hospital bag 2

Packing my Hospital Bag

The first time I had to pack a bag to go into hospital, I was 10 days overdue carrying Ariana and I was going to be induced. The second time around, I was packing for the twins to be born by elected cesarian, which was completely different but what was consistent was that I wanted to feel organised!
 

I remember feeling like I was preparing for a trip overseas but I didn’t know where I was going, how long I was going to be there for or who I would be bringing home with me, which wouldn’t have sounded too bad when I was younger but when I was pregnant, I felt pretty anxious. The bag I packed became my life line. It was my link to home in a very alien environment and I loved having it and it’s contents at my side.
 

^^^Walking…err I mean waddling into hospital to have Kian and Kaira. I can’t believe the size of my bump!^^^
 

I don’t think there was much difference in what I needed between giving birth to a singleton or multiples, the difference was the type of delivery so I’ll list everything here for both scenarios because I really think it could help anyone packing their bags to enter the great unknown!

For me:

  • Birth plan and midwife notes – It gave me a lot of comfort to have them with me but I didn’t use them either time to be honest
  • Night dresses – big and baggy. I didn’t like pyjamas in labour or after the birth either  because of the pressure of the bottoms on my stomach. I packed 2 maternity dresses like this from Marks and Spencer
  • Maternity briefs –  (big enough to stretch over a ceasarian scar if necessary) I packed 7 pairs from Mothercare
  • C-Panty (CEASARIAN ONLY) – I only had these after I researched ceasarian support pants after having Ariana and they made such a difference between my 2 deliveries. I could jump put of bed and care for the babies without feeling the pain of the wound wearing these and my recovery was so much quicker. They are a life saver for anyone who is having a c-section
  • Nursing bras – I packed 2 from Mothercare
  • Nipple cream – I used Mothercare’s Lansinoh
  • Maternity pads – specific for maternity as they need to be bigger than regular pads
  • Slippers – the heel free kind. I made the mistake of taking in bootie types to have Ariana and I couldn’t bend over to get them on and off (duh!)
  • Earplugs – such a necessity. I had no idea what to expect when I was being induced with Ariana. In brief, I was on a hospital ward surrounded by women in labour for 3 days so you can imagine the noise levels. I didn’t sleep the entire time! Silicone earplugs are amazing. I used to buy them from Boots until I found them half the price on ebay
  • Socks – 2 pairs
  • Dressing gown
  • Big towel
  • Pillow – I brought mine from home as I wanted to be comfortable and used it in the delivery room!
  • Phone, earphones, charger
  • Relaxing birth music album saved on a phone or iPod (LABOUR ONLY) – I practised Natal Hypnotherapy so used theirs (available on Amazon)
  • Camera and/or video camera (mine had video built in) and charger
  • Tens machine (LABOUR ONLY) – I was so glad to have this with me when I was in labour with Ariana pain relief is so minimal when being induced so I had this strapped to me for ages! It really helped. I hired it from Boots and they’re still available here
  • Medela electric breast pump – I borrowed one from the breast care nurse at my local children’s centre but they are available to borrow at some hospitals.

Cosmetics bag

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Makeup and mirror – I kept a mirror in my bedside table as everyone wanted to take pictures and I wanted to look half decent
  • Tinted moisturiser – I packed Stila’s
  • Concealer – Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage for me
  • Blusher – Mac Pink Swoon
  • Mascara – 2000 Calorie
  • Eyeshadow – Espresso by Mac for my eyebrows
  • Makeup brushes
  • Lip balm – really important for labour, I packed Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
  • Shower gel
  • Face wash
  • Hair smoothing cream
  • Face, body moisturiser and hand cream
  • Shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo, shower cap and bobbles
  • Femfresh wipes
  • Water cooling spray (LABOUR ONLY) – great for the face during labour. I used Eau Thermal from Boots.

kaia holding mummys fingerFor baby/ies

  • Nappies – I took in 2 packs of 24 Pampers Micro nappies for the twins as I knew they were going to be low birth weight
  • Baby bottom wipes – we used Water Wipes because they are made up almost entirely of water and no nasty chemicals (available at Boots or on Amazon)
  • Muslin cloths – 6
  • Pre-maid formula – I packed Aptimil Stage 1 cartons, 4 for each day’s stay
  • Dummies
  • Baby grows – I packed 10 for the babies (all white with matching hats) and needed to send Ste out to Mothercare to buy more as they wore so many and got them all dirty during our 4 day stay in hospital. I’d recommend packing around 20 for twins and the same amount of vests. Half for a singleton birth
  • Nursing pillow – I didn’t know if I would breastfeed but I bought one and took it into hospital with me anyway and it was great to hold both babies after my ceasarian. I used a My Breast Friend Twins Plus Pillow
  • Going home outfit – I’m not sentimental but I have kept all of our children’s outfits that they came home from hospital in. It’s such a nice thing to keep to remember how tiny they were!
  • Bag for dirty laundry.

photo 3


It’s such a good feeling to get a bag packed and ready to go. Coping up with twins when I was pregnant both times, I wanted to maintain a feeling of control during a very uncertain stage of my life and having my hospital bag prepared really helped.

