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What to Pack in Your Maternity Hospital Bag?

There’s so much to prepare for when your due date is approaching, so it’s important to have a list of everything you’ll need for before, during and after labour. Just in case baby decides to make an early appearance, you should have your maternity hospital bag packed and ready by week 36 of your pregnancy.

Worried you’ll miss something? Don’t fret – our hospital bag checklist is on hand to make sure you don’t forget any of the essentials!

Prepare your bag

Preparing your maternity hospital bag

Before you start packing your bag, it’s worth bearing in mind that hospitals can vary in terms of what they allow you to bring with you for labour. For example, you may want to bring along some home comforts – such as your own pillows – but the hospital might have limited space to allow for too many items.

Always call the hospital ahead or ask your midwife to clarify what you can and can’t bring to make your birthing environment as comfortable as possible.

You can even pack two hospital bags

If you’d prefer, you can even pack two hospital bags: one for the birth, and another for the postnatal time you spend in hospital after your little one is born. If you’re being driven to the hospital, you could leave the second hospital bag in the car; if your birth is quick and straightforward, there’s a chance you might leave the hospital on the same day and have no need for the second bag at all.

But it’s always best to be over-prepared!

Prepare your bag

Essential items for your maternity hospital bag

Here are some of the essential items you’ll need to bring to hospital with you, and why they’re so important.

Slippers

You’ll need slippers for walking around the hospital, as well as to stop your feet getting chilly!

Slippers

Comfortable clothes

By the time you leave hospital with your new arrival, you might be feeling a little sore and tired, so make sure your going-home clothes are stretchy and comfortable.

We recommend bringing your favourite pair of maternity jeans or leggings and a comfy top.

Long Maternity Leggings
Breastfeeding Pillow

Pregnancy / breastfeeding pillow

To help yourself feel more comfortable during and after labour, you could bring your own pillows from home. A V-shaped pillow is a good way of getting extra support for breastfeeding.

Stars

Toiletries

It’s so easy to get caught up with what to pack for the labour itself that we often forget to bring items for ourselves! You’ll want to clean up after baby arrives, so pack some shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste and your toothbrush.

It’s also worth bringing along some lip balm – as your lips can easily go dry on the warm maternity ward – and a couple of hair ties to keep your hair out of the way during labour.

Towel

This is mainly so you can have a shower after giving birth. It’s worth checking with the hospital beforehand though, as they might be able to provide towels for you if you’ve got limited space. However, if you want a nice big fluffy towel, it’s probably best to bring your own!

An eye mask

Those fluorescent hospital lights can be very glaring and make it difficult to sleep, so it’s definitely a good idea to pack an eye mask to help you get some shuteye if you’re staying overnight.

Drinks and snacks

You’ll need all the energy you can get during childbirth, so bring some snacks and drinks to keep you going, such as isotonic sports drinks, cereal bars, boiled sweets or mints. And make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration!

Take a photo!

Music & player

If you want to listen to music to help you feel calm during the birth, you can bring in some music to listen to. Some hospitals supply a player, so we recommend asking ahead of your due date to make sure.

Camera and charger / batteries

This is one for your birthing partner to take care of! You’ll want to snap plenty of photos of the latest addition to your family, so bringing a camera is a brilliant way to capture those first moments.

Phone charger

Bring your phone charger so you’ve got enough power to spread the good news once your baby has come into the world!

Something to read

If you’re in hospital for a while, it’s a good idea to bring something with you to pass the time, such as a book, magazines or an e-reader.

Change for the car park

Again, you can probably leave this one to your birthing partner, as you’ll have bigger things to worry about!

Smile :)

What to pack for your baby

Once you’ve got everything ready for labour, it’s time to think about what baby might need before you bring them home.

Here’s our definitive list:

Mittens

Again, mittens are perfect for keeping little hands toasty and warm, and should be made from soft, delicate materials to protect your baby’s skin.

Muslin square cloths

These are for mopping up dribble and spills and come in very handy during those early days.

Elephant

Cotton wool balls or gentle baby wipes

Baby skin is very delicate, so the best way to wipe your little one down at first is with cotton wool balls and water or very gentle baby wipes.

Elephant

Nappies

Make sure you have plenty of these – newborns can go through as many as 12 in a single day!

Newborn Baby Pack of 7 Pure Cotton Bootees

Car seat

Lastly, you’ll need to ensure your little one is safe and comfortable on the journey home. For newborn babies, you need a group 0+ car seats, which is suitable for babies from birth until they weigh around 29lbs.

You can find out more about which car seat is best for your baby here.

Unsure of exactly what your little one might need when they first come into the world?
Check out our ultimate list of what to buy for your newborn.

Maternity WearBabywearPrint our check list