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Matalan Hospital Bag Checklist + £50 Vouchers!


I will always remember my final weeks of pregnancy worrying about my hospital bag, whether it was big enough, did I have enough clothes, would baby have enough nappies, there were so many things I was uncertain of. I would pack it and repack it pretty much every day ensuring I had everything I needed, of course packing way to many unnecessary items too. It can be daunting being a first time mum, you have no idea what a baby will need when they are born and what you will need after giving birth. Packing your hospital bag can be exciting yet very confusing too, which is why Matalan have put together this list to help you pack your bag.

The list was created for mums-to-be so they can feel rest assured that their hospital bag has got everything they'll need in it for delivery and their stay at the hospital. The list is available to download on the website and you can print it off and check the items off as you pack them. To be honest, there are a few items on the list that I didn't pack such as ear plugs, an eye mask, formula and a TENS machine but it's nice to have those little luxuries. 

I think the best things I packed in my hospital bag were sweets and snacks for after giving birth as I was kept in for 3 days the hospital food isn't quite enough when you've just starved yourself for nearly 24 hours. I also was thankful for dry shampoo and my make-up bag so I could quickly make myself look half decent before visitors came in. Of course, there were plenty of items which I didn't use during our stay at the hospital including the many baby outfits as I found it easier to dress Amelia in baby grows. 

Next time round I will be packing more sensibly, and will be adding a few things I didn't take last time such as a little spray bottle with water to relive cuts and stitches, a small fan, straws to make drinking during labour much easier, more snacks and extra pajamas as you bleed way more than they tell you and will more than likely leak through. 

What are your top tips for packing a hospital bag? Is there anything that you would add to the checklist? Leave a comment below with your top tips to add your entry to the rafflecopter and one winner will be picked at random to win a £50 Matalan Voucher!! The winner will be announced on Facebook

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188 comments

  1. I had a very fast labour and wasn't taken into the delivery suite until I was pushing, so laboured on a very hot ward! One thing I wish I had packed was a small handheld fan. My poor partner had to sit there fanning me with an unused sick bowl!

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  2. energy tablets were fab! i couldn't keep anything down, even the horrid energy drinks they kept giving me. But they were like sweets & gave me that boost i needed!

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  3. Disposable maternity pants and maternity pads are a must!

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  4. not too pack too much!

    Ashleigh

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  5. I made sure I had some cash in my bag. It was really handy as I struggled a bit with breastfeeding in the beginning & was able to buy some nipple shields from the hospital shop.

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  6. My top tips are to ask everyone what they took or look up videos, they're so helpful and sometimes give you ideas you hadn't thought of! My top items were change for the car park and a hug for going to the loo after giving birth! ;) haha xx

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  7. to not get too carried away and pack loads, but have enough hygiene items x

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  8. Make sure you remember your phone charger. You'll need it to ensure you can take pics and update the world with your fantastic news.

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  9. Bottled water and a high protein snack - raw nuts

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  10. My top tip would have to be make sure you pack your bag sometime BEFORE you go into labour. I was in such denial and convinced I'd end up going two weeks overdue, that I didn't pack one. Cue me in transition stage of labour, crawling round cursing and trying to remember what to fling into a bag. Not a good idea!

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  11. i found it soothing to listen to music so pack your ipod/ mp3 player

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  12. i havent experience labour yet but i would say maternity towels is a must

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  13. Pack two, one for you and one for the baby

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  14. Pack two, one for you and one for the baby.

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  15. Pack it well in advance and keep it somewhere easy to grab in a hurry.

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  16. With my first, I packed it 5 minutes before going to the hospital and about 2 hours before the birth - so wasn't very organised lol. Had my second at home, so can't say I'm any kind of expert lol.

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  17. pin a piece of paper to the front of your bag with a checklist to make sure you have everything you need this was a tip from my auntie and done me proud both times x

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  18. melanie gregory

    pack extra

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  19. Take your kindle as you may have to wait a long time for the baby to appear!!!!

