What to pack in your hospital bag: A checklist

  • Aug 2, 2021
What to pack in your hospital bag

I’ve been putting it off for weeks but I’ve finally taken the plunge and started to order a few things for my hospital bag ready for the new baby’s arrival. I’m a little bit paranoid I’m going to go into labour early and that it will be a speedy one so I’m planning to be mostly prepared in the next couple of weeks just in case. The baby will undoubtedly keep us waiting like Eva did though!

I added the usual glamorous goodies (hello adult nappies) to my basket and asked on Instagram for suggestions for other must haves. There were so many good suggestions I thought I’d put a checklist together in case it’s helpful for any other mothers to be.

With Eva I went in very prepared and organised with everything I needed for a relaxing water birth (battery operated candles, headphones, bikini, room spray, all sorts!) and ended up just using Lucozade and gave birth nowhere near a pool in just the sports bra I was wearing when I arrived… My main advice would be to make sure you have things you need to be comfortable but the below is a thorough list of advice from women who have been through it recently!

What to pack in your hospital bag

For you

Things to make you more comfortable

  • Medical notes and birth plan (make sure your birth partner knows where they are)
  • Maternity pads (Tucks medicated pads are great for soothing too if you have a vaginal birth, keeping them in the fridge makes them even better)
  • Disposable adult nappies (these were so handy last time!)
  • Breast pads and nipple balm if you’re planning to breastfeed
  • Lip balm
  • Hair bobbles and clips
  • Face spray (this was suggested a lot!)
  • Spritz for Bits or a peri bottle

Snacks and distractions

  • All of the snacks, drinks and sweets
  • Lucozade (Sports is best as fizzy drinks aren’t ideal)
  • Water bottle with straw (probably the most recommended thing!)
  • Headphones (good for trying to stay focused in labour)
  • Kindle, a book, iPad or similar in case you have a longer stay or lengthy labour/induction

Handy Things

  • Carrier bags for anything that gets messy
  • Your own pillow – I took an L shaped pillow last time and it was great during and after birth)
  • Your own towel – hospital ones can be a bit scratchy 
  • Eye mask in case you have a chance to get some sleep
  • Mini shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, toothpaste, toothbrush etc to help you feel human again 
  • Chargers
  • Change for vending machines, car park etc


  • Giant black granny pants
  • Nursing/comfy bras
  • Cosy socks (my feet got SO cold after being up in stirrups for so long, fluffy socks got me through!)
  • Comfy pyjamas/loungewear (ones you don’t mind getting covered in bodily fluids)
  • Light dressing gown (hospitals are hotter than the surface of the sun)
  • Flip flops or slippers for walking around 
  • Something to wear during labour (I just wore a sports bra but you might want a bikini top if you’re planning a water birth or you might be more of a dress kind of gal)
  • Clothes to go home in

Luxury and nice to have

  • Room spray (Mio Liquid Yoga spray is my fave)
  • More luxury bits to make you feel human or in case you have a long induction/stay after birth eg. bath oil, perfume, make up, skincare
  • Battery operated candles/fairy lights if you want to make a relaxing space – mine didn’t leave my bag last time but it would have been nice!
  • Portable fan 
  • TENS machine (I had one last time but it never left the box, people swear by them though)
  • Playlist if you fancy having a soundtrack
  • Hakaa pump or similar for catching any spare milk if you’re planning to breastfeed
  • Bags and labels to keep everything separate and easy to find, I’m planning on using Glossier bags and packing cubes I have already but sandwich bags would be handy!

For baby

  • Nappies – I have size 0 and 1in my basket as our baby is measuring quite small at the moment
  • Clothes – about 3-4 changes just in case and one that’s suitable to go home in depending on the weather (I have tiny baby and newborn ready to go – last time I put the different sizes in labelled bags so it was easy for Joe to find everything)
  • Hats (I had a couple of different sizes, Eva had a massive head so I was grateful!)
  • Blanket – cellular ones are best at this stage
  • Socks or booties and scratch mitts
  • Wipes and cotton wool for nappy changes 
  • Muslin cloths
  • Pre-mixed baby milk and sterilised bottle (I’m planning to breastfeed again but always good to have a back-up just in case)
  • Sudocrem or similar

For when you get home

Something that was really handy to have ready for when we got home was a changing caddy which popped up a few times in the responses on Instagram! We had one upstairs and one downstairs with the essentials in (nappies, wipes, cotton wool, nappy cream, muslins etc). It made it so much easier than having to run upstairs to grab something if there was a nappy incident.

I also invested in an inflatable cushion with a hole in the middle so I could sit down comfortably, GLAM. Get those Tucks medicated pads in the fridge ready for your return too! Or you can make your own ‘padsicles’.

We also swore by Infacol in the early days with Eva, it was a lifesaver.

I’ve started stockpiling general toiletries for after the baby’s born, I did this with Eva and it was so handy to not have to worry about running out of anything as well as not having to spend precious mat leave pay on things that could feel a bit frivolous. I’ve basically got an aisle of boots in a box ready to go. Here’s a list of things I’ve bulk bought in preparation in case it’s useful too:

  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Hair products
  • Skincare – cleanser, moisturiser etc
  • Shower Gel
  • Contact lens solution
  • Make up back ups
  • Toothpaste

If you have any more suggestions, please leave a comment below!

6th June 2021