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What should I pack in my hospital bag?

September 17, 2020 4 min read

What should I pack in my hospital bag?

The big day is creeping closer and its all becoming a little more real now. The precious life you’ve felt grow and wiggle inside you is getting ready to make an appearance.

It’s all a little more daunting now that your partner may not be in attendance with you. But deep down you know you can do this. The midwives are amazing. They are so supportive.

 Some hospitals are allowing partners whilst others aren’t. It is worth checking their own websites on the big day itself because the rules change so often. If you, like us, have become frustrated with the current inconsistency in rules, please do sign the petition asking the Government to allow ‘partners allowed for the entirety of labour/birth in all hospitals.

The first thing you’re going to need when you feel those first twinges is your hospital bag, packed and ready to go. Most ladies are in and out within 24 hours but it’s sensible to pack enough for 2 days. There’s no need to pack for +3 days. Even if you do need to stay in longer, your partner will be allowed to enter and bring more stuff if needed for extra days and nights.

The essentials of any hospital bag include....


  • Snacks – you’ll need to keep your energy going during labour. My midwife thoroughly chastised my husband for not bringing the right snacks for me and sent him off to the onsite WHSmith to load up.
  • Magazines – this may sounds weird but laboring can actually be a bit of snooze fest for some ladies and a little light entertainment may be needed to while away the hours and keep you relaxed
  • Favourite scent – Spray a little on your hospital pillow or in the air. Making your labour area as homely as possible is key to keeping you relaxed and producing lots of oxytocin
  • Birthing shirts or loose nighties x 3 – Ideally something lightweight which makes you feel comfortable. Maternity wings are usually very warm places so you’ll want something cool. If you are planning to breastfeed, it’s good to have something to enable this easily without lots of tugging and adjusting.  And a couple of changes is a good idea because it can all get a bit sweaty and messy at times. The Birthing Shirt Company have super soft bamboo versions.
  • Lip Balm – its amazingly hot in hospital and the air is dry.
  • Bamboo bed socks and slippers. You may find yourself schlepping around your room and up and down the corridors during labour. BAM do the softest bamboo socks in lots of pretty colours.
  • Breast Pads – whether you plan to breast feed or not, your boobies will be leaking afterwards.
  • Maternity Knickers – these are horrendously ugly but extremely necessary for the post birth. Choose a bamboo or cotton version for comfort.
  • Your Wash Bag – you will be able to shower afterwards to do take in your favourite shampoo, soap, etc. You’ll feel a whole lot more human after that first shower.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbursh and bobbles
  • A change of clothes to come home in. 



  • Nappies – newborns usually need between 10-12 nappies a day in the earliest days. Choosing a pure bamboo nappy reduces the risk of nappy rash or chemical reaction.
  • Baby Wipes – It is advised to use only cotton and water or +99% water wipes on delicate newborn skin. Mama Bamboo’s baby wipes contain 99.4% purified water
  • A nappy wallet and change mat – Niamh Neverland do beautiful coordinated designs
  • Babygros x 3 in newborn size or possibly 0-3 months depending on what you’re expecting. NOTE: expectations can vary greatly to actual birth weight! It’s not an exact science.
  • Hats – cute little cotton hats to keep their head warm
  • Scratch mittens – babies are often born with surprisingly sharp nails
  • Blankie – the Bamboo Baby Company do the softest blankets in a range of beautiful natural colours. You’ll want to swaddle your baba  up and keep them super cosy for a few days. The swaddling effect can be very calming for newborns who are used to being squished and cossetted in your tummy.
  • Car seat cover – Cover Me Baby do these amazing all-in-one covers which go over car seats or over yourself for privacy whilst breastfeeding. I loved mine and used it every day. On the way home from the hospital it was super useful to keep the very bright sunshine off my babies newborn eyes.
  • Bamboo Muslins x 2 – these soft sheets can be used for mopping up messes, swaddling baba, protecting clothing. Brilliant.


Partner – if they are allowed in with you, then they might like to pack a small bag for themselves.

  • A few snacks, iPad and magazines are a good idea to keep them going
  • Phone charger – you will want to text the world with the good news once your little one makes an appearance and despite the exhaustion you will definitely want a few private pictures of you and your precious baby. Don’t’ worry, you don’t have to look like Kate Middleton on the steps 10 minutes after birth; your elated, awestruck smile as you gaze at your miracle with the purest love with shine from every photograph.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste.

I know it looks like a lot but really its not too much. This should all fit neatly (apart from partner’s stuff) in a wheelie bag; the kind you might take on an aeroplane. It is best to have a wheelie bag as when you leave you’ll be carrying a teeny person in your arms and won’t want to be shouldering a heavy bag as well. 

That’s it. You’ll do great. No two birth stories are quite the same, but just remember we’ve been doing this successfully for centuries and the medical attention you’ll get today is the best it’s ever been. With or without your partner, you are in good hands. And you are stronger than you know.

 Good luck mamas.


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