What do we need for the birth
Packing for hospital for mums and dads to be.
When mum to be ready to go to the hospital, she's ready! Take it from me it's not a good time to start thinking about what you're going to take. She's had a bag packed for weeks and can be out of the door with everything she needs in minutes flat - well will try and hobble.
So you'd better be ready too.
Mums hospital bag
Stick to loose, comfy favourites. She'll need something old and baggy to wear during labour that she doesn't mind getting messy. Be sweet and offer her one of your old T Shirts. Dressing gown and slippers are all the rage on the maternity ward, but she'll also appreciate socks, shoes, Bridget Jones big knickers, front opening shirts for easy breastfeeding and something comfy but stylish to wear home from the hospital.
- She'll need all her usual toiletries, toothbrush and paste, hairbrush, plus sanitary towels, a sponge and a little spray bottle for cooling her down when the heat's on. Also make-up is very important, seriously.
- Basics for the first few days of Baby's life
A couple of nursing bras, nappies, maternity pads and baby clothes. All-in-one stretchy suits are ideal because you won't know whether this is going to be a six pound ballet dancer or a 10 pound bruiser. Also a blanket, socks or booties, a hat and a jacket or snowsuit to wear home if it's winter - babies don't do cold very well.
- Make sure you know how to fit the car seat.
Dads hospital bag
If you're going the full distance with her, which we highly recommend, you'll need some stuff too.
High energy snacks and drinks
Definitely no beer - stick to glucose tablets and energy drinks.
- Things to do during the early boring stages of labour
It's not going to be non-stop action when you first get there. There will be endless time to fill with games, mags whatever else you like to do together. Try to keep it nice and relaxed though
- Stopwatch or a watch with a second hand so you can time the contractions (that's our role)
- Coins as you might not be able to use your mobile to make calls - some hospitals offer a phone card.
- Then there's parking and vending machines for when the café's closed, so a bag of coins is a must.
MP3 player, not a full-on sound system.
- Camera or video and be sure to have fresh batteries**
- Change of clothes and a basic wash-kit, you might be there for some time and you'll feel crusty after a few hours.
- Maternity notes -
Many hospitals like you to take charge of your maternity notes. The middle of Labour - and maybe in the middle of the night - is not a good time for the staff to have to go rooting through filing cabinets for the right set of notes.
- Car - be sure the tanks full as you don't want to be hunting for a garage at 2 am when she goes into labour.
- Mobile Phone keep it charged and in credit.
- Camera? Camcorder?
Best to check if she's going to be camera shy, but talk about it well before she's in labour.
- No football away games
near the 'Due date' or meetings too far from home, hospital or you will be in for trouble.