Hospital Bag Checklist

So, it’s time to prepare for the arrival of my little one at last! I asked you all for your recommendations for things to pack for our hospital stay so I gathered them all together in a comprehensive list for you. I am staying really open minded about my birth so have included items for a vaginal or a c-section birth/recovery.

Whether you’re awaiting the arrival of your first baby, or heading into hospital for the second or third time (like me!) a list is always good to help you feel prepared. I hope you find seeing what I’m packing in my back useful.

My first tip would be to pack separate bags for yourself, your birthing partner and for baby. If you are only taking one bag with you, then you can use labelled dividers/packing bags inside your main bag to help keep things organised. That way you can easily find what you need at different stages in your stay at hospital and save yourself from routing around looking for different items when you need them.

Organisation is key for me to feel more relaxed and prepared.

What I’m packing in my bag:

  • Hospital notes and birth plan
  • Partner’s mobile number. If you don’t know it from memory then its useful to have it easily available to share if you need to get in contact and your mobile isn’t handy or has run out of battery.
  • Big t-shirt or nightdress for labour. You might want to pack a couple so you have a spare.
  • Bikini if having a water birth
  • Hair ties/ headband
  • Eye mask. Really handy if you are staying overnight or being monitored/induced and want to get some rest.
  • Magazines/iPad/Kindle/book. If you are being induced or monitored then there can be some downtime where you can read and relax.
  • Snacks. Pack foods that you can eat easily, will give you energy and don’t need to be stored in a fridge so you can have them at any time during your stay.
  • Water bottle. One that you find it easy to drink from. You might also want to pack some straws to make it easy to drink from a cup while you are in bed.
  • Aromatherapy oils / massage oil. Only if you find them relaxing.
  • Tens machine. Not everyone finds these helpful, but if you have one available then they can be useful to try during labour.
  • Dressing gown. If you have a light cotton one then it is easier to pack and can be more comfortable for in bed and wearing while feeding baby.
  • Flip flops/slippers. You might prefer comfy slippers or flip flops that you can wear in the shower.
  • Nursing nightie/comfy pyjamas. Choose ones that are loose, comfortable, easy to feed in and go above the scar if you have a c-section
  • Big knickers, lots of them! Bigger the better and always good to pack more than you think you will need.
  • Maternity pads/tena knickers. Again, it is good to pack a few more than you think you will need.
  • Nursing bras. Even if you aren’t breastfeeding then comfortable non-wired bras are best.
  • Socks. For cold feet when you’re in bed.
  • Dark towel.
  • Toiletries. Toothbrush/toothpaste/shampoo/conditioner/body wash/face and moisturiser.
  • Dry shampoo.
  • Breast pads
  • Lip balm. Gas and air can dry your lips, as can air conditioning/heating in the hospital
  • Nipple balm.
  • Hairbrush.
  • Phone charger, charging pack
  • Handheld fan / water spray.
  • Carrier bag for dirty clothes
  • Going home outfit. Something loose, comfortable and easy to wear.

Some ‘nice to haves’ if you have room/think they will help you:

  • Own toilet roll
  • Own pillow
  • Ear plugs
  • Own coffee
  • Dried apricots
  • Chewing gum
  • Own mug for tea/coffee
  • Nail file
  • Long lead for phone charger
  • Peri bottle for after birth loo trips
  • Arnica tablets
  • Harvested colostrum in cool bag
  • Peppermint tea

What I’m packing in my partners bag:

  • Snacks.
  • Water bottle.
  • Change of clothes.
  • Spare change for parking/vending machine.
  • Toothbrush.
  • Deodorant.
  • Charged up phone, charger/charge pack. Along with a list of numbers you want to contact when baby arrives.

What I’m packing in my baby’s bag:

  • Nappies.
  • Nappy bags.
  • Cotton wool/wipes.
  • Blanket.
  • Muslins x 3.
  • Vests x 5.
  • Bodysuits x 5.
  • Sleepsuits/babygrows x 5. For clothing, you may want to pack a couple of sizes if you can, just in case baby is a little larger or smaller than expected!
  • Cardigan x 2.
  • Hat.
  • Small toy for picture. This is of course optional.
  • Sterilised bottles/formula if not planning on breastfeeding. Check with your hospital as some provide these.
  • Pram suit if cold.
  • Car seat. Ask your birth partner to bring this on the day you go home.

It may seem like a lot to remember, but you don’t need to take everything we suggest with you. Focus on the essentials for you and your baby to make sure you are happy and comfortable. Best of luck with your new arrival!

3 thoughts on “Hospital Bag Checklist”

    1. So pleased that you have found the list helpful and congratulations! It is completely personal choice but some people feel more comfortable with a dark towel when experiencing bleeding postpartum.

    2. After showering the after-birth bleeding will still be quite heavy so I’m guessing this is why dark towel suggested. Same goes for the big pants, make sure they’re black too!

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