It may be a little early, but this weekend I packed my bags, just incase baby Korber no. 2 decides to make an early entrance. Given the fact that a very close friend gave birth yesterday, three weeks early, I’m glad that I’ve done it. It’s really the only thing that I have formally done to get ready for the baby’s arrival, and given the fact that our belongings are packed away in dozens of boxes, I think that it was the right choice…just in case (literally)!
When I packed for Ella’s arrival, I scoured the internet for list after list of key items needed for the myself and the baby. I asked all my friends who had given birth for their advice to make sure that I had everything. From baby clothes to creams, maternity pads to massage oils. I had everything and anything that I could possibly need ‘just incase’. This included magazines to read (hmmm yeah right), my favourite lollies (Dan enjoyed those) and some coloured ‘stress balls’ that I could ‘tap together’ to distract me from the pain. Needless to say, packing my bag a second time round has been a little easier, and quicker, as I included more of the simple things, and left out others (yep, the coloured balls didn’t make the cut). A few weeks ago, I wrote a letter to my former pregnant self with some advice about how to tackle the challenges that a new Mum faces. This week, as I packed my bag for both myself and my baby to be, I thought I’d share some tips and advice for my maternity bag essentials….
- Maternity pads and dark coloured undies – the bigger the better, and the more packets the better. Most ‘lists’ include these staple items, and my only advice is to triple the quantities. Believe me, you will both need and appreciate them.
Feeding singlets – I found that the Bonds feeding singlets were both really comfortable and practical. If you choose to breast feed you will need to access your ‘ladies’ over and over, and singlets that have a practical clip for easy access is key. They include a built in bra which also means that you don’t feel like you are wearing fifty thousand layers. I have packed three in basic black, white and blue.
Hoodies – adding to the above, wearing a hoodie means that you can both keep warm and give your baby instant access to food as they need it. Big W has some fantastic hoodies on sale at the moment for $15.
Breast Pads – yes, you feel as though you are padded at both ends, but this little item makes a big difference. What no one tells you is how much you leak, especially when your milk comes in. Furthermore, no one tells you that the brands of breast pads vary greatly in feel and comfort. My favourite are the Johnson and Johnson or Advent brand that have a sculpted pad that covers the natural shape of your breast. Once you use the other types, you will see what I mean. They are a little more expensive, but a lot more comfortable. If you breast feed you will wear these for the longevity of your feeding period, so the investment is well worth it.
Lanisoh cream – This baby is my no.1 essential if you are breast feeding. Rub a tiny amount on your nipples after each feed (yes, each and every feed), and this amazing clear cream will protect your nipples for cracking and soreness. The cream may not solve everything, but it sure does help. Read about it here.
Baby singlets with fasteners at the bottom – My single piece of advice about baby singlets is throw out any that do not fasten at the bottom. As your little bundle of joy wriggles and snuggles singlets ride up and end up around their chest. Singlets that fasten at the bottom keep your little one covered from head to toe. I swear by Next direct who sell basic packs in short and long sleeve in all sizes. You can find them here.
7. Baby onzies with built in mittens – mittens do help in the early stages by keeping a newborn’s nails away from their face. However they too come off. You can purchase heaps of different onezies that have built in mittens where you simple fold over the end of the sleeve. Bonds have a great range of wondersuits and onezies that include this great feature.
8. iBabyfeed app – When I started this blog I did a review about this fantastic app. You don’t need to ‘pack this’ in your bag, but rather download it to your phone. If you decided to breast feed, this little app will become your best friend. It helps you track how often you feed, what breast you finished on, average length of feeds and even reminds you when your baby is due to feed. Some people prefer pen and paper, but knowing how clumsy and foggy I was in those early days, I know that I will be hopeless at remembering anything, let alone where I left the paper. My phone is generally at arm’s length and so this app came in handy. You can read my previous post including instructions on downloading it here.
9. ‘Birthing outfit‘ – I know this one may seem a little OTT, but when I got to my hospital last time I was asked to get into my ‘birthing’ gear. I assumed that I would wear a gown right from the start, and ended up having to put on a lovely nightie that I, let’s say, didn’t want to get ruined. Include in your bag a nightie or slip that you would be happy to say goodbye to at the end of the process. If you have an epidural or Caesarean you will eventually be given a gown to wear, but you may also need something else before hand.
10. Baby’s 1st outfit – similar to the above, we were asked to give the nurses our baby’s 1st outfit as soon as we were admitted to the hospital. They stored it away in a warm cupboard and then dressed Ella in it once she was born. Again, some hospital’s may not ask you, but having it ready and easily accessible in your bag is something that you might want to think about when packing.
This list isn’t exhaustive and there are indeed loads more to take along for both yourself and your baby. However the above items were key in getting me through labour and the first few days of being a Mum. It’s all about comfort and practicality. If only labour could be described in the same way!
Do you have any items that you would recommend a second time around? Hope the list helps any expectant Mums to be…..