Having a baby? Here are all the essentials you need to pack in your hospital bag
Baby’s room is painted, the pram’s ready, but do you have all you need for hospital? Consult our checklist
If you’re a first time mum-to-be, it pays to be prepared – which means after nine months of waiting to meet your baby, it’s time to start thinking about your hospital bag. But what do you really need? From slippers to sleepsuits, here’s our definitive hospital bag checklist to ensure you have all the essentials – for you and your new arrival.
A dressing gown is an essential – go for a lightweight, cotton option.
You’re having a baby – you deserve something comfy on your feet. Choose a pair that are easy to slip on and off and don’t require much bending down.
Phone, headphones and charger
To play your favourite music, watch movies, and pass the time while you are waiting for baby. Magazines or a book will also be good if you’re waiting around a while.
A comfy T-shirt or nightie to wear during labour
A loose, comfortable one will do the job.
Some women find this helps with labour pains by sending a mild electrical current through your skin.
Drinks and snacks
Pack snacks that will stay fresh in your bag for a couple of days if needed – you never know when you might need a little something. Energy bars and protein balls are good options. Pack a refillable water bottle, so you can stay hydrated.
Birth plan and maternity notes
It’s a good idea to have these with you whenever you leave the house in the weeks leading up to your due date. Don’t forget to slip them in your bag when you head to the hospital.
You’ll want a comfortable, non-wired nursing bra for afterwards.
Have a soft pair of pyjamas to change into while you bond with your baby and wait to go home. Front-opening tops are good for breastfeeding in.
Pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, moisturiser, deodorant and shower gel. Treat yourself to some travel-sized minis to save space. You’ll also appreciate your own towel afterwards for freshening up – and don't forget breast pads and maternity pads.
Clothes to go home in
Pack something loose that you’ll feel comfortable in. Think comfort above everything – a sweatshirt with jogging bottoms is perfect.
Nappies, cotton wool and changing equipment
Take lots (and lots!) of nappies and cotton wool. You’ll be surprised how many you get through, so make sure you have a couple of packs.
A couple of thin, cellular blankets will be good for layering up, depending on the temperature.
Pack at least two or three sleepsuits, vests and a cardigan or two. Depending on what time of year it is you may also need something warm like a pramsuit. You might want to choose a special outfit too, for a going-home photo.
For more advice on all the equipment you’ll need for your baby, read our baby checklist – covering everything from clothing to cots to car seats.
What to pack in your hospital bag - a step-by-step video guide
Packing your hospital bag before you are due to give birth can be daunting. Watch our easy-to-follow video guide to what to pack to take with you for birth and just after.