Please leave your comments, I’d love to know what you packed in yours!

Family twins cuddle kiss big sister

Twins, a definitive list of the things you might need!

Bringing two babies home from hospital was such a challenging experience for me and although already having one baby at home to care for added to the amount of work I had to do to settle them in, it was such a blessing because I already had recent experience in caring for newborns and the equipment that I needed. I am a massive researcher (once a student, always a student!) and so I spent a lot of my pregnancy researching new items on the market that could make my life easier when the babies arrived.  I was pretty organised to be honest, but that’s only because I already was a stay at home mum and I had the time to plan. One of the questions I have been asked the most is for a list of my recommended items that in an ideal world parents could buy before their baby/babies arrive, so here it is.  It seems long but its pretty detailed and I’m sure there are alternatives to the products I used, but amongst my friends and other twin mum’s, these seem to be pretty popular.

Feeding:

  • Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine – this has to be my number one recommendation and not just for twins, but every household bringing home a baby. I wasn’t sure if I would breast or bottle feed and knowing from experience that things don’t always go as planned, I found it best to prepare for both scenarios
  • Six bottles – (or as many as your steriliser will hold). We used Dr Browns with the babies
  • Steriliser – (electric or microwave). Electric sterilisers are bigger and can hold up to six bottles at a time. We used the one by Avent and somehow managed to squeeze the Dr Browns bottles into it but that’s only because we still had it from Ariana being a baby. I think the Dr Browns steriliser is better for their own bottles. We ended up using a microwave steriliser (again by Avent) in the end because we found it quicker and easier to tidy away
  • Bottle brush – the double handled ones by Tommee Tippee work well and Dr Browns bottles come with their own really narrow brush for their own parts
  • Milk – whether you’re planning on breast or bottle feeding, I’d recommend having some ready made cartons of milk in your kitchen cupboard for those bewitching hours when you have screaming babies to care for and your body is too exhausted to co-operate (speaking from experience –  a lifesaver!)
  • Mini fridge – this is something that may not be necessary for your household but we found it to be essential for us both with Ariana and the twins. We would make up the milk at night and store it in the mini fridge upstairs for the nightfeeds as we only every fed the babies in the nursery. Bringing them downstairs and fumbling around in the kitchen in the middle of the night seemed too disruptive to me!
  • Bottle warmers – We used the ones by Avent again to prepare the night feeds
  • Dummies – I prefer the ones by Avent as they’re orthodontic and come with lids for hygiene purposes.

Furniture:

  • Pram – I researched this purchase a lot and came to the conclusion that the iCandy Peach Blossom 2 would suit our needs best (the Peach Blossom 3 is available now). What I love is that it carries the car seats directly on the chassis, which is essential when the babies fall asleep in the car and you need to get them in and out. It is also extremely light and folds easily, which is imperative after child birth/c-section
  • Crib for downstairs (along with sheets and blankets to fit) both babies can sleep in here together in the early days. By the time they outgrow the one crib, they should be taking their naps in their bedroom anyway. We used one by Mothercare we purchased second hand
  • Cot beds – space was limited in our twins bedroom so we already had a cotbed from Ariana that we used and then purchased a small cot from Ikea. If you do have the space and cash, I would recommend paying the extra and buying cotbeds as babies grow so fast and you will soon find yourself needing to upgrade. Ikea do great options
  • Wardrobes and drawers – something that can grow with the child/children
  • Feeding chair – we used a glider chair with Ariana but with twins who need to be fed at the same time, we knew we would need something bigger so we bought  this Ikea chair bed second hand from Gumtree and it has worked so well, initially as a bed in the nursery to allow us both the space to sit on and feed the babies at the same time (and sleep in there when we needed to) and now folded into a chair
  • Blackout blinds and curtains – IMPERATIVE! I can’t emphasise this purchase enough! As babies are born oblivious to night and day, I found teaching them their sleep patterns is a major part of bringing home baby/babies. I think it would be impossible if their nursery isn’t pitch black for day time naps and to get them to sleep in until the magical time of 7:00am
  • Decor – time, finances and motivation have given me the opinion that decorating a nursery doesn’t need to involve a full renovation of a spare bedroom. I generally pick a theme and then work around it. With Ariana and the twins we simply left all but one wall white, then created a mural painting hills and sky then adding re-usable wall stickers and matching curtains, lamp shade and fabrics. The twins theme was jungle (because we had to go unisex, of course) and these Fisherprice stickers work fabulously because when the time comes to redecorate, it will only involve removing them and repainting
  • Swing chair – again a lifesaver. We used the Fisherprice swing that we found on ebay and in the early weeks we could put one baby in here for their day time naps, it would provide such comfort for them and allow me to nurse the other
  • Bouncer chairs – (two of these) are a great place to sit the babies as soon as they can hold their heads a little and eventually tandem feed. I had so many issues with feeding two babies at the same time, I found these chairs to be the only way possible. We like ones that vibrate as they can be soothing (although not directly after a feed!) and researched the biggest one we could find so the twins could snuggle together in the early days. The Bruin Zebra Chair worked well for us and is still going strong a year later!

