Your hospital bag checklist
The Practical Bits
- Birth plan and hospital notes You'll want these handy! Keep them in a side pocket or at the top of your bag.
- Sanitary pads The thicker the better, especially for overnight.
- Hair tie or band Keeping your hair off your face gives you one less thing to think about.
- Sleepwear and socks An old, comfy nightie is perfect for labour and, if you get cold feet, socks are essential!
- A going-home outfit Take something loose and comfy, and some (sensible!) shoes.
- Knickers Plenty of pairs that aren't too precious!
- Snacks and drinks It's thirsty (and hungry) work. Stay hydrated and refuel when you can!
- Toothbrush and toothpaste The simplest things make the biggest difference.
- Nursing bras and breast pads To make breastfeeding easier and protect you from any leaks!
- Laundry bag To keep your washing away from your fresh clothes.
- Phone and phone charger For taking snaps and spreading the good news. Just check your hospital's mobile phone policy first!
"I packed a cooling spray for instant heat relief. I had a feeling that it may come in handy!"Tried-and-tested tips
Make Yourself Comfortable
- Slippers Your favourite pair... yes, even the fluffy ones!
- A comfy pillow The most comfortable one you have at home.
- Deodorant and moisturiser A quick and easy way to freshen up and feel pretty when you're stuck in bed.
- Your favourite body wash To make you feel more at home.
- Make-up You may want to make yourself up for that first photo!
- Lip balm Dry lips are a real problem during labour - tackle them with moisturising lip balm.
- TENS machine A clever little contraption to relieve pain in labour.
- Music Make playlists that keep you energised; tune in and zone out.
- An eye mask Helping you nod off under the bright hospital lights.
Pack well in advance of your due date and leave it somewhere easy to grab – just in case.
Top Tips From Mummy Bloggers
- A mini fan To keep you cool - even better, try one with a water spritzer!
- Laxatives Labour can leave you constipated, so come prepared, but check with your midwife before taking them.
- Flip-flops Perfect for wearing in shared hospital showers.
- Straws Handy for sipping when you're lying down.
- Glucose tablets A quick and easy energy boost.
- Your favourite toiletries bag Things that remind you of home will help you feel calm - or why not treat yourself to a new one?
- Hand sanitiser For times when you can't make it to the sink to wash your hands.
- Sports-top water bottle The easiest way to stay hydrated without pouring water all over yourself!
- Notebook or diary Always handy for jotting down important info from the midwife.
For your baby
- Baby clothes A few of your favourite first outfits, including vests, babygrows and sleepwear.
- Muslin cloths Leaks and dribbles are easily mopped up with a muslin.
- Toy or teddy Something to mark the occasion and a prop for those first priceless photos.
- Newborn nappies If they’re feeding, they’re pooing! Take plenty, plus nappy bags.
- Cotton wool Baby wipes aren’t recommended for newborns – opt for cotton wool and water instead.
For the journey home
- Car seat You might not fit this in your bag, but it’s an absolute essential! Make sure it’s correctly installed before going anywhere.
- Hats and booties To make their journey home warm and cosy.
- A blanket An extra layer for them in hospital and on the way home.
For your partner
For the bag
- Change for parking Don’t get caught out – take plenty to top up.
- Snacks and drinks Though you’re not the one pushing, you’ll need to keep your energy levels up for support.
- Games and reading material For both you and your partner. Something entertaining for hospital waits.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste A quick way to freshen up.
- A change of clothes In case you end up staying longer than expected.
- Painkillers Take your own stash in case a headache strikes.
- Your own pillow Improve your quality of sleep and feel more at home in a bedside chair with a familiar pillow.
- Camera To capture those precious first moments.
- Money In case you need to nip to the shop for supplies.
- A written list of phone numbers It may seem a bit old-school, but if you can’t use (or charge) your mobile, this will come in handy.
- A full petrol tank Not strictly one for the bag, but very important prep for that quick dash to the hospital.
- Contraction timing app Keep track of contractions from the very first instance.
Print and get prepped Download our printable list and start ticking things off.
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