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  20. Buy an extra long phone charger cable they can be picked up on ebay for around £2.00 the plug point is usually far away from the bed and if you have a section/bad labour it can be quite hard to reach

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  21. lots of snacks, as well as clothes nappies and wipes for baby and clothes and toiletries for you, dont pack too much and dont forget your phone charger and i also take my portable speaker so i can listen to music in labour

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  22. plenty of big Bridget Jones type knickers

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  23. karen robertson11 June 2014 at 10:27

    dont pack too much - lots big pads and knickers, just the basics for you and baby and when you come home

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  24. Facewipes, tissues, iPod was very useful in the end, oh and juice boxes. Lots of them with straws.

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  25. Unless you live relatively far away from the hospital the pack light, I've done all this 3 times and only once have I and the baby spent a night in, with other two we were home less than 5 hours from giving birth so needless to say never needed much of the content of my hospital bag x

    (Pia S)

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  26. Lipbalm is a must as I had sore dry cracked lips last time I was in hospital (its always so warm on those wards!), Tissues are handy, plenty of breastpads, drinks - fruit juice and Ribena - anything with a bit of vitamin c in.

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  27. Don't pack too much and take a book to read or a puzzle book

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  28. Pack face wet wipes helps you feel fresher

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  29. Don't pack too much....If there's anything you need someone can always bring it to the hospital for you! Ohh and don't forget thick sanitary pads....I did! Oops! lol I knew I needed them just forgot to pack them!

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  30. Takes tons of snacks as hospital food is not always available. i remember being starving!

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  31. Make sure that you have all the correct cables for charging phone/camera/ipad/any other electronics. with a different plug for each one you don't want to pull al lthe cables out only to find you forgot the most important one. You may want to pack a multi plug adapter (if the hospital allows you to plug it in) so you can charge all at the same time.

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  32. Chocolate for dad to keep his strength up

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  33. Pack food and drink for your birthing partner. Pack a scented lavender and rose sachet to sniff and calm yourself and anything that will relax you and remind you of home and a frying pan to knock yourself out if all else fails!

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  34. Take loose, light cotton clothes for comfort...

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  35. Pack some little snacks for yourself such as nut/fruit bags and cereal bars as you will get hungry was so glad I took this advice from a friend of mine as they were so handy for me

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  36. Ipad... so you have something to do whikst you are there all those hours !! And hope the hospital has WIFI :-)

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  37. You can never have enough clean underwear! Sounds gross but i went through so many pairs of granny pants and I was only in the hospital for 1 night!

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  38. Food glorious food - you don't want to risk sending your partner out for something just in case!

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  39. kieran robertson11 June 2014 at 12:41

    I got my wife's ready in plenty of time with her and was ready with it and out the door! Take lots of snacks!

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  40. Take straws or sports cup with a spout to make it easier to drink.

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  41. david robertson11 June 2014 at 12:57

    FOOD and DRINK! and take just essential not too many baby clothes either

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  42. david robertson11 June 2014 at 12:58

    Only take the essential and not too many baby clothes, just not needed

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  43. kindle and ipad and only take bare minimum not too much

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  44. Packet of biscuits! I had some rich tea, they helped with the sickness and then kept me going!

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  45. Remember slippers! Youll be surprised how cold the floor can be.

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  46. Don't go overboard with taking too much, most hospitals want you out ASAP. Leave a little pile of stuff somewhere at home as 'top ups' for someone to bring in for you IF you need to stay in longer.

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  47. I love the matalan hospital list. comes in so handy!

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  48. A packet of wet wipes comes in surprisingly handy!

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  49. Hypoallergenic face wipes can cool you down and clean you up.

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  50. Face spritzer,cools you down and freshens you up at the same time.

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  51. Don't pack too much, and take flip flops as nobody wants to be walking barefoot on hospital floors!x

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  52. I ended up going in to labour early (and didn't get to take my bag) my partner had to pack for me, so i ended up with a random collection of things. I ended up in hospital for 9 days, and had to ring my sister to pack the things he missed (razors for prickly armpits lol)!

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  53. Pack early! As I didn't the first time and my son decided to arrive 7 weeks early xx

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  54. you must remember your camera

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  55. Plenty of toiletries and big pants

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  56. Pack more than one size of baby grows / vest as I was predicted a little one .. but when he was born that night I had nothing with me that would fit him .. he wasnt heavy average 7.5 but he was very tall and didnt fit the average newborn sizes .. it was so awful and I couldnt get any at that time of night but the lady across from me gave me one as she had a super sized baby that would not fit his and she had been clever enough to bring large and larger with her :-) - Deborah Dodge

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  57. your favourite music all ready to go on the ipod to help calm yourself down!

