust without being overpriced. Cute, super soft baby clothes, muslins, a dressing gown, maternity bras, even all of your skincare and beauty needs - M&S are your one stop shop. I'd love to show you what I'm packing today along with sharing some invaluable tips I've learned from friends who have given birth recently.

For the baby //

I don't know about you but I really love a new baby in plain white, all soft and pure looking. You definitely want really soft cotton for the newborn days especially and M&S have such a tried and tested range of muslins, sleepsuits and vests. For the baby, I've gone for;

- This cellular blanket that I thought was a good price for the size, and such a classic for covering a carseat with or covering a baby if it's chilly.

- This adorable Hello World bodysuit, super soft and made from organic cotton with built in scratch mitts. I'm planning on this being her first outfit, complete with...

- These little booties that come in a pack of two {just £3!}, for keeping tiny toes warm.

- You must pack a hat for when your baby is first born, I've gone for this simple pack of two, again all in organic cotton and just £3. The midwives will ask for one when the baby has just been born, so expect this to get a little messy, and then you'll want one for the going home outfit {even though our baby will be born in the summer when it's likely to be warm, new babies can struggle to regulate their temperature so a lot of midwives want them to be fairly wrapped up to start with}

- These muslins, that come in a pack of ten and are made from organic cotton. {I've since washed all of these so they're ready to go and they're completely transformed and got so much softer}. I've been told that you can never have enough!

- This pack of organic cotton sleepsuits, in newborn size. I like the fact that these have a coloured popper to tell you where to start {perfect for exhausted new parents who haven't had to dress many new babies before eek!}. As much as I adore cute baby clothes, I think for those first few days when they've just been born and they're all scrunched up, that you only want to dress them in white babygrows like these. Plus, you'll probably get through quite a few. 

- This pack of long sleeve bodysuits, in newborn size. Likewise for these long and short sleeve vests for easy dressing, that you can layer with.

- This pack of superfine short sleeve bodysuits, in newborn size. It's hard to know if we'll need short or long sleeve so I'm packing a bit of both!

We've also bought the M&S basics range in up to 1 month size so I might put a couple of these in just in case we have a big baby. Everyone says it's best to pack a couple of sizes.

Just so in love with the simplicity of this hello world outfit.

Not for my hospital bag but I couldn't resist adding in this little coral romper and knitted bear cardigan to the order for 0-3 months. M&S have some really beautiful baby/kids clothes. How adorable?!! 

- Nappies, we've gone for size one in various brands until we decide which we prefer {some I got given as samples at the baby show}.
- A big bag of cotton wool balls for their sensitive skin in the early days {you're advised to use this with warm water rather than wipes, although apparently midwives just recently have said that water wipes are almost as good as cotton wool so we'll pack both and see how we feel} and a little bowl for top and tailing. 
- Nappy Bags
- Pure Coconut Oil, I bought a small pot just in case of any dry patches on your baby's skin {and a little gross but the best tip I've heard is to use this for making cleaning that first tar like poo a little easier}.

// Beauty

You never know just how long you'd have to stay in hospital so I wanted to pack all of my toiletries just in case I want to shower/wash my hair whilst I'm there. Along with some essentials like a really good lip balm as your lips are meant to be dry after birth, a face mist to keep cool, moisturising creams for that dry hot hospital air and dry shampoo. I'm so impressed at the huge range of beauty brands that M&S stock, from the high end to the good value.

- I always go for an invisible dry shampoo, this one is perfect to last between washes. 

- Hand cream, probably a bit of a luxury, but might as well have one in my bag and I love this one for deep moisturisation {especially for all the hand washing with nappy changes}.

- Lipbalm, to soothe chapped lips during/post labour.

- Tangle Teezer hairbrush. The best hairbrush I've ever discovered and have used for years, in this pink version to make it easy to find in the bag.

- A moisturising, soothing day cream which is mostly natural ingredients {95%}.

- Make up micellar cleansing wipes, these feel really good on your skin and save the whole cleansing process for a couple of days.

- Shampoo & Conditioner if I have to stay in longer and need to wash my hair in hospital. I've gone for this Percy & Reed range that's not too big.

- An eye cream, to try and reduce those inevitable dark puffy circles - this one is really refreshing. I really love this natural brand called Skyn who I've just discovered recently.

- And this magic this works nap spray, to help with sleep in even the noisiest, most sterile environments {or for help napping pre baby!}, it smells SO good and is in a handy little mini two pack.

