When I was pregnant I filmed a ‘what’s in my hospital bag’ video – I laugh looking back at it now! I was so unprepared for how much stuff I would need during our hospital stay, my poor husband and family had to keep bringing me things from home! If I was going into hospital to have twins again, these are the things I would bring with me.
‘Tiny baby’ clothes
I was unprepared for how small my babies would be. They were 5lb 8oz and 5lb 15oz at birth, which I didn’t think was that small, but the normal ‘newborn’ sized clothes I had seemed so huge on them. The sizing from different shops varied a lot too – the best tiny baby items we found were from Mothercare. Even though they are quite expensive, they were nice and small and great quality.
I also didn’t realise that they would need multiple layers of clothing. This may sound silly, but it was just something I had no clue about as a first time mum. We needed to dress them in a short-sleeved vest with a long-sleeved babygrow over the top to keep them warm enough, even on a heated mattress. They also had to wear hats, which I had none of! The hospital kindly provided these for us, but it would’ve been nice to be prepared and bring my own.
This was another thing I was so unaware of – how many blankets we would need! Along with their double-layer of clothing, hat and heated mattress, they also had two or three layers of blankets on them. The hospital had a very limited supply of donated blankets, so we had to provide these ourselves. Our favourite blankets were from Asda.
Formula and bottles
I decided I was going to formula-feed my twins, and again was unaware of what this would actually require in terms of ‘equipment.’ You can buy ready-made formula in little bottles at the supermarkets, which was what we started with. The teats on these bottles were nice and small and absolutely perfect for our tiny girls. However, they are INCREDIBLY expensive, especially when feeding two!
After a couple of days using the ready-made bottles, we decided to move onto our own bottles and cartons of formula. We had some Tommee Tippee bottles which we tried instead, but they really struggled with the larger teats on these. We then bought some Philips AVENT bottles which we found much more suitable, and we continued to use these for a couple of months. With feeding them every 2-3 hours and rotating the cleaning and sterilising, I would recommend having at least 6 bottles.
Unless you stick with using the ‘one-use’ bottles of formula, you will need to sterilise your bottles before using them. The hospital provided us with sterilising bags, which were great! After using our bottles, we took them to a little room at the end of the ward which was equipped with a sink, washing up liquid and microwave. We just had to clean our bottles, pop them in the bag with some water, then microwave the bag for a minute or so to sterilise them with steam. These bags are available to buy, so it might be worth just having a couple in your hospital bag.
I can’t stress enough how important but annoying these are!! You will find yourself going through so many of them! They are great for protecting your clothing and your baby when feeding. Newborn babies are so dribbly when they feed, so just trust me and bring lots of these!
Nappies, wipes and nappy sacks
Our hospital provided the nappies when the girls were literally first born, but after that we needed to provide them. We had the very smallest size available in the supermarkets, and these were still quite big on them! At this age (and being premature) they were being fed and changed every 2-3 hours, so you’ll need lots.
Small fabric bibs will come in handy for catching those dribbly bits of milk when feeding. You can also tuck a muslin cloth under their chin, but sometimes bibs are easier.
Toiletries – toothbrush, hairbrush, deodorant, hand sanitiser etc
Be prepared for at least a few days in hospital, so bring supplies to have a shower and freshen up when you are ready. I wasn’t allowed to walk until a day or two after my operation, so when I had that first shower it was absolute bliss! I’d also highly recommend bringing some dry shampoo!
If you’re having twins, you’re more likely to end up needing a Caesarean section. I ended up having an emergency section, which I was of course unprepared for (there’s a bit of a running theme in this blog post!!). After I woke up from the operation, one of the first things the midwife told me was ‘you’re going to need some big knickers!’ Luckily my mum came to the rescue with these, but I would’ve preferred to be prepared. The reason for needing some larger underwear is to make sure nothing is rubbing against your wound. They’re also rather comfortable, and I carried on wearing them for longer than I probably needed to – much to my husband’s dismay!
You will experience bleeding after giving birth, c-section or not. Make sure to pack a good supply of maternity pads to keep you comfortable. These monsters are another reason why the big knickers come in handy!
About two days after birth, my breasts became very tender and sore as my milk started to come through. As I wasn’t breast feeding, the midwives told me I just needed to leave them alone (as if I was going to touch them!) and the milk would ‘dry up.’ I was surprised at how much they did leak though, so I’d highly recommend popping some pads into your hospital bag to avoid any leaks.
A notepad and pen
We had to remember of how much milk the girls drank, their temperature, when they had a dirty nappy, and at what time. Having two babies, this became quite hard to keep track of. We ended up writing it down in a notepad, so when the midwives asked us information we had it to hand straight away. You could also use your phone, but there’s something nice about pen and paper!
Some nice food and treats for mum
Giving birth is hard work! Treat yo’self! I was absolutely starving when I woke up from my c-section. Luckily there was a rather lovely M&S Food on site, but if you’ve got any particular favourite treats maybe bring some along with you. Also if you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need those extra calories.
During our stay in hospital I pretty much lived in my pyjamas. I was focused on recovery and absolutely wasn’t worrying about how I looked. I bought myself some new maternity pyjamas, and also brought along some slippers and a dressing gown. It got quite cold on the ward during the night, so I’d recommend bringing something nice and warm. I suddenly felt the cold after the girls were born. I’m not sure if this was because I lost a lot of blood, or just because I no longer had two babies keeping me warm!
‘Coming home’ outfit – for mum and babies!
I think it’s lovely to dress your babies up a bit when you’re finally able to take them home! James got the girls some sweet little Peter Rabbit babygrows. I completely forgot about clothes for myself, so make sure to remember to pack a comfortable outfit for going home in. I kept wearing my maternity leggings and loose tops, because my tummy was still quite large for a few weeks after the operation.
I’m sure this one is quite obvious, but you’ll be needing car seats before you can bring your babies home! Make sure to have a practice with them well in advance, so you’re comfortable with getting the babies in and fitting them securely in the car.
Most twin mums agree that you should try and have your bag packed (as best you can) by about 28 weeks. I hope this list helps some of you with the packing process. It can be quite daunting not knowing where to start. If any of you multiple mums out there can think of anything I’ve missed – please do get in touch and I’ll add it in! Of course it will be different if you are breastfeeding, or if your babies end up needing a long stay in intensive care, but hopefully my list will be a good place to start.
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