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  58. a travel sized hand cream - your hands get dry and cracked after washing them so much

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  59. travel-sized hand cream - it's a little luxury and your hands get so dry from washing them all the time

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  60. Lynsey Buchanan11 June 2014 at 18:00

    Pack at least 6 weeks before your due date

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  61. Nappy sacks - great for soiled undies, keep your undies private, and fragranced too.

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  62. a face and body spritzer spray for cooling and freshening up

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  63. My wife says the one thing she couldn't have managed without during her 3 labours was lipbalm, the delivery suites are so hot and with the gas and air on her mouth the lipbalm was a necessity and the first thing she packed and unpacked each time.

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  64. Catherine McAlinden11 June 2014 at 21:13

    Pack flip flops so you don't have to go barefoot in the shower!

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  65. pack early! caleb was 7 weeks early and i had nothing ready!

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  66. Don't forgetyour essentials, flannel, lip balm, music etc it's so easy to get caught up in what the baby needs

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  67. Moist toilet tissue. Very soothing on sore lady bits. Oh and straws in case you are laying down and still want a drink!

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  68. Pack it early - my little one was 6 1/2wks early and I had nothing packed at all!

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  69. Take your own footwear for when you're walking around the hospital, so much easier to slip on some fliflops rather than faffing with shoes when you're popping to the bathroom.

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  70. Get some good maternity pads. You want to be comfy down there...

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  71. fleur jj webb Dont forget a phone charger everyon wants photos of baby and battery goes down fast and some money for that tv thingy in the room.

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  72. a charger for your ipod, and some sweets

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  73. snacks, drinks and massage oil :-)

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  74. Bring a book or magazine incase you're waiting longer than expected for the magic to happen! :) Becky Duffy

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  75. I took elements from lots of different lists and compiled my own list adding things as I thought of them. It meant that I overpacked but I had everything that I wanted or needed (plus extras!)

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  76. Take essentials only, don't go overboard

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  77. You won't want to hear this but disposable knickers! They were a godsend, just for the first couple of days. Trust me!

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  78. Always include breast pads - despite the fact you may not think that you will need them, you WILL!

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  79. Huge pads, lots of knickers and plenty of PJ's.

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  80. Socks! If my feet aren't warm then neither am I and snacks :)

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  81. pack a couple of protein bars - you will be starving after giving birth and if the next meals is hours away, you will be thankful to have them!

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  82. I had a planned c-section and remember being ravenous through the night, so I would take plenty of food!

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  83. Very helpful
    L x
    Http://workingmumy.blogspot.com

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  84. Plan ahead, don't leave it to the last minute. If you think of something else you will be able to add it.

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  85. Pack makeup for photos afterwards

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  86. Spare clothes, especially undies (or disposables are best!) for you and baby... I was so unprepared with my first and ended up throwing away half of her vests in the hospital and having to get my Mum to buy more and bring them in!

    Leah Sullivan
    @LSULLYSULLIVAN

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  87. My tip is to always include a book or puzzle book. Both times I was in hospital my little one(s) slept loads but I was left awake with the general noise of the ward and having something to occupy me helped a lot xx

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  88. don't forget lip balm

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  89. A smart phone is really useful for occupying yourself, photos and phone calls. Just remember to take the charger with you.

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  90. after my first child, I decided to take prune juice to drink after my second because i was scared to go to the loo - works a treat - pretty gross thought but worth considering

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  91. Take big knickers!!! I thought I was going to squeeze back in to my size 10's!!! How wrong was I. Not funny when you've just been through all that trauma. x

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  92. make sure you pack plenty of clean underwear and sanitry towels

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  93. Lots of snacks to keep other half going

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  94. Make sure you get it ready in plenty of time :)

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  95. Pack an ipod with your favourite music or programmes so you have something to occupy yourself with and keep your mind off of the contractions

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  96. I took some lavender wipes, cooling and relaxing

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  97. make sure it's packed well in advance with everything you need.....you never know it the baby is gonna come early

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  98. Make sure you've got refreshing facial wipes to get yourself feeling fresh and clean, also I packed eye mask and ear plugs as I was staying in a few days, there's no way that you can get a good nights sleep in hospital without them, so always good to pack on the off chance you end up staying in!

