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Your hospital bag checklist

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Our ultimate list of essentials, compiled by mums, experts and our favourite mummy bloggers, takes the hard work out of getting #HospitalBagReady

There’s loads more to explore

Tried-and-tested tips | #HospitalBagReady competition

For you

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!
hospital bag contents
blogger tips

"I packed a cooling spray for instant heat relief. I had a feeling that it may come in handy!"

Blogger Alex
 Watch my video and get more top tips from mums!

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.
Eye mask and iPod
Eva quote

Pack well in advance of your due date and leave it somewhere easy to grab – just in case.

Eva, baby care advisor & mum

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

For Hospital

  • 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.

To remember

  • 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.
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