A hospital bag is a must when prepping for the arrival of baby. It’ll hold everything you and baby need for before, during and after birth. The thought of packing your hospital bag can be overwhelming, especially if you’re feeling a bit clueless about everything you need!
Wash those worries away with our hospital bag checklist.
Images by The American Mum
When should you pack your hospital bag?
You can pack your hospital bag whenever you want. But the general idea is to have it packed at least 4 weeks before your due date in case of any unexpected surprises! A small suitcase works well, but a holdall bag or anything you have at home that's of a decent size will be just as good.
TOP TIP: Leave your bag by the door or in the car once its packed, so it can’t be missed when the time comes!
Which essentials should be packed for labour?
Here’s a starting point for the essentials that you’ll need for labour:
- Your maternity notes
- Your birth plan if you have one
- A comfortable and loose outfit- an oversized t-shirt or pyjamas works well
- A "relaxing kit" - including books, music, podcasts or anything that will help you to relax during the earlier stages
- Your own comfortable pillow
- A phone charger/ charger for other devices
- A fan or water spray bottle to keep you cool
- Any medication that you’re taking
- Your favourite snacks or drinks
- Your washbag- toothbrush, toothpaste, bodywash, hairbrush and any other toiletries you’d like
- A TENS machine if you’d like to use one and your hospital doesn’t provide one
- Aromatherapy oils- especially for hypnobirthing
Which essentials should be packed for after the birth?
Once you’re relaxing with your new arrival, there will be a few other things you’ll need:
- Maternity or large sanitary pads
- Large comfy knickers (disposable ones if you want)
- A dressing gown - our Zara Robe is perfect for staying comfortable and cosy
- Slippers or flip flops
- A comfy maternity sized outfit to wear home - try our Chloe Lounge Set if you're looking for something easy to throw on that you'll feel good in
- An iPad, laptop or tablet to watch your favourite shows
- A bit of cash in case it’s needed for parking
- Comfortable pyjamas to relax in - our Zara Pyjamas are a great option (they’re front-opening so are perfect for nursing or expressing)
- Nursing bras
- Breast pads
What should be packed for baby?
Baby will also need a few essentials for their arrival. Be sure to add:
- Bodysuits or vests
- Sleep suits
- A going home outfit
- A hat
- Scratch mittens
- Socks or booties
- Cotton wool pads or balls
- Snuggly, warm blankets
- Muslin squares
- A snowsuit for the cold, if you're having a winter baby
- A correctly fitted car seat
What should your birth partner pack in their bag?
Your birth partner may be in hospital with you for a long time, maybe even overnight, so they will also need to pack some essentials.
- A change of clothes - including pyjamas if staying overnight
- A washbag
- A pillow and blanket if they are staying overnight
- A book or tablet to distract mum if you’re relaxing during the early stages
These checklists cover the essentials of what mum, baby and your birthing partner will need during your stay at hospital. Of course, you can add any other items that think you might need or that’ll bring you extra comfort!