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  99. Pack your bag about 6 weeks before you are due so that you are prepared if the baby comes early.

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  100. wet wipes are so handy to keep you fresh as well as other uses

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  101. i went through the basics, as i bought a item (not cot highhair etc but the small stuff) i would put one at the side, so i ended up with a selection from nappies, vests, cloths to towels,bathing products and maternity pads.

    then a few weeks before your due, go through the stuff you have and whittle down to a single bag with a bit of everything and add the rest to a second bag (incase you both ned to stay in).

    Make sure your bag includes goods for yourself ie breast pads, maternity pads BODY WASH! etc after all there are 2 going through this!

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  102. You will need BIG pads, (Sorry if TMI!) bigger than you think, so those maternity ones aren't a waste of money / gimmick

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  103. Write a list, then leave it for a day and go back to it. Once you've gone back to it there will DEFINITELY be something on there you've forgotten!

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  104. Do it ASAP and write a list that way you don't need to worry and if you do you can have a quick glance at it :)

    @jamiecomps

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  105. Forget those paper maternity knickers, they're so uncomfortable. Instead, just buy a cheap pack of (big!) knickers

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  106. Cheap but fitting pants nothing worse than leaking!!!

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  107. I had a very fast labour so most things weren't used but I would have liked to have had a radio to listen to.

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  108. Don't pack too much! You're sure to have plenty of willing volunteers to bring anything you might need. Also, I found it helpful to have two bags, one for myself and one for baby. x

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  109. THough I didn't need it as both my labours were really fast, I made sure I packed food and drinks for my husband as I didn't want him wandering off to the canteen halfway through because he was dehydrating on those hot wards!

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  110. Plenty of snacks, you never know how long will it take

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  111. A hand held fan and baby wipes were the first things to go into my bag!

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  112. Snacks , wet wipes , spritzer, Water plenty of.

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  113. plenty of things to nibble on and lots of maternity pads!

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  114. Disposable pants- or massive pants! They were a godsend :D

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  115. Spread everyone's clothes across all cases so if one goes missing you still have something to wear!!!!

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  116. pop some little bottles of water in the freezer so you can grab them as you leave - hospitals are always tropical & icy water is a must !

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  117. Victoria Cunniff17 June 2014 at 13:00

    Easy to read books or magazines as you'll not be able to concentrate on anything indepth, plenty snacks as you could be there a while, an ipod to drown out other people's noise, more clothes for the baby than you think you'll need, maternity pads x 2 packs, deodorant, face wipes, camera, spare knickers, extra nightie, slippers, dressing gown, face moisturiser and dry shampoo.

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  118. My wife always has to have some lovely soaps and shampoo.

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  119. Lipbalm, your lips get so through with all the heavy breathing! Make lists so you remember everything, i took way too much, but that made me feel more comfortable knowing i couldnt have forgotten anything because id brought the whole house!

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  120. pack only what you need, you really wont need that much.

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  121. snack food. Dont expect anything but toast on ward and if you get hungry in the night there a life saver

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  122. A good book, water & snacks, plenty of underwear & pad & a camera for the new arrival.

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  123. baby wipes, baby wipes and .....more baby wipes haha

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  124. loads of maternity pads and a nice outfit to come home in

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  125. Plenty of snacks, drinks, magazine/book to keep you from getting bored. Pads are a must extra is better, chargers for phones, cameras. also a pair of slippers no one likes cold floors

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  126. Do it plenty of time in advance and have one at home and a smaller one in the car...so if you go into labour when out and about you have all the essentials

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  127. Pack of biscuit, for have a snack with your cuppa

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  128. Always start with a list and I always found it easier to have my bag and then a bag for the baby as then you don't have to rummage through your stuff for baby items xx

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  129. vasaline! for all the gas and air you will have - don't want cracked lips

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  130. Moisturiser and chocolate

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  131. Here's the best tip.. pack 2 bags, one really light with bare essentials and one for longer term, always take the lightly packed bag with you because I was home 6 hours after the birth and used barely anything I took. Leave the larger heavier bag somewhere like the hallway so a family member can always quickly nip back and get it if it's needed.

