It really isn’t all Princess Kate when leaving the hospital and posing for photos at the hospital door. I should know as I have done it twice, with bad hair and less than glamorous outfits. My sister in law is due to give birth soon in February and asked me what she needs to take to the hospital. Because she likes lists like me, she also asked what she needs at home for the baby, which I’ll be sharing in another blog post.
Thinking back on baby one – we spent a fortune on things we didn’t use, because we thought we needed it (well if they sell it then you must need it right?). The biggest waste of a purchase was a R3 000 pink bath that had a thermometer and a scale built into it. This just blew my mind and my must have every gizmo husband just had to have it. Well after the purchase we discovered that for about R100 we could make the exact same contraption (1 x plastic baby bath, 1 x thermometer,1 x roll of gaffer tape to stick the thermometer to the inside of the bath, and a small baking scale next to the bath to measure baby before bathing. Voila ….. your home made fancy baby bath on a budget. Admittedly not as nice looking but does the job! Seriously though, there is something about being a first time mom and making all these emotional purchases because you think you have to get the best of everything.
Here is a very honest account of what one really needs.
- Maternity pads: I call these pool lilos (they are so big you could float on them and can even be used at home to baby proof sharp corners)
- Maternity mesh panties: super sexy to hold those super lilos in. Your husband always wanted to see you in fishnets …
- Linen savers: to save your linen from blood and fluid discharge
- A nightie or PJs that open in the front for feeding and skin-to-skin contact
- Slip slops for hospital shower
- Loose pants for going home (no buttons or zips to catch your skin)
- Contact lenses and glasses
- Tissues to wipe away tears of joy and often of bewilderment and exhaustion
- Phone charger
- Birth Plan: inform your doctors and hospital beforehand what you expect from the delivery
- Deodorant and perfume is not recommended as you want your baby to “lock” onto your natural mommy smell
- Certified Copies of parents ID’s and marriage certificate (if applicable)
- A feeding pillow/donut/boppy if you have, as it makes feeding very easy, but the pillows on the bed will do just as well.
- Make up: so you can feel your best for the photos.
- Chewing gum: nothing worse than someone in your face cooing at your baby and you feel self conscious about your bad breath and your only responses can be a smile or a shake of the head so that you don’t have to open your mouth and scare away your visitor
- Nipple cream
- Body cream and body oil to help with lessening stretch marks and softening skin (but don’t apply to your breasts and around your chest area as you want baby to soak your natural smell all up)
- Plastic bags to put your wet or blood stained dirty clothes into – yes it will happen!
- Bottles of water: due to hormones, medicines, milk production and a complete body shock you will be so thirsty. Ask a family member to bring you at least 2 litres every day. Trust me … you will be very grateful that I told you to!
- Flat shoes (we don’t want you tumbling over during your glory walk out of the hospital with baby in arms).
- Breast feeding shawl for privacy.
- Formula and bottles if you prefer to use your own.
- A well marked empty ice cream container, a human tissue form and an affidavit from a police station if you want to keep your placenta and take it away with you for whatever personal reason. Mine from baby 2 is still sitting in the bottom of my freezer – I’m hoping that no one will open it thinking it is food!
- Wet wipes
- 6 vests long sleeve and 6 x short sleeved
- 6 baby gro (depending on how many nights you are there. Ask if your hospital provides outfits and linen during your stay)
- Soft facecloths for baby
- Blankets for baby
- Linen savers to change baby on
- Swaddling blankets: these are great for the first few weeks especially if your baby is easily startled and unsettled.
- Baby cosy hat and socks
- Small pack of nappies
- Wet wipes to wipe baby’s bum area or cotton wool and warm water which I prefer to clean away poo and wee as it us more natural in the early days.
- Surgical spirits or wicasin powder
- Remember that you want to keep things as natural as possible on baby for the first few days and weeks.
- Car seat fitted already – nothing worse than trying to install the seat for the first time at the hospital, because those things often require a Ph.D. to install and you can’t be dealing with that with your newborn.
- Pretty and sexy underwear and nighties (you are going to want practical here)
- magazines as you won’t even get a chance to read
- your inhibitions and dignity – remember doctors and nurses have seen it ALL before