What should I pack in my hospital bag for birth?

What should I pack in my hospital bag for birth?

When I was pregnant with Eddie, I think I packed and unpacked my hospital bag  approximately 1 million times and I definitely took way too much, was really unprepared and probably grabbed multiple things on the way out the car!

My first recommendation would be to pack a small and manageable bag, especially one with wheels if possible, so you're not having to lug things around or your other half is not having to carry too much when they need to be helping you!

A small hand luggage size suitcase will make it easier to move if you are going from induction to delivery, to ward and then home. Then all you need is a small bag for any snacks/miscellaneous items and then bag for your birth partner. 
Having fewer bags and especially one on wheels, makes for a quick move for our birth partners and midwives when sometimes baby isn't ready to hang about!

Packing Hack: Use packing cubes or ziplock bags to separate all your key items in the bag so it is super easy for your birth partner to find things — the last thing you want is not being able to find anything and you have to do this yourself. 

You can label each one into categories too; baby's clothes, nappies/wipes, mum's toiletries, your clothes etc. So then your partner can easily find things at a glance. 


  • Medical Notes and Birth Plan – Have a Plan A/B/C
  • Nightie or loose tee for labour which you don’t mind throwing away after – I  had a nighty that had poppers down the back, so it was easy to access, or remove when necessary!
  • Dressing gown- this is handy for afterwards when you get to wonder around a little bit
  • Slippers or Flip Flops
  • Stretchy hair bands to keep hair off your face/soak up that sweat — it’s tiring work!
  • Hair bobbles/clips/grips
  • Lip balm which your partner can easily apply — useful if you use Gas & Air as it dries your lips out majorly
  • Cool Water Spray or a handheld USB fan as it gets super hot in the delivery rooms
  • Healthy energy-giving snacks that aren’t going to be heavy or repeat on you — no need to add sickness to the labour too!
  • Drinks like Lucozade still or Coconut Water for electrolytes/isotonic
  • Water bottle with a sports top or straw so it is easy to sip from regularly (your partner will most likely be holding this to drink from between contractions)
  • Magazines/iPad to pass the time for inductions or if you have an epidural as this can slow things down (both my babies were induced and I was in for 3 days)
  • Extra-long phone charger as the plugs are always far from reach and you will be bed bound on the ward
  • TENS Machine for early labour as the hospital doesn't provide (You will need to hire this in advance or buy), not necessary but some find this helps in the early stages of labour 
  • Bath & Hand Towel 
  • Toiletry with miniatures of everything you would normally use at home:
    • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
    • Face Wipes – you can let go of your usual multi-step routine for a day
    • Moisturiser
    • Hand Sanitiser
    • Deodorant
    • Hairbrush
    • Shampoo & Conditioner
    • Shower gel - but get something really simple andbut get something really simple and possibly unperfumed, because if you have to have an appease your to me, you don't want to be going in there with a minty shower gel 😂


  • Strappy nighties or button PJs which are breastfeeding-friendly as babies will feed VERY frequently in the first 24-48 hours
  • Nursing Bras - H&M do great 2 packs in all colours and styles, and Seraphine do the comfiest seamless nighttime ones 
  • Black Full/Midi briefs – go for the no VPL options as these are usually seam-free and comfier. I bought pants a few sizes too big for comfort and I don't think I've changed down the sizes since! I am definitely a big pant girl now!😂
  • Disposable Maternity briefs if you would prefer to wear and throw away or have a C section planned
  • Maternity pads -  (take at least 2 packs) do not, I repeat do not buy large, sanitary towels they will not do the job!
  • Breast Pads – again Boots own brand really is fab and I’ve tried several big brand ones too
  • Nipple Cream - Lasinoh is the holy grail and I have tried a few others which don't compare. A little goes a long way! Top tip. This stuff is excellent as lip balm as well.!
  • Eye mask — if you are on a ward and not in your own room this is necessary to get some sleep as lights are always on
  • Going home outfit (Think loose!) A maxi dress/skirt or tracky bums. To be fair, I think I left the hospital, wearing my maternity support tights and one of my maternity dresses because I still was suffering with my painful veins from pregnancyTo be fair, I think I left the hospital, wearing my maternity support tights and one of my maternity dresses because I still was suffering with my painful veins from pregnancy.
  • Shoes which slip on – If you have had a C Section or Episiotomy, you don't want to be bending down to force anything on


  • Cooling Eye mask to help de-puff and revive tired eyes after the first few days, or a space mask, which heats up and smells of jasmine which helps keeps you relax, or a space mask, which heats up and smells of lavender, which helps keeps you relaxed.
  • Your own pillow from bed – nothing like home comforts and hospital pillowcases are scratchy
  • Breastfeeding pillow! I have been using mine in bed anyway to help me sleep so it was extra comforting. Have a get in the hospital and then made feeding from bed easier.
  • Herbal teas or milk if you don’t have dairy (the kitchen on the ward will only have the basics) as you will want a tea or a coffee
  • Fairy/tealights that are battery powered for room ambience in delivery to get the oxytocin flowing


  • A large pack of nappies (they will go through 8 in a day)
  • Wipes which are free from everything – Water wipes are good
  • Nappy cream – Metanium barrier ointment is the best to prevent nappy rashes. Honestly, this stuff is incredible, don't buy any other nappy cream
  • Nappy bags
  • Cotton wool balls for top & tail cleaning of baby
  • Pre-Made Formula if you don’t plan on breastfeeding/can’t – the hospital will not provide this and you really never know if you’ll need. You can buy tiny little bottles so only get a couple
  • 3 x Organic Cotton Sleepsuits (Newborn) trust me, you will definitely not need bigger than newborn size, especially if you're taking our sleep suits as they are generous in size
  • Organic Cotton hat (Obvs one of mine!😂) or baby will be rocking a knitted hospital hand out 
  • Muslins – you need a couple of these to mop up, sick, dribble, etc
  • Going home outfit - save the faff of trousers or complex outfits. You will be tired, they are so tiny and fragile, so just pick your favourite sleep suit! The most popular one that we sell for getting home, outfit is the clementines!!!🍊
  • Baby Blanket - the ward does provide some but you might want to use your own especially for cute photos. I recommend a matching one to go with your sleep suit! 


  • Wash bag
  • Light, comfortable clothes
  • Flip Flops
  • Snacks
  • Energy Drinks/Water
  • Phone Charger
  • Birth playlist on a phone synced offline in case theres no Wifi
  • Massage Ball
  • Plastic comb for you to grip during birth – it distracts the brain from pain - take a look at the Wave Comb.
  • Car Seat all set and isofix base in the car
  • Change for vending machines/car parking 

I really hope you find our checklist helpful when it comes to packing your hospital bag and wish every single one of you lots of luck and a healthy, safe birth. And if you've got any great additions, please feel free to comment below!

You've Got This !

Jo x

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