Pregnancy

      Your hospital bag checklist

      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

      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!

      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.

      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 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.

      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.

      Any more questions?

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