What do you need in your hospital bag? Pippa O'Connor shares her list of what to pack for both mum and baby 2 years ago

What do you need in your hospital bag? Pippa O'Connor shares her list of what to pack for both mum and baby

It's the question that you'll be asked a hundred times in the run up to your due date: have you got your bag packed yet? But what are you supposed to put in it – and what are the extras that you'll be glad you thought to bring? Influencer Pippa O'Connor is mum to two beautiful boys, Ollie and Louis. Here, in an extract from her new book The Pippa Guide, she shares her complete list of what to pack in your hospital bag, as well as her advice on where to pick up everything that you'll need. So don't panic about packing – Pippa has done the hard work for you!

What's in my hospital bag?

 

Let’s start with baby

* Delivery outfit (baby receiving gown/hat/vest). I got mine from an American website called babybeminematernity.com, but you can pick something cute from your favourite brand.

* Five vests in newborn size. I had some from Mothercare and Dunnes.

* Five Babygros in newborn size or 0–3 months. I packed ones from Penneys and Next. When I was having Louis I packed some that Ollie had worn so they’d be in the same Babygro in photos.

* Two pairs of mittens and two hats. Mine were from Mothercare.

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* Two tiny cardigans.

* One or two cellular blankets. The hospital will wrap the baby in their own ones but you’ll probably want to use your own when you get up to your bed.

* Muslin cloths for feeding and cleaning up. A good handful of them!

* Newborn nappies/cotton wool/Water Wipes.

Tips

* Personally, I like to wash the baby clothes before I use them. I wash them using Fairy Non-Bio.

* I only buy a handful of newborn sizes. These really don’t last long (unfortunately!), as the baby grows out of these tiny sizes in only a couple of weeks. I’m going by Ollie here – he was nine pounds and never lost an ounce, just kept gaining! I’d recommend very few items in newborn size until you know what weight your baby is. Everything else I bought was in sizes 0–3 months.

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* My top tip is to pack your baby outfits into food bags or ziplock bags and label them. Include a vest, Babygro, hat and nappy in each one. This way you, or whoever is with you, won’t have to search for anything – it’ll be easy to put your hands on the food bags.

For me

* Gownie. This is a hospital gown I bought on Baby Be Mine Maternity, the website I mentioned above. They do really cute matching items for mum and baby. I bought a delivery gown, which is the exact same as the one the hospital would provide you with. It’s grey with white polka dots. (Susanna thought I was gas even thinking of this! I loved it though.)

* PJs. I kept with a navy theme so I could mix and match bottoms and tops. Opting for darker colours is a good idea – I wouldn’t recommend white PJs for your hospital stay! I got mine from Primark, the material is really light and they’re loose fitting. Don’t buy cosy fleecy PJs – maternity wards are hot. All of the Penneys PJ tops or nightdresses are easily pulled down, which is something you want to keep in mind when you’re buying yours if you think you might be breastfeeding. Even if you’re not breastfeeding, they’re still a good idea for skin-to-skin with your baby.

* I also packed a cosy pair of socks, a pair of slippers and a light knee-length navy dressing gown.

* Two nursing bras (nude and black). I got both of mine from ASOS.

* Granny knickers/Bridget Jones knickers (whatever you want to call them!). Get the cheap multipacks in either Penneys or Dunnes – I wouldn’t spend any more than you have to on them as you’ll want to burn them afterwards! Get high leg ones, not mini briefs as they’ll sit too low, which is not ideal if you’ve had a C-section.

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* Maternity pads (I went Boots own brand).

* Breast pads (Lansinoh).

* Nipple cream (Lansinoh). This was such a lifesaver around day three or four. I remember the agony – but this cream was excellent and really helped.

Nipple shields (Boots own brand).

* Multi-Mam compress pads. You can cut them in half to make themlast longer and they’re really good if you keep them in the fridge.

* Towel (dark colour).

* Mini hairdryer/brushes/hair turban (this is neater than bringing a second towel, I bought one in Boots). Hair bobbin and dry shampoo (if you don’t want to wash your hair).

* Shampoo/conditioner/body lotion/hand cream/face serum/eye cream/moisturizer/lip oil. I packed lots of minis. Bring whatever gives you a bit of comfort and whatever will make you feel good afterwards. That first shower is bliss. Bring it if it’ll perk you up.

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* Essential toiletries like toothpaste/toothbrush/deodorant.

* My make-up bag for hospital was the smallest I’ve ever packed! I just brought a palette and mascara, concealer and nude lip gloss. You’re not really thinking about make-up.

* Nursing pillow. It’s brilliant for supporting baby and your back while bottle or breastfeeding.

* Going home outfit. Make it comfy!

Extras

* A spare top for hubby!

* Phone charger/camera.

* Small pressie for Ollie from Louis. It was such a nice idea, and he was delighted to get a pressie from the baby in the hospital when he came to visit.

* Car seat – you can’t go home without it!

The Pippa Guide: Live Your Best Life by Pippa O'Connor Ormond is published by Penguin Ireland and is out now. Photography © Pippa O’Connor Ormond.