What should I pack in my hospital bag?

You should have your hospital bag ready at least four weeks before your due date – just in case. Leave it somewhere easily accessible so you can grab it easily and go whenever you need to. Packing your bag really helps to keep you busy and focused and of course, you’ll be well-prepared for the birth too! We’ve put together a list of things that lots of mums find useful to have with them. We hope that it helps but if you have any other questions contact our team for more advice.

Your hospital bag checklist

Having the perfectly packed bag to help get you through the birth in the hospital is something that lots of mums ask about. You’ll want to be prepared during labour and you’ll need things for your newborn baby afterwards, but try not to over pack!

The first stage of labour can be long, so take something to keep you entertained, like magazines or an mp3 player. A cosy, clean dressing gown or nightie to wear after the birth will help you to feel more comfortable as well.

It’s a good idea to take some loose, comfy clothes and a pair of flat shoes to go home in too. Other things to pack include lip balm, a hair band (if you’ve got long hair), socks, snacks like dried fruit or cereal bars, maxi sanitary pads, unscented toiletries, and a camera. As for your new baby, they’ll need nappies, a blanket, socks, a vest and an outfit that goes on easily and doesn’t need to be tugged over their head.

Follow the checklist below to help pack your hospital bag. There’s no need to take too much, your stay should be quite short and, if you do need extra, friends or family can get things for you.

For Labour:

  • Your birth plan
  • Hospital notes (if you have them)
  • Change for the car park and money for snacks
  • Nightie, dressing gown, cosy socks and slippers
  • Contact lenses and spare glasses (if you have them)
  • Magazines or iPod/mp3 player
  • A watch with a second hand to time your contractions
  • Hair tie/band (if you have long hair)
  • Water spray (for cooling yourself down during labour)
  • Lip balm
  • Cereal bars or dried fruit for an energy boost
  • Frozen drinks – They’ll defrost during long labour
  • TENS Machine (if you’re using one)

After Labour:

  • Hot water bottle (for pain relief)
  • Massage oil (for pain relief)
  • Eye mask, if you have trouble sleeping with the lights on
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and unscented toiletries
  • Maxi sanitary pads
  • Nursing bras and breast pads
  • A v-shaped pillow (can help make baby feeding more comfy)
  • Essentials for your baby including nappies, blanket, socks, vest, hat and something that goes on easily and doesn’t really need to be tugged over their head
  • Phone numbers of friends and family
  • Camera
  • Lots of change or phone cards to make calls if they don’t let you use mobiles in the hospital
  • Comfy clothes and flat shoes to go home in