9 Jul 2012
Does it pay to skip the hospital bag packing?
I hate packing. Loathe it. Despite doing it on a regular basis, I’ll regularly leave it to the last minute while my suitcase sits around forlornly for days waiting to be unpacked after trips. Only the fear of having to scrabble round mid-contraction meant I got my hospital bag packed in advance.
Presumably I’m not the only person who feels this way, as one company has dreamed up MyHospitalBag, pre-packed with 35 essentials for mother and baby for a hospital stay – for the grand total of £85. Ouch. I’m all for quick, easy solutions but this got me wondering exactly how much it cost to put my own together.
The pre-packed duffel bag includes the less glamorous – breastpads, maternity pads, arnica, comfy black pants (and rather less essential vagisil wipes) – plus half a dozen mini toiletries, brush, toothpaste, flipflops, slipper socks, tissues, fan, batteries, notepad, hairbands and laundry bag.
The baby collection seems more straightforward – two babygros, vests, hats, mittens, plus nappies and bags, cotton wool, wipes and Sudocrem.
In contrast, while mine has very similar contents, I’d be astonished if I’ve managed to spend £85 in total. I already had the two bags (one Primark, one on offer, total £10), and most of the cash has gone on clothes which aren’t included in the other – eg nursing bra, cheap pyjamas – as well as exciting additions like nipple cream and painkillers.
Instead, a lot of my baby items were samples, handed down from friends or bought with a gift card in one case, leaving me splashing out just a fiver on nappy bags, cotton wool and nappies (all in bigger packs so there’s plenty left over post-hospital), as well as around £15 for pads, pants and arnica.
I also hoard travel size toiletries and samples from magazines, so I don’t think I spent anything on additional beauty products, although with plenty of three for two offers on travel sizes, you could completely restock for under a tenner, even if you didn’t want to take your normal full-size versions.
A nice idea for a present? Maybe, although if someone was planning to spend £85 on me (anyone?), I can think of more exciting options to suggest. Otherwise, even for packing haters like myself, a bit of advance preparation and making the most of anything you can get cheap or free, it’s still best to DIY.