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What to pack in your hospital maternity bag

Is your baby due soon? Worried about what you will need to pack? It’s never to early to be organised, you never know, baby might decide to arrive early so maybe get packed a month before your due date. It’s certainly one less thing to worry about.

Here are a few ideas and a checklist for you.

Mum - Maternity Bag

  • Dressing gown – handy for any trips to the communal tea and buscuit area.

  • Slippers or flip-flops

  • Comfy socks – especially if baby is due in winter, I remeber having sych cold feet during labour.

  • Nighties or open-front shirts – easier for feeding or skin-to-skin access.

  • Maternity sanitary pads – not many people warn you about this, but there may be some bleeding after birth so bring a few packs.

  • Big knickers – bring black cotton pants you don’t mind throwing away. a weeks worth to be safe because you may need to change a few times a day. High-waisted pants in case you do have a C-section.

  • Two nursing bras and a pack of breast pads – the second bra is useful if the breast pads leak through.

  • Nipple cream

  • A brightly coloured pillow – not white, it could blend in and get lost.

  • Healthy snacks – think nuts and dried fruit bars. The vending machines should have the less healthy snacks and drinks covered, should you need them.

  • Eye mask – baby sleep patterns are hard to predict. If the opportunity arises try and nap when they do. Even if it’s daylight.

  • Going home clothes – it’s nice to have something comfy and loose-fitting, loungewear or joggers.

  • Toiletries - toothbrush and toothpaste, hair ties, face wipes, deodorant, moisturiser, lip balm, dry shampoo, travel size shower gel and shampoo.

  • Make-up bag – in case you video call family or friends and want to look presentable – or else just go natural.

  • Phone and charger, maybe even a battery pack – mostly for sharing photos and Googling everything baby-related.

  • Music – It’s nice to have a good soundtrack for these moments. You might be able to bring your own Bluetooth speakers.

  • Notebook and pen – if you’re being practical jot down feed times and sleeps or else a written diary makes a good keepsake.

  • Birth plan – if your birth partner hasn’t already taken care of it for you.


  • Muslin squares – catching dribble, milk, or sick.

  • Sleep suits – pack quite a few in case you’re in for a couple of nights. Built-in mittens are a plus.

  • Scratch mitts – if the sleep suits don’t have mittens.

  • Cotton vests – fold-down shoulders are great for any nappy leaks.

  • Two Baby blankets – a soft, breathable one is best.

  • Nappies – 20 or so is a good start.

  • Cotton wool – for cleaning very new bums, and sticky eyes. A lot gentler than wipes.

  • Going home clothes – including a soft hat. Layers are a good idea for keeping baby warm depending on the weather.

  • Car seat – when it’s home time you’re legally required to have a car seat if you are going home by car.

  • Sterile bottles, teats, formula – if you’re bottle-feeding, possible a dummy too. Premade formula bottles are a god send for those first few days.


  • Birth plan – mum is going to be busy so this is something you could look after.

  • Spare clothes – in case you stay overnight.

  • A toothbrush and toothpaste and deodrant – you might need to freshen up at some point.

  • Drinking water and some bendy straws for mum – great for long labours and later on, if mum’s trying to breastfeed she’ll be thirsty and she might not have any hands free.

  • A handheld fan – more for mum than you.

  • Entertainment– books, music or podcasts are a good idea in case you’re waiting.

  • TENS machine – to help mum out with the pain relief situation.

  • Carrier bags – mum will need a change of clothes or two.

  • Camera/phone camera – spare battery and memory card if you’ve gone for an SLR.

  • Extra-long phone charger – because a socket might not be nearby. This saves mum climbing out of bed regularly.

  • Power bank – even better if you’ve got one of these to charge your phone. Plug sockets aren’t always readily available on the ward.

  • A blanket – for yourself in case you nap in a chair.

  • Snacks – whatever you need to keep you going.

  • Spare change or your debit card – for hospital parking meters or vending machines.

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