What to pack in your hospital bag?

4-5 minute read

For first time parents planning what to pack in your hospital bag can be quite daunting, so here's a list of anything and everything you may need:

Mum's bag

Remember you don't need to bring everything at first, you can have a spare bag packed at home filled with extra nappies and pads that your partner can pick up in case of an extended stay. Only take what you will need for a 24-hour period as there usually isn't much space in the hospital rooms unless you are very lucky or have complications during labour (which we had so they gave us our own room once Ava was born).


  • Hospital notes – including your birth plan if you have one

  • Cheap nighty to wear during labour

  • Bikini top if you're having water birth

  • Pillow

  • Headphones

  • Lucozade sport energy drinks (non-fizzy) to help replace the energy your body loses

  • Snacks

  • Mini spray fan

  • Flannel

  • Lip balm

  • Water bottle with straw

  • Massage oil (for partner to massage your back)

  • Tens machine

  • Portable phone charger

After birth

  • Sanitary pads (thick maternity ones, or sanitary knickers)

  • Witch hazel

  • Peri bottle (to squirt warm water whilst going to the bathroom)

  • Shampoo/conditioner

  • Body wash

  • Towel (dark colour)

  • Hand Towel

  • Flip flops

  • Stretch mark cream

  • Dressing gown

  • Dry shampoo

  • Roll on deodorant

  • Any make up?

  • Face wipes

  • Moisturiser

  • Hairbrush

  • Toothbrush

  • Toothpaste

  • Few changes of comfy clothes/pyjamas (nighties are handy) - consider ones that might be easy to breastfeed with if that's the route you’re considering taking.

  • Nipple cream

  • Breast pads

  • Plenty pairs of underwear

  • Nursing bras

  • Comfortable blanket for you

  • Eye mask

  • Hair bobbles

  • Going home outfit (dark colours)

  • Reading book.

  • Slippers

Baby’s bag

We know you will want to pack everything but the kitchen sink you for new arrival(s) but we have compiled a list of all the essentials you will need!

  • Newborn nappies (allow 10 a day)

  • Cotton wool

  • Barrier cream

  • Receiving blanket (gigil)

  • Blankets to swaddle/cover up

  • Short sleeved vests (newborn/ up to 1 month/ 0-3)

  • Baby grows (same as vests)

  • Muslin cloths

  • Bibs

  • Hats

  • Scratch mittens

  • Socks

  • Coat / Thick cardigan/ Snowsuit if winter - for going home

  • Ready-made formula bottles

  • Dummies

  • Car seat(s)

Partner's bag

Your partner will also need a bag for the stay, and we would recommend packing extra if you are having your labour induced as it will make the stay longer. A regular backpack should do the trick for this bag.
  • Change of clothes

  • Snacks and drinks

  • Games/reading material

  • Toothbrush

  • Pillow

  • Camera

  • Change for parking and vending machines



  • It can be handy to separate clothes into outfits and put them into little bags (e.g. sandwich bags) with labels on. For example, first outfit (newborn), first outfit (0-3), spare baby grows, coming home outfit etc. This makes things so much easier when you or your partner are looking for clothes later.

  • There are several simple things you can do prior to the birth to make bonding to your baby easier. We suggest washing your baby's blanket before going to the hospital and then sleeping with it so that it will smell like you.

  • Also using unscented soaps and deodorants.

  • Wash your baby grows before taking them to the hospital to remove any manufactures chemicals and expose them to unharmful household bacteria.

  • You can start packing your bag whenever you want – but we recommend having your bag packed at least 3 weeks before your due date.

  • If you already have a changing bag why not save money and use it for your baby's hospital bag as well.

  • Pack the car seat before hand – save yourselves any extra work later on (it can take a while to fit if you haven't done it before)