So here’s the story behind my beloved hospital bag. I put it together way before I needed it. I planned for it even earlier.
Amongst my friends, there were three of us, expecting with due dates only couple of weeks apart each. Everyone thinks I’m super organised, Type-A, Wonder Woman kind of a pregnant woman. No. I’m lazy as hell. What they didn’t know was that as I approached week 30, all 20 million pregnancy tracking apps of mine (will write about them shortly. Watch this space!) started prompting me on a daily basis to prepare my hospital bag. Halfway through my morning cereal (yes. I had cereal after at least 22 years. Pregnancy limited food for me. Another upcoming post. Watch. Space.), midway to the end of my favourite TV serial, bang in the middle of my mid morning nap. All the frikkin time. So technically I was bullied into putting it together and boy did it pay up or what!
After being harrowed for around a week or so, I started my quest to put together the holy bag. Let’s step back a bit. So even before the prompts, (I admit) I did think about the hospital bag. Okay. A lot. Okay plenty of Pinterest searches. I promise I’m lazy! Hear me out. It was more like reclining and chomping on a big bag of cheetos while watching Jane Fonda exercise videos end to end. You get it right? It was the apps that actually pushed my bum or the house to execute it but yeah, I had researched.
Let me recall and put together the list of things I got and whether or not I used them.
1. (Lovely) Silk Robe for covering up.
Please get one. Please use it. I was in too much pain and in a FTW mode and it is still hanging in my closet with the tag on. It was lovely and where I don’t regret not having used it, because that’s a time of a lot of physical changes, discomfort and emotional upheaval and mama needs to do mama, it would be nice to get some pictures taken in it with your brand new tiny.
I got a cherry flavoured Lobello and it graduated from the hospital bag to my baby’s nappy bag. I swear by it. Great decision. Always have one handy. It was a heaven sent when you are just so chapped and don’t feel like drinking water every 20 seconds because the bathroom seems to be across rivers of fire. Yeah. You’re not really in the mood for a stroll after being cut up or pushing a baby out.
3. Newborn sized Pampers
Okay so this one I was initially very lost on. I remember staring into thin air, standing in the middle of the pampers aisle. There are gazillion different types and you really have to scrunch up your eyes to read the differentials. I just went by whichever one was least complicated in terms of added niceties (least additional chemical exposure to the baby’s bottom!) and a reliable brand. I chose the premium ones by Pampers itself. The white packs. We still stick to the same type, just in a larger size. Down the road we did try the green ones but it didn’t quite cut it. So yes. White. Premium. Newborn (Size 1) you might still have to fold them in the beginning like we did but hey the hey. Babies grow fast. I promise.
4. Newborn Clothes
So you will need something cutesier for them to wear immediately because everyone will be taking pictures like cameras are about to go out of fashion. Including yourself. Also because new baby- cutest thing ever so yeah. Cute outfit- check! You will also need a set of clothes for them to come home in. Depending on number of days you are to stay at the hospital, you keep a change of clothes per day plus two more because bodily fluids tend to flow rathe liberally with a newborn. Also, keep in mind the weather? Mine was a summer baby so there wasn’t too much to lug. A cotton cap and onesies were enough but for cooler weather, bring layers and the works. Essential.
5. Coconut oil
I bought this to wipe her bum with. It ended up in the kitchen for our beloved turmeric smoothies. Never made it to the tush. Reason? Too complicated. We used cotton wool and water and almost four months down, still sticking to that. Not a single rash, knock on wood.
6. Cotton balls/ pads
I got the ones available at Tesco, the balls that unravel into long strips. They are simply the best. I still stick to those but also great are ones from the beauty section at the stores, which you use to remove make up? Best decision ever. They are already in separate unit (you aren’t tugging at a giant cotton roll to pull out a chunk with a crying baby by your side) and hygienic because they’re meant for your face. Tesco ones are for babies so yes, safe nevertheless.
