Having a baby? Here are all the essentials you need to pack in your hospital bag

Hospital bag checklist products
Sophie Davis,-Contributing editor

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.

And if you’d like some more tips and direction, book in for a free virtual appointment with one of our All Things Baby Advisors. They will give impartial advice, help you navigate through what can be a bewildering amount of infomation and devise a personalised shopping list to suit your budget and lifestyle. 

For you

Dressing gown 
A dressing gown is an essential – go for a lightweight, cotton option.

Slippers
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. A portable Bluetooth speaker is also good if want to play background music. 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.

TENS machine
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.

Nursing bra
You’ll want a comfortable, non-wired nursing bra for afterwards.

Pyjamas 
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.

Toiletries 
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. Plus, at the moment you will need a mask when you enter and exit the hospital.

For baby

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.

Blanket 
A couple of thin, cellular blankets will be good for layering up, depending on the temperature.

Cotton hat and scratch mittens
Newborns need to be kept snug, so take a little hat. A pair of cotton mittens will be useful to stop your baby scratching – some sleepsuits have built-in ones.

Clothes 
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.

Muslins 
A new parent’s best friend. Muslin squares are just the thing for mopping up milk and accidents (there will be many).

Car seat 
Strapping your baby into a car seat can be nerve-wracking at first – our Nursery Partners can show you how to fit yours, for peace of mind.

What next?

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.

Virtual nursery service

Need expert advice? Book a virtual appointment with one of our Nursery Advisors

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