Family Postcards, Writing

Babies Birthday; The essentials!

There is nothing like the first moment you get to hold your baby, I find each time perfect in every way, I love getting to know the new personalities. If there is anything to learn about several pregnancies it is the preparation for hospital that is the key to a successful transition. I am someone who values the comfort of home and so being away from my family I find extremely hard.

With this in mind I thought I would write the list of my essentials for a post baby maternity bag, bearing in mind their are some things I always seem to forget. The first of which is how extremely small your new baby can be… I have always bought newborn, and always required tiny baby clothes on arrival as you forget that even a reasonable baby weight still holds a tiny size.

Maternity Hospital bag;

My Essentials;

Body wash and Shampoo; Obviously you need something to wash with, I usually choose a lemon wash as it is strong and refreshing. It is easy to under estimate the changes sleepless first nights and recovery has on your system and if you are not bottle feeding I tend to use soaps over deodorant’s for obvious reasons.

A Hairbrush, tooth brush and toothpaste; travel versions are ideal when making up your bag, I never feel quite right until I have done my teeth and hair in the morning. These are the things that are often forgotten and can be sourced at most wards but it is much nicer to have new ones of your own.

Hair accessories; The first thing to do if you are not suited to short hair is to tie back long hair, whether pre-surgery which have to be without metal fixings or post I prefer hair to be tied back.

Pyjamas; A few new pairs have become a maternity treat over the years, something new to slip into after the first shower is the step to feeling human again, especially if it is post-surgery.

Supportive vests; I find the lycra supportive vests are essential and great for breastfeeding if you do not like the faff of maternity Bra’s. Also they support around your stomach which is an added comfort along with a few long blousy tops and a few legging’s to see you through the first few days.

Underwear; I find a new pack of black under garments is enough to ensure you feel clean and secure post birth, obviously a few packs of maternity pads are an essential as those provided while you are bed ridden are not ideal once you start to get back on your feet. A maternity or sports bra will also be more comforting than highly structured garments, these along with a pack of breast pads will prepare you for post birth requirements whether breast feeding or not.

Dressing gown and slippers; This ensures any travelling in surgical garments can be covered in comfort, anyone who has worn a surgical gown knows they have major flaws for personal dignity.

Snacks; A fruit hamper, bottles of water and high calorie snacks are essential to fill your needs when breastfeeding as many maternity wards only provide for essential meals which as someone who requires additional food to maintain glucose while breast feeding, I have found previously that eating the main meals even with pudding was not enough.

Pamper products; lip balm for post operation dehydration, is my only addition to the maternity bag. I have seen others with hand cream due to the constant handwashing from the frequent changes however as I constantly use antibacterial hand wash my hands are never dry. I find anything that is part of your morning routine is essential to making you feel comfortable post-birth, even if it is essential, even if it is your favourite coffee it is worth putting in if it aids relaxation. For me however my comfort is in having the essentials, to be comfortable and ensure I can hydrate and balance my glucose as required until I am home.

Baby Essentials;

First size nappies; Mamia (Aldi) not a difficult choice at 85p per bag perfect to ensure your own supply so you can change your baby as and when required while on the ward.

Cotton wool; professionals like to insist on cotton wool and water which is great for waking a baby In preparation to feed, however I find the first tar like nappies do not clean appropriately so for these I clean with wipes and wash secondly with baby soap and water. Wipes are also good for cleaning off any medical adhesive which may be used in the birth of your child.

Sudocrem, Bepanthem or petroleum jelly; Any nappy rash cream will do, although using mild baby products should be enough to ensure the skin stays clear. Additionally nappy bags which are great for disposing of baby nappies and other post birth sanitary products.

Tiny baby clothes; I always feel the first clothes should be essentials of vests and baby grows, less about style and more about the regulation of body temperature. The emphasis being on comfort so that sleep and movement are consistent and un-restrictive. Bought in any good clothes shop or supermarket for a round £7 per pack ensure they are washed as they are starched strongly to present. I found around 15 vests ensures coverage for a few days in hospital, allowing you to change as often as you feel necessary.

Hats, socks and mittens; I have always been given knitted hats and mittens, due to the monitoring of my children over the first 24 hours to ensure their glucose level is normal. I subsequently have pre-knitted a few gifts for the staff and for premature babies. Which have included prem. hats, mitts and socks as I am able to return the work that others have donated.

A Personal Blanket; I always buy a new Blanket which I keep which is personal to our child. I have also received a beautiful hand knitted blanket due to our visit to have Jaundice levels treated which my mother had become attached to and has been wonderful at keeping our daughter warm. It is nice to have your own to add to those graciously provided by the hospital when your baby arrives, often they require a few to keep them warm until they can be washed and changed.

A first jacket and baby car seat ; Many wards will not allow you to leave without a car seat, ensuring your baby travels on their first car journey safely is essential. The first jacket even if it is slightly large (new born) is massive on a tiny baby but ensures a good barrier from the winter cold.

 

The children seem to grow while your gone and returning with a beautiful new bundle is both joyful and exhausting as a few days in the surprising quiet of a hospital ward is a contrast to the bustle of family life. I love to see their faces on returning home and watching them bond with their new sibling, it is a moment that lasts forever!

There are other things, dummies, bottles and formula if they are part of your feeding requirements which is a personal choice. Many choose to go directly to bottles which I have really no experience of over the initial feed which has had to be formula due to maintaining their glucose levels.

My experience has varied as our family has got bigger the scans have become my husband and my priority together. Once we are post delivery weeks I have come to terms with my husband being busy looking after the family while I care for our newest addition, but this makes the return home all the more special. Obviously everyone prepares differently however after six completely different experiences of birth in hospital, my experience has changed the way I prepare.

I feel the best part of this experience was purchasing a doppler to share the heartbeat with the children post thirty weeks. This allowed us to share something unique and precious with our children, letting them check and hear our daughters and their heartbeats made her all the more real to them.

Happy Heartbeats!

Cheryl

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