Clothing:

  • Sleepsuits – with twins, you will need 100’s. OK, maybe not 100’s but a lot. I learned with Ariana that my pregnancy hormones were to blame for a huge waste of time and money purchasing fancy clothes, shoes, bows and all kinds of crazy paraphernalia that will hang very prettily in their wardrobe until they outgrow it because you could never bring yourself to get them dressed in it and then have to wash, dry and iron it all over again after they barfed on it within 5 minutes. More so with twins! If you do have the energy to take them out, invest in pram suits so no-one can see what they’re wearing underneath. As long as they’re clean and comfy, that’s really all that matters. Integrated mittens are a must!
  • Vests – as above, the more the merrier. I prefer short sleeves as I like to keep babies cool and warm them up with layers
  • Hats – little cotton ones for those early days and warmer ones for any trips out
  • Swaddles – we didn’t swaddle Ariana but couldn’t have lived without the Miracle Blankets for the twins. We swaddled until they were five months old, they would never have slept without them!
  • Blankets, sheets and mattress protectors (all cotton and fitted where possible)
  • Muslin cloths – you can never have enough of these!
  • Comfort blankets – Ariana gave them to the babies when they were born and they’ve slept with them ever since (so cute!)

Electricals:

  • Room thermometer – we love the Gro Egg as a quick glance into the bedroom is all it takes to check if the temperature is right
  • Radiator – electric oil radiators with a thermostatic control are in both our kids bedrooms. We turn off the central heating radiators in their rooms so we can regulate the temperature ourselves so regardless of the time of year, their rooms are always at the same level and I don’t have to panic about them kicking off their covers during the night
  • Fan – for warmer weather. One that’s whisper quiet is best and if it has a timer too, even better
  • Breathing monitor – not everybody likes these but I really don’t think I would have slept a wink (the rare moments I had chance to anyway) without. We used the Angel Monitor with Ariana which was great for one baby but with two sharing a bed in the early weeks, separate monitors were needed. We chose the Snuza as they attach to the babies nappies rather than static under the mattress so we could monitor them wherever they slept throughout the day
  • Baby monitor – we already had the Angel Monitor (as above) and found this worked well, it also had the temperature indicator on the handset, which was a bonus.

For the car:

  • Car seats – the Maxi Cosi are fantastic and fit so easily onto our pram, it made life a lot easier
  • Isofix base – these fitted into the car making it so much easier to get the car seats in and out without fiddling with the seat belts. I could leave the car seats in and just get the babies in and out, I’ve loved these and highly recommend them
  • Footmuffs – coming home from hospital, the nurses won’t let you leave without a car seat (or two) so to have some footmuffs to tuck your babies into is really cozy. We had the JJ Cole Bundle Me and they stayed like new, wash after wash

Bits and bobs:

  • Changing table – makes life easier to have a changing station at the right height to avoid bending over changing the 100’s of nappies each week especially after a c-section! We got one that folded away (from Ikea) at the end of the day so we didn’t have the sit looking at it!
  • Top and tail bowl – these are so cheap and will be used daily
  • Nappies – all sizes! If anyone asks what they should buy you for the baby/babies forget toys – say nappies!
  • Wipes, nappy bags, Bepanthan, Sudocrem, disposable change mats (warmer than plastic mats and can be replaced quickly if things get messy. They’re also great as mattress protectors and useful for mum to sleep on when you first get home from hospital
  • Baby body wash, massage oil – organic if you can or rapeseed oil worked great for the twins
  • Towels – the fluffier the better!

Beautiful babies I really hope this list isn’t too overwhelming! I remember being pregnant and everything seemed so hard when I was dragging an extra 3 stone in weight around with me and barely getting and sleep but with the right amount of time and help (accept ANY that’s offered) you can be prepared for all eventualities with the items on this list. If not, everything will be fine anyway because you can always pick things up as you go along or leave me your comments/send me a message and I’d be happy to help!

Love from Leyla


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