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What to pack in your hospital bag

Here’s our handy checklist for mum, partner and baby!

Categories   Third Trimester

The Edit

The big day is approaching and the question on the mind of every mum-to-be is what on earth do I pack in my hospital bag?! As your little bundle of joy may arrive earlier than expected, it’s best to get your hospital bags ready by around week 36 – just in case!

Checklist for Mum: Everything you’ll need for labour and birth.

  • Hospital file – Keep your medical notes handy so doctors and midwives can easily look at your history whilst you’re in the hospital.
  • Birth plan – If you have one, it’s a good idea to have a few copies of your birth plan printed out for reference.
  • Nightdresses – Take a couple comfy nightdresses, including a front-opening one if you’re planning to breastfeed.
  • Super-absorbent sanitary or maternity pads – Your hospital may provide these for you, but it’s best to have your own just in case.
  • Comfortable underwear – Pack 5-6 pairs of big, comfy knickers and 2-3 bras, plus nursing bras if you’re planning to breastfeed.
  • Phone and charger – So you can stay in touch with loved ones and take those precious first photos.
  • Loose-fitting clothing – take a change of clothes in case you need them during your hospital stay, plus an outfit for going home in.
  • Healthy snacks and drinks – Because there’s nothing worse than being hungry!
  • Dressing gown – To keep you comfortable and cosy during your stay.
  • Socks – Lots of women say their feet get cold during labour, so be sure to pack some warm socks.
  • Flip flops or sliders – For walking around the ward and using the shower.
  • Wash bag – Pack a toothbrush, hairbrush, flannel, soap, lip balm, deodorant, nipple cream and hair ties.
  • Comfortable pillow – Although the hospital will provide you with a pillow, it’s sometimes more comforting to have your own there with you.
  • Books, magazine, tablet – Labour can take its time, so be sure to pack books, magazines or a tablet with movies downloaded to keep you entertained.
  • Eye mask and ear plugs – The hustle and bustle of a hospital doesn’t stop at night, so an eye mask and ear plugs may help you get some rest.
  • Breast pads – To keep milk and moisture away from your skin.
  • Towels – If you prefer to use your own.
  • Water spray or fan – May help keep you cool during labour. 

Checklist for Birth Partner: To keep them entertained, occupied and comfortable.

  • Small pillow – Your hospital stay may go on longer than planned, so taking a small pillow for your partner will help them get some rest during your time on the ward.
  • Entertainment – When hospital boredom strikes, it’s best to have tablet, book, magazine or board game handy to pass some time!
  • Snacks and drinks – To keep your partner fed and watered during longer labours.
  • Phone/camera and chargers – For those first photos and updates for family.
  • Comfortable clothing – They too might be in the hospital for long periods of time, so wearing comfy clothing will help during the day – and night! 

Checklist for Baby: The most exciting part!

  • Nappies – Your little one may need up to 12 nappies each day, so it’s best to pack at least three days’ worth of newborn nappies.
  • Babygrows and baby vests – Pack at least three of each so you’re prepared for any accidents!
  • Muslins – Perfect for feeding, burping, using as a towel or shawl.
  • Socks, hat and scratch mittens – To keep your little one warm and protected whilst you’re in hospital.
  • Blanket – For warmth and comfort.
  • Going home outfit – Depending on the time of year, pack a going home outfit that suits the climate and will keep your little one warm, and looking cute for those Instagram photos!
  • Car seat – Be sure to have your car seat fitted a few weeks before your due date. Practise fitting it, and taking it in and out of the car ahead of time so you have ultimate peace of mind on the big day.

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