Monday, March 28, 2011

The Hospital Bag – essentials vs clutter


You get wiser with each baby.

I think.

With Jayvon, I brought enough things in my hospital bag to cater to all the other birthing moms in the same ward. And the thing is, I had to lug most of it back home after two days.

So this time round, I decided to pack more conservatively. There are essentials, and there is clutter. And the important thing is knowing which is which!

There are loads of Hospital Bag lists floating around, but here’s some of my thoughts:

Hospital Wear:

Some hospitals ask you to bring along your own nightgowns, preferably with front buttons for easy feeding. For Jay, I bought two maternity gowns from Mothercare, setting me back a staggering $70+ (for clothes that make me look frumpy and something the cat dragged into the house out of the rain)!

Only to realise that the hospital had ample gowns for me to change into. Sure, they aren’t the epitome of style, but honestly after enduring hours of labour, looking a little worn ain’t that hard to swallow.

Oh, and of course, there are those pretty maternity gowns you can buy to wear while giving birth. But for the life of me, I have no idea why you’d want to throw good money away like that. Birthing is one messy affair.

O, and speaking of hospital wear, some lists urge you to bring along disposable maternity panties and pads… but really, most hospitals are pretty well-stocked in this area!

Other Hospital Essentials:

Socks – to keep your toes toasty, especially in the labour ward!

A light sweater – when the temperature gets a little low. But I find this is only true in the labour ward. Post-popping, even with the thin cotton hospital gown, it was still tolerable.

If you’re one of those no-bath advocates, then you can leave at home your shampoo and bath foams. Me? I made sure I got my fave brands (in mini-size, of course)! Haha!

For the sake of my visitors (and to have some nice photos to blog…), I would also recommend bringing a small make-up pouch. Nothing fancy, but just your usual essentials!

Lotions & other creams – sure, if you absolutely need to.

Home Wear (for Mommy):

This is a must. While that hospital gown may be utilitarian enough for ward-stay, it is hardly decent attire to be seen outside with! Haha! So please pack something comfortable and loose. For shoes, I’d recommend comfy open-toed sandals instead of hopping into your stilts stilettos that quick too.

Home Wear (for Baby):

Some lists recommend that you bring multiple sets of mittens, booties, hats…

Well, to make life simpler (and your hospital bag lighter), bring along a romper (with closed toes). Rompers are my absolute favourite babywear for newborns, compared to two-pieces. One-piece rompers are easy to wear and stays on well - no “danger” of having their clothes ride up their backs.

You can bring along a hat (if you like). Else, getting a good receiving blanket (with a hood) would be sufficient to last you and baby all the way home. From any hospital in Singapore, it’d probably only take you less than an hour to reach home, so you needn’t over-pack for baby!

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