- An unscented perspirant deodorant, still need to track this down. Ideally if you're going to be breastfeeding you'll want as natural a deodorant as possible but equally I think you're likely to want to feel fresh and beat sweatiness after birth so it's finding the right one.

Then I'll have my make up bag to add in at the last minute and hair ties - both to tie my hair up and keep it out of my face during labour. Along with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

// For me

I'm a big fan of M&S' pure cotton range for their sleep/loungewear, in the summer especially - and in general for hot hospitals and during/after labour, you want to go for natural fibres only. 

- I've packed this pretty, strappy chemise which will be good for easy breastfeeding access 

- along with this comfy cotton long shirt, again feeding friendly, and long enough to wear on its own if you don't want to wear trousers underneath. 

- Plus this white cotton waffle gown for covering up with {I ummed and ahhed over choosing white and asked a few friends if it would really be that practical, but they all said that you wear such big knickers and maternity pads that white would be fine, plus it's nice and light for the summer}. So I've got these three choices for the hospital along with the early days at home where there will be midwives visiting regularly and I'm guessing I won't want to stray far from the sofa or bed.

- M&S have a pack of two maternity bras which a friend recommended, and they get really good reviews online so I've got those packed plus a pack of full cotton briefs.

Plus the unglamorous necessities like;
- Breast Pads 
- Maternity Pads and Adult Nappies, I've gone for a mix of both
- Nipple cream, choose one like Lanisoh which is safe for leaving on when feeding
- Spritz for Bitz {my friend gave me a bottle of this and it sounds amazing! I'll let you google it if you want to know more}.
- randomly, thick socks! Everybody says that your feet get cold in labour, I'm not sure if this applies to hot hospitals in summer? But will pack some socks just in case!

I found it so satisfying to tick everything off my list and get it all packed and ready last week.

// Snacks

are a must! To give you energy through labour, to have in your bag for longer hospital stays {especially for that post birth/breastfeeding hunger}, for your partner to keep their energy up, for your midwives, I've heard that you want to have a lot of snacks in your bag. And where better than M&S Food for yummy cookies, percy pigs, those tubs with mini flapjacks/cornflake bites, bags of nuts. I'm sure we'll have to keep restocking these on the lead up to labour haha but I'm aiming to have one bag that we don't touch in our bag until the event. 

I'm going to pack a couple of bottles of coconut water too and a few juice box cartons, a lot of people love lucozade/energy drinks but I'm not a fan but I thought that coconut water would be refreshing and hydrating with electrolytes. I think I'll also pack some vitamin c supplements and vitamins to give my body a boost after going through labour.

// General tips

- Get your partner to go through, or help pack, your hospital bag with you as they're likely to be the ones rummaging around for things during labour or after. 

- This clear bag set is fab for sectioning out different categories, I've used one for all the nappy changing things, one for all of my toiletries, and one for maternity pads/breast pads etc so that they're easy to find and you can see what you've got in there. Afterwards you can use them in your changing bag or for holiday cosmetics!

- Pack a couple of straws, either metal or paper, for sipping on water/drinks throughout labour. A lot of mum's have told me that they found it hard to hold a cup and drink when getting through contractions and a straw was their saviour. Take a water bottle that you can keep filled up.

- Take your own pillow into hospital with you. I think I'll have one in the car that we can get if we need it/I have to stay in. 

- Flipflops are a must, to navigate the hospital's showers. 

- Make sure you pack a phone charger/extra charging pack and any cameras you want to take those precious first photos. Perhaps add in headphones if you'll want to tune out and into your own space {or for watching films etc if you're induced and waiting for a long time!}

- Don't forget about your own clothes for leaving hospital, something as loose and comfy as possible. And maybe a spare pair of clothes for your partner unless they can pop home easily.

- Pack an eye mask if you want to try and sleep under the hospital lighting, and maybe add some earplugs. 

- A friend said it's a good idea to take in a specific laundry bag for ease of collecting up all the dirty clothes for both you and the baby.

- Don't forget your carseat! The hospital won't let you home without one. And ideally practice putting it in and out of the car before there's a baby in there.

- Your hospital notes will be a last minute add in, although you're advised to carry these with you during the last few weeks wherever you go. And include your birth preferences sheet and any hypnobirthing essentials if you're going down that road {for us it would be essential oils, a charged phone with the mp3s on and headphones}.

It's such a surreal yet crazy exciting time. And is definitely feeling very real now that my bag is all packed and ready to go. 

What would you add to this? Have I missed anything you thought was a must have?

R <3 xx 

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  1. Paper knickers for you! Just chuck the whole lot away, no washing required....


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