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

Hospital bag checklist products
Editorial Team

Eliminate any last-minute panics by ensuring your ‘go bag’ is packed and ready well ahead of your due date. Here’s your hospital checklist

Jaffa Cakes. Rice cakes. Kendal mint cake… according to been-there-done-that mums, the most important thing in your hospital bag is your favourite sweet snacks. 

For everything else, book in for a free virtual appointment with one of our All Things Baby experts. They’ll give impartial advice, help you navigate what can be a bewildering amount of infomation and devise a personalised shopping list to suit your budget and lifestyle. 

But for now, here’s our definitive hospital bag checklist to ensure you have all the essentials – for you and your new arrival.

For you

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

You may not have seen your feet for a few months but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be toasty. Choose slippers that are easy to slip on and off.

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 handy if want to play background music. Magazines or a book will be essential if you’re waiting around.

A comfy T-shirt or nightie to wear during labour
A loose nightie will do the job.

Tens machine
Some find this helps with labour pains by sending a mild electrical current through your skin.

Drinks and snacks
As well as sweet indulgences, pack a refillable water bottle (with a straw), so you can stay hydrated easily. 

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 or give them to your birth partner to look after. 

Nursing bra
You’ll want a comfortable, non-wired nursing bra for post-birth feeds.

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 if you’re breastfeeding.

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 bathroom towel when freshening up – and don’t forget breast pads and maternity pads. 

Clothes to go home in  
Pack something loose and think comfort above everything – a sweatshirt with jogging bottoms is perfect.

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.

A couple of thin, cellular blankets will be good for layering, 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 them scratching – some sleepsuits have built-in ones.

Pack at least two or three sleepsuits, vests and a cardigan or two. Depending on the year you may also need a warm pramsuit. And you might want to take a special outfit for a going-home photo.

A new parent’s best friend. Muslin squares are just the thing for mopping up milk and accidents.

Car seat 
Strapping your baby into a car seat can be nerve-racking at first, but 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 newborn, read our baby checklist – it covers everything from clothing to cots to car seats.

For exclusive perks just for parents, check out our preference centre.

Virtual nursery service

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

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