Hospital Bags


Packing your hospital bags can seem really overwhelming. How can you know what you will need or what you will want if you have never given birth before or had a baby?! 

This guide will give you a starting point, but do chat to your friends and relatives who may have a top tip for you about things they wish they'd packed or couldn't have lived without.

Let us know if there was an item you found invaluable to be featured below!

Bag for Baby


Bag for Mum


Bag for Dad/birth partner


Readers' favourites

Bag for Baby


This is very similar to what you’ll pack most days in your changing bag but you may want a couple of spare items in case you stay overnight. Don’t pack for a really long stay as you can always get your partner or family member to pop home if they know where everything is. There is  usually very little room at your bedside so another option could be to leave stuff in your car if you drive to the hospital. The amounts indicated below should be sufficient for most births:


  • 2 hats - one for just after birth and one to come home in (as the first may be stained)

  • 3 vests/bodysuits. You can get long or short sleeved ones.

  • 3 newborn babygros/sleepsuits

  • Cardigan to leave hospital in

Don't forget to pre-wash all your baby's clothing in non-bio!

  • A pack of baby wipes

  • Cotton wool

  • Muslin (these become indispensable!)

  • Small pack of nappies (your Midwife will give you a free pack from Bounty)

  • 1 pack of ready made bottles with teats if considering bottle feeding

Bag for Mum


The most important: Hospital Notes! 


The rest is dependent on what will make you feel comfortable and suit your birthing and feeding preferences, but items might include:


  • Nightie (instead of the fetching hospital gowns!). Button down at the front allows for easier breastfeeding and/or skin to skin contact.

  • A nursing bra if you plan to breastfeed

  • Slippers/ socks

  • Hair band

  • Phone charger

  • Fan/ water spray

  • Bottle with straw

  • Going home clothes that allow you to nurse

  • Big knickers!

  • Maternity pads for knickers

  • Breast pads (you may not need these until your milk comes in but if you have been leaking, definitely pack them)

  • Toiletries, including unscented shower gel/wash

  • Lip balm as your lips may be dry from gas and air.

  • Pillow (left in car just in case)

  • TENS machine (you may only want this for early labour at home)

  • Costume for pool if considering water birth and you would prefer to have some cover (make sure you have let them know your preference for a water birth)

  • Anything you would like to use as a distraction - phone, magazine etc


Hospitals usually have plenty of birthing balls but check your local unit.

Bag for Dad/ birth partner

  • Camera

  • Money for car park

  • Food/ drink as hospital staff will not provide any food to them

  • If staying overnight, you may consider a neck pillow and blanket as Mum gets priority care!

  • Phone charger

  • Key numbers for family and friends

  • Car seat ready in car

  • Blanket to put over the car seat straps if it is cold.

  • In case of a c-section, a towel or blanket to alleviate pressure from mum's seat belt may be helpful to leave in the car.

Readers' favourites

"I am so glad I packed a phone charger with a really long lead so that I could actually keep using my phone whilst I was stuck in bed after my c-section! I also loved my easy slip-on slippers!" - Lauren

"Yes! I am so glad you added the 'towel' for a mum in the car after a caesarean. That first drive home felt so weird but it definitely helped with the pressure on my scar." - Charlotte