We are down to single digits with only weeks to go. I'm feeling both ecstatic and extremely nervous about our pending arrival.
We are down to single digits with only weeks to go. I'm feeling both ecstatic and extremely nervous about our pending arrival. Routine will be out the window for weeks, maybe even months but sure that's the joys of parenthood.
As a mother of four, I like to think I have some experience when it comes to packing a maternity hospital bag.
In fact, I've just packed mine for the fifth time and I won't be opening it until I'm admitted on to the labour ward.
Packing your hospital bag is one of the most exciting milestones of pregnancy but many first-time parents forget some of the essentials.
Here are seven things not to forget when you are packing your bag.
#1 All the snacks
I'm a snacker and, let's be honest here, hospital food isn't the best. My mam usually brings in sandwiches and homemade soup in a flask when she comes in to visit and I absolutely love her for it. You never know how long you will be admitted for and, in my case, two days was my shortest stay so a little snack pack is a must.
Add some mints, popcorn and any little cereal bars that you like. Even if you don't eat them in there they will come in handy over in the coming weeks.
#2 Charger with an extended cord
No doubt you'll be on your phone spreading the news about your new little squish. There may not be a socket by your bed or it may be in an awkward position or too far away so it's handy to be prepared. Alternatively, you could bring in a portable charger.
#3 Facial mist
I never realised how hot and stuffy hospitals are until I was in labour with my first. I was absolutely sweating and had my birthing partner wet down one of our baby's vests to help cool me down. It was a lesson learned and since then I've always packed a little facial mist spray.
I find them handy for night feeds too; when I found myself dozing off mid-feed I'd shock myself into waking up until the baby was back in their cot safely.
It doesn't have to be anything expensive, a spray bottle with water will work just as good.
#4 Maternity pads
Not just your standard sanitary towels, the BIG green ones are essential. Yes, they cost a little more than the average but they are so worth it. Trust me, you will thank me somewhere down the line.
#5 Spare change
It may never be needed but having some spare change with you is always handy to have. A majority of maternity hospitals don't have ATMs and nowadays you need to spend a certain amount to request cash back. A little purse of spare change may help your birthing partner with parking at silly o clock when there are no shops open.
It is also handy for vending machines if you get the midnight munchies.
#6 Ziplock baby bags
This little hack is a game changer and one I prepare regularly for days out with my lot. I keep a spare outfit for each kid in the boot of my car at all times since I came across it a few years ago.
Simply pack a vest, onesie, nappy and hat in one ziplock bag. It keeps everything together and prevents faffing about in your bag or suitcase when you are sore and tired.
You have the option of adding socks, mitts and even bibs if you choose to use them. Personally, I prefer muslins to bibs in the first month so I'll be leaving my small collection at home.
#7 Flip flops
I'm a bit of a clean freak if I'm honest and the thoughts of using public showers, in general, gives me the heebies. I always pack a pair of Penneys' finest flips flops for showering in hospital. You can pick up a pair for as little as a euro any time of year.
Other things to think about when packing your hospital bag include a moisturising lip balm, slipper with a hard sole, your own pillow, earphones and a little bag to bring home any dirty washing.
Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of 4 kids aged 2, 3, 5 and 9 (and she is expecting baby #5 in May). Described as a self-confessed procrastinator and picker-upper of things, Kellie would never turn down a coffee, loves to travel and shares her every day true to life moments on Instagram.