Packing your hospital bag

If your baby has been diagnosed with a heart condition antenatally, you may be wondering what to pack in your hospital bag. In fact, this is one of the most common questions asked in our Facebook parent support group and is also a topic in our parent-to-be virtual support group.

Heart mum and Tiny Tickers support group facilitator, Abbie, has written a blog post with her advice on what to pack in a ‘hearty hospital bag’, which you can read here.

Below is a list of recommendations from our community of heart parents, which will hopefully be a useful guide for when it’s time to pack your bag.

Plenty of baby grows

Baby grows that do up at the side, instead of those that go over the baby’s head, are recommended as these are much easier to change.

A comfortable pillow

If you have a pregnancy pillow, or a comfortable pillow from home, this will be especially useful for cuddles with your baby.

Nappies, dummies, muslins, mittens, socks and a blanket for the baby

Check with your hospital before you go to see what they provide. Many hospitals provide nappies. Hospitals may also provide breast pumps if you would like to express milk.

Socks may be easier to put over your baby’s hands, instead of mittens, as they can stretch further over any wires and tubes.

Bonding squares

Bonding squares help parents and baby bond by smell, when baby can’t physically be held. Our volunteer knitters have kindly knitted many bonding squares and we include a pair in each of our family support packs.

Comfortable clothes and shoes

Depending on how long your baby stays in hospital, you could be standing and sitting in the ward for some time. Comfortable clothing and shoes, such as flip flops or slippers, are essential. Many parents say they felt hot on the ward, so include some cooler clothes in your bag.

Plenty of snacks and drinks for you

As well as packing plenty of snacks, it’s a good idea to take a large, refillable water bottle to help keep you hydrated. Some parents also recommend a thermos flask for tea and coffee.

Diary / scrapbook

Even if you just write a couple of lines per day, it may help to get your feelings down on paper. You may also want to record your baby’s journey to show them when they are older.

Moisturiser for your hands

Your hands could become dry from washing and sanitising, so a good quality hand moisturiser may be very helpful.

Find out more about how we can support you here.