Wednesday 22 March 2023

Pregnancy | Baby's Hospital Bag Essentials

Packing your hospital bag can be a little daunting, especially if you're first time parents. From personal experience and the experiences of friends who have had babies, there is a temptation to pack way too many things that you won't end up using. So, I've prepared a list of the essentials you'll need to pack for baby...

Nappies | Pack at least eight nappies in your hospital bag. Your baby is likely to need size 1 nappies, which fits babies ranging between 4 - 11lbs. However if your baby is being delivered early, I recommend size 0, as this size fits babies weighing 6lbs or less.

There are several nappy brands available, however I've always loved Pampers. Whenever we used a different nappy brand with our son, we always ended up regretting it. The Pampers New Baby nappies (£4.50 Boots) are perfect for packing in your hospital bag as they are stretchy, comfortable, super soft, and - importantly - great at preventing leaks. If you're looking for a budget option, try Lidl's Lupilu Premium Nappies. They come highly recommended by many parents and are super affordable.

Sleepsuits | Sleepsuits are a newborn essential (your baby will practically live in them!), so you'll need to pack a minimum of four into your hospital bag. Pack 'newborn' size if your baby is expected to be an average weight. There are also 'tiny', 'early', and 'premature' size options if your baby is expected to be smaller than average.

Sleepsuits are widely available on the high street and online, however I recommend the MORI Clever Zip Sleepsuit (£19.50 MORI's organic baby zipper sleepsuits are crafted with the softest and most sustainable fabrics. They feature a concealed zip from neck to toe, making dressing and changing baby simple and super speedy. There is also a safety tab on zipper to protect baby's skin.

If you're looking for a more budget option, M&S offer sleepsuits in packs of three for £14.50.

Bodysuits | Bodysuits are key to keeping baby nice and warm, so I advise packing a minimum of four into your hospital bag. As with sleepsuits, choose 'newborn' size if your baby is expected to be an average weight or a smaller size if your baby is likely to be below average weight.

There are a number of bodysuits available in a range of colours and designs. John Lewis has a great selection of plain and patterned bodysuits available individually or in packs of three, five, and seven (from £8 John Lewis).

Muslins | Muslins are another newborn essential due to their variety of uses, including swaddling baby, providing cover during nursing, and - most commonly - handling spit ups, drool, and reflux. Be sure to pack a minimum of four muslins in your hospital bag.

My favourite muslins come courtesy of Aden + Anais, a luxe baby brand celebrated for combining style and versatility, without sacrificing quality and comfort. Available in a variety of gorgeous designs, the Aden + Anais Organic Cotton Muslin Squares (£22.51 are super soft, extra breathable, and ultra absorbent. They are crafted using 100% organic cotton muslin and are manufactured according to the strictest ecological, social, and processing standards.

Hats and Mittens | Include one hat in your hospital bag to ensure baby stays snug and warm. JoJo Maman Bébé has a lovely selection of hats that are soft, comfortable, and perfect for newborns. One pair of cotton mittens should also be included in your hospital bag to prevent your baby scratching their face and body. Many sleepsuits feature built-in mittens, however, if yours don't, I recommend the H&M Scratch Mittens (£2.99 H&M).

Cotton Pads | Midwives recommend using cotton pads and water to change a newborn's nappy, so I advise packing large pads - like the Boots Baby Organic Extra Large Cotton Pads (£2 Boots) - in your hospital bag. When our son was born, we opted for WaterWipes instead of cotton pads. We experienced no issues and, instead, found them easier to use. WaterWipes are 100% plastic free and contain just two ingredients, 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract. This makes them ideal for premature babies, newborns, and babies with sensitive skin.

Nappy Cream | Although not essential, a good nappy cream will make a great addition to your hospital bag, especially if you and baby end up staying in hospital longer than planned. Nappy creams are designed to prevent and treat nappy rash and there are a number of great options on the market. I love the Little Butterfly London Soft as Moonlight Nappy Change Cream (£25.50 This organic-certified nappy cream forms a protective barrier around the skin and promotes the healing of chapped skin and nappy rash. It is formulated with a number of skin-benefitting ingredients to combat dry skin, support barrier function, relieve discomfort, soothe redness and irritation, and soften the skin.

Blanket | You'll need to include one blanket in your hospital bag and I recommend a cellular blanket. Perfect for newborns and babies, cellular blankets feature small holes that enable airflow, making them safe for little ones.

A sleep sack can be used instead of a blanket and swaddle sleep sacks in particular are the perfect option for newborns. I personally love the HALO® SleepSack® Swaddle (£19.98 as it enables you to swaddle baby three different ways - with their arms in, with their hands up to their face, or with one or both arms out. Featuring adjustable fasteners for a perfect fit, this SleepSack® Swaddle enables baby to sleep comfortably without the risk of sleep-related dangers.

Going Home Outfit | Your hospital bag should include a lovely outfit for baby to arrive home in. The choice of outfit is up to you, however be sure to consider the weather and temperature, as well as baby's comfort. You're likely be travelling home in the car, so it is important that baby is comfortable during the journey. There are a number of brands offering gorgeous clothes for newborns, so you won't struggle finding something you like. I personally love The White Company, MORI, John Lewis, Newbie, and Zara.

Car Seat | You'll need to have a car seat installed before leaving the hospital with your baby. I recommend the CYBEX Cloud Z2 i-Size (£249.95 John Lewis), an innovative car seat that delivers safety, convenience, and style. The car seat features a clever rotation mechanism that enables you to turn the seat sideways for effortless entry and exit. It can attach to a pushchair, pram, or stroller to form part of a travel system (connecting to CYBEX and other select brands) and the newest model boasts an in-car recline feature that provides baby with more comfort on the road. Designed to be used from birth up to approximately 24 months old, the Cloud Z2 i-Size comes with a removable newborn inlay, which creates a near-flat lying position for newborns and provides added support for smaller or premature babies.

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