Your hospital bag should contain everything you and your baby might need in the first few days after birth, until you’re both ready to come home.
In this post we’ll provide a checklist of essential things to pack, for you and your baby.
But before we start listing items, bear in mind that you might end up spending longer in hospital than expected. So it’s a good idea to pack a second, smaller hospital bag too, which someone can come home and collect for you should you need it.
You don’t need to worry too much about what to put in this second “emergency” bag – just a few more changes of clothes for you, and maybe some more nappies for your baby.
So with that said, let’s begin our hospital bag checklist for labour!
The Essential Hospital Bag Checklist for Mum – For Labour
Here are the crucial things you’ll want to pack for yourself:
- Notes and documents – Some women prepare “maternity notes”, a collection of documents containing essential information for anyone who needs it. This might include your medical history, your contact information, details of any medication you might be on, plus logistical things, like your appointment times and useful phone numbers. If you’ve made a birthing plan, you should pack that too.
- Medication – You’re heading to a hospital, so they should be able to supply you with whatever you need for a healthy birth. But if you take any medication or dietary supplements, pack them in your hospital bag.
- Clothing – You’ll want to wear something comfy and loose for your labour, something that gives you a good range of movement without making you feel too hot. A big nighty or an oversize t-shirt, for example.
- Toiletries – Toothbrush, hairbrush, soap, hair ties, shower gel, and whatever else you need.
- Electronics – Pack a phone and charger. Also, some women use TENS machines to provide pain relief during labour. As not all hospitals provide these, you might need to pack your own.
- Food and drink – Pack healthy snacks and lots of water.
- Comfort items – You might want to pack your own giant pregnancy pillow, as well as a fan or some water spray to help you keep cool.
- Entertainment – Your labour might be a long one. You might want to pack some things to keep you occupied in the early stages, such as books, magazines, or devices for playing music and podcasts.
The Essential Hospital Bag Checklist for Mum – After Birth
So the above items should get you through labour. But you’ll need to pack a few extra things for after the birth:
- Clothes – You’ll need a dressing gown, slippers or flip-flops, and large, loose-fitting underwear. You’ll also need something comfortable to wear home.
- Towels – The hospital might not provide towels, so you might need to pack your own should you want to take a shower. Pack some wet wipes too, to keep you cool and for cleaning small spills.
- Maternity pads – Take a look at our range of soft, comfortable, and reusable postpartum sanitary pads.
- Breastfeeding things – Pack your breast pump, your nursing clothing, and a few breast pads.
The Essential Hospital Bag Checklist For Baby
Remember – when you’re packing your hospital bag, you’re packing for two! So this is what you’ll need to bring for your baby:
- Clothing – Bodysuits, vests, and sleep suits. Also socks, booties, mittens, and a hat, to keep your baby warm. And if it’s going to be cold when you take your baby home, you might need to pack a snowsuit too.
- Blankets & Muslin Squares
- Cotton wool balls or cotton pads – For when you need to gently and carefully clean your newborn’s eyes, nose, and ears.
- Car seat – For taking your baby home! You’ll still need a car seat if you intend to get a taxi, so make sure you know how to safely fit it.
- Nappies – Your baby will need nappies from the moment they’re born. Read our full guide to how many nappies to pack in your hospital bag.
Eco-Friendly Nappies for Newborns
When it comes to nappies for your newborn, you can choose between disposable nappies and reusable nappies. There are pros and cons to using each.
Many new parents have lots of questions about reusable nappies. So we prepared a short guide to how reusable nappies work. We’ve also got a guide to washing and looking after reusable nappies, which will give you an idea of how many reusable nappies to bring to the hospital, and how many you’ll need at home.
We sell affordable multi-packs of reusable nappies, which will give you more than enough for both your hospital bag and your baby’s first few days at home.