7. Nappy bags
Biodegradable plastic bags (scented or unscented) for wrapping used nappies before discarding them. I’m glad I got these. Tesco again but get any other brands would do. There’s one called Cool & Cool. I saw plenty of those around too.
Hospitals might not give you the best covered waste bins since they probably have to double as being used as hurling bins in times of emergency (my own theory’s all mine. Please ignore). I just felt comfortable that my baby’s precious poop is safe from the big bad world out there. Okay fine. The other way round! Hmmph.
8. Hand lotion
I got a nice one by Vaseline. Never used it. Still haven’t used it. It is now in our nappy bag. Not because it’s useless. Only because one tends to forget their hands are dry when one is dealing with C section stitches and breastfeeeding terrors. Hand lotion is the last thing on your mind. Still keep it. I don’t regret having kept it.
9. Baby Cotton buds
I got mine from Tesco but there are that Cool&Cool brand and Juniors at the Baby shop. These are funny shaped Q tips with a scrunched tip. Great to clean tiny nosies and ears. Not to forget, the buccal cavity. Still on our bedside. (We are on Box 3!)
10. Lansinho nipple cream
You’ll need industrial amounts of these. Stock up. Just trust me and take a tube or two
11. Barrier cream.
Great to avoid nappy rash in a brand new chica (or Chico). Always. Always. Awlways use a barrier cream. We have an array of brands of barrier creams at hand. From Burts Bees, to Neal’s Yard, to Mustela to Desitin. You can’t ever have enough of this goo. I hoard. So I have supplies that’ll last mine till she’s 18. It might work as sunscreen? No? Okay sorry.
12. Tooth brush tooth paste Shampoo Conditioner Bodywash Gel Loofah.
Yup. That’s my Mary Poppins word. I bunched them up together because they’re toiletries for mama. Add in a roll on deodorant too. You will need to take a shower starting Day 2 and it’s nice to have your own stuff reminding you of pain-free, opulent days. Even if it is for a few minutes. It helps.
Also I am a bit picky about the products I use. Showers and baths are my solace.
13. Maternity Pads
Okay the hospital will give you giant ones butbdo take some yourself. Get ones with the sticky back side. It really helps keep things in place because the nurses stuff up to four pads in one go (yes you need them all!) and they have no way to stick to your panties, they only have loops, God alone knows what for. So yes. Take maternity pads. I got mine from Mothercare.
14. Baby shampoo and bodywash
I got mine from Aleva Naturals. We also have one from Neal’s Yard but that was a giant One Litre bottle I didn’t want to lug all the way to the hospital. Aleva has a nice handy bottle with soft foam and it’s just very nice. Get it. They dondoorstep delivery in Pakistan.
15. Baby body sponge.
I think I’ll use them to paint or something. We were forbidden to use any by the nursery folks at the hospital. Apparently sponges are prone to housing bacteria and are a no no. Use cotton wool for sponge baths for the baby. That’s it.
16. Nursing bras and a change of clothes.
I stayed in the hospital for a few days post op so I got a few changes. Depends on how long you stay. Get your own clothes. You’ll want to get out of those hospital gowns at the earliest.
Get something that is two piece (because it’ll help when you need to nurse) with an elastic band at the waist (because your abdomen is most likely a war zone, either with C section stitches or uterus contractions or both.)
17. A warm shawl
Yeah. I took one even though we were in May and it was HOT! Never used it so I’d skip it if I had to do it again.
18. A makeup bag with bare minimum.
Concealer, eye liner, rouge and a nice lippy. You’re my hero if you use it at all. I was too engaged in breastfeeding, aching stitches and other mundanes to think of looking good. Wish I was half pushed. Sigh.
19. A bag of goodies for whoever gets stuck with you overnight.
Tooth brush, deodorant, a change of clothes, a light blanky, something to read and some snacks. I was forced to leave the snacks at home because everyone thought I was overdoing it. Fast forward an hour after my surgery, I was sitting in bed making calls to food delivery for the clan.