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  132. lots of maternity pads and hyglene wipes

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  133. make sure your husband knows where it is incase you aren't home when you need to go...

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  134. Pack it well in advance and have it close to hand, big knickers are a must to pack and dark pjs/ clothes incase of accidents

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  135. Pack it in advance as you never know what might happen

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  136. Maternity pads and pack early :)

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  137. Don't pack too much, you can always send your partner home to fetch anything you have forgotten. It's handy to keep the baby's stuff in a separate bag. Also, on't forget to make sure you have batteries in the camera - everyone seems to remember for their first but with the second or third child it's hit or miss.

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  138. I packed a Tens Machine this time round (didn't bother with my first) and it was an absolute godsend. Could not recommend it enough!

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  139. just be well prepared and try not to panic that you might have forgotten something

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  140. take just what u need , pack the essentials , the rest can be worried about later !

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  141. wipes, wipes, wipes, they are great for cleaning, freshening, cleansing, soothing, without a pack of wipes i'd of been so much worse off :)

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  142. Don't pack too much - some wetwipes, juice or water, maybe an ipod or something to listen to - you can get what you need later!

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  143. loose change, maternity pads and batterys also id take a newborn sleep suit and 0-3

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  144. Jane Middleton17 June 2014 at 22:58

    bottle of water and wet wipes

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  145. A nice night dress for after the birth, plenty of pads you'll need those maternity pads, a few newborn babygrows, baby hat, wet wipes and your phone, for those first photos and texts! x

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  146. Don't over pack, when you have finished packing go over it all again and pull out anything you won't need.

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  147. Bendy straws to make it comfortable to drink without needing to sit up too far!

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  148. Snacks! Snacks! Snacks!

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  149. bottles of water with sports caps for labour and lots of drinks and snacks for birth partner and for after birth. and keep a spare bag packed at home with spare things in incase you end up staying in hospital longer then you thought so someone can bring it in to you as my partner brought me all the wrong things in when i asked him to bring extra stuff.

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  150. Take something to nibble afterwards, I was starving and so glad that husband packed some yogurts and muesli bars.

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  151. my tip would be to pack asap. You never know when you might have to go in so best to be prepared.

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  152. not to pack too much... LEANNE W

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  153. A bag with different sections is great as you know where to find everything in a hurry!

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  154. Take earplugs or an mp3 player - hospitals are noisy, not restful places!

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  155. Stick some chocolate in the freezer to pack in a cool bag for afterwards :D

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  156. Don't over pack because you won't be able to find anything. If you need wxtra put a bag of stuff you won't need in the miked image future in the car.

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  157. That Matalan list is pretty excellent! I would say pack light and pack well before your due date! I gave birth a few weeks ago and ended up with an emergency induction at very short notice! I was taken from the standard hospital monitoring area right across the corridor to the delivery room for them to break my waters! Luckily I had just finished packing my bags a day or two earlier and hubby could bring my case in when the babysitters arrived!
    I would also say pack your stuff on one side of your case and baby's on the other. I put baby's stuff all inside a bag in my case to make it easier for my hubby & the MW to find it!

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  158. Snacks and drinks! If you get days in like me you will be so grateful!

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  159. My advive would be to not assume you will be home on the same day, like I did. I ended up having an emergency c-section and hadn't packed enough nappies or clothes for baby! Also if I were to do it again I would take a tablet for reading/music. The wards can be pretty lonely if you do have to stay overnight!

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  160. pack an MP3 player and some earphones. Not specifically for during labour - although they do help to block out the sounds and let you concentrate on the business at hand :-) An MP3 is really useful for when you are taken to a ward. It;s often quite noisy when you will feel shattered and want to rest so listening to music will help you zone out. Good luck!

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  161. in addition to all your basics make room for your favourite perfume or hand cream to lift your spirits, your smell is a powerful tool.

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  162. Your own snacks, I was very hungry after both of my labours.

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  163. Just pack the essentials, don't overpack!

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  164. I think to pack extra you can never have enough extras just in case :)

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  165. Remember cotton wool - such an obvious thing for changing that first nappy but I completely forgot!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading them all and will try my best to answer all of your questions. If you would like to contact me for a quicker response please feel free to tweet me at (@ohsoamelia_blog) or email me. Kerry