Pregnancy and Birth

Getting Your Hospital Bag Essentials Ready

and have your hospital bag essentials handy.

When to start?

Packing your hospital bag can be a fun experience, because it feels like you are getting that little bit closer to the big day. Preparing in advance will also help you feel more relaxed and in control. Generally, it is recommended that you have your hospital bag essentials ready by week 36/37.

What do I need?

Here are some ideas on what to bring for yourself, your baby and your partner for the hospital. Most maternity wards will not have a lot of space so you may want to pack them into different bags. Tip: Have one bag for all your labour needs and one for everything else afterwards.

For yourself

  • Birth plan & medical notes
  • A couple of comfortable nighties (you will need one for the labour ward and one for after the birth)
  • A light dressing gown, the maternity ward can be warm but something light will come in handy
  • A pack of thick maternity pads and some comfy underwear. You’ll be wearing maternity pads after you give birth, so big pants are ideal.
  • A comfortable bra/nursing bra.
  • Non-slip slippers, try a size larger as your feet can swell
  • A pair of flip flops for the shower
  • 2 large dark towels
  • Toiletries – the usual face wash, deodorant, tooth brush and tooth paste. Be sure to include breast pads, nipple cream, a face spray, a small mirror, some make-up if it makes you feel more like yourself, and a brush and hair ties.
  • Phone charger, snacks and drinks – a reusable water bottle is really handy. Bring some straws, so you can easily drink while lying down.
  • Clothes to wear for going home
  • Any birthing accessories you need – e.g. birthing ball, pillow, TENS machine

 For your baby

  • Baby clothes:
    • Babygros x 4
    • Baby vests x 4
    • Cardigan, hat and scratch mittens
    • Don’t forget that cute ‘going home’ outfit
    • If you’re bringing your little one home during the winter months, be sure to have a cosy jacket or Newborn Footmuff ready for them
    • A handy tip is to put the first outfit you want to put on your baby in a separate bag so it can be grabbed quickly!
  • Muslin cloths and bibs – for dribbles and spills
  • 2 soft breathable cellular blankets
  • Teddy, a comforter and some soothers/dummies if you plan to use them
  • Some newborn size nappies and cotton wool – it is recommended not to use wipes on a newborn baby; water and cotton wool works just fine 

For your partner

  • Plenty of loose change for the parking machines (or get a parking app if you are using on-street parking) and money for vending machines or canteen.
  • Phone and charger or power pack.
  • Spare clothes, deodorant and toothbrush – a quick way to freshen up in case you end up staying longer than expected.
  • Contact details of family/friends who will want to hear from you after the birth.
  • Infant car seat – make sure you are familiar with using this before you go into hospital and if using an Isofix or fitted seat it would be wise to get it fitted by a professional – Tony Kealy’s, Halfords and Smyths will help you with this.
  • Car seat support – some added support for your little one.

Don’t Forget: A full petrol tank!  Not strictly one for the hospital bag essentials list, but very important for that quick dash to the hospital.

Read Next: Taking Care Of Your Post-Childbirth Body

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