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Our Hospital Bag Essentials: What you actually need to pack..

You’ve made it, the home stretch! You’re at the peak of the nesting phase having decorated the nursery, stocked up on everything and more for baby’s arrival, you’ve even managed to assemble the car seat and pram. With your due date just around the corner it’s time to pack your hospital bag.

Where to start? Read on to find out our hospital bag essentials and what to leave at home.



For the Birth:


  • Birthing plan if you have decided on having one. There are so many different templates for you to use on the internet but the NHS one is simple and easy to fill in.

  • An oversized t- shirt: comfortable for labour, keeps you decent but accessible (hospital gowns are a really great alternative and means one less thing to pack!)

  • If you are planning for an active birth then Flip Flops are essential.

  • Listening to your favourite tunes is a great way to help with the release of oxytocin. So make a playlist and play them on your Bluetooth speakers or headphones during birth.

  • Eating may be the last thing on your mind during labour but it is best to keep up your energy levels so some healthy snacks are good to have on hand for both you and your partner (remember there are vending machines and cafes in hospitals so just bring a few of your faves).

  • Staying hydrated is key for both mother and baby, make sure you keep up your fluid intake.

  • TENS Machine - ask your hospital if they have one or rent one.

  • Some other things to consider but make sure you ask your hospital first, they may have them at your disposal:

    • If  you are considering a water birth ask your hospital if they have birthing pool facilities.

    • Birthing balls are often kept on maternity wards now to save you from packing one with you. 


Post Birth

  • Wash Bag including mini toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and a silk hair tie.

  • Hospitals are warm, especially the maternity wards so you won’t need too many layers. PJ’s, socks and a light robe is all you should need.

  • Button down pyjamas or dresses are perfect for skin to skin and give easy access for breastfeeding.

  • Comfortable Clothes! You’ll need some lounge wear to travel home in.

  • High-Rise Cotton Knickers - a must for postpartum stitches.

  • Maternity towels (your hospital might provide these for you while you’re in their care but always bring a pack just in case)

  • A nursing bra is always good to have on hand but sometimes in those first few days, no bra is the easiest option.

  • Breast Pads to help with any potential leakage.

  • The postpartum holy grail: nipple cream! (useful tip, Lanisoh doubles up as a great lip balm!)

  • Phone charger with an extra long wire.

  • A dark coloured towel.

Tip: The Which? Birth Choice ( is a really useful tool to let you know what will be readily available to you at your hospital and your midwife will also steer you in the right direction.



  • We didn’t know until very close to our births that newborns need to wear two layers, so make sure to pack 3-4 sleeveless vests.

  • 3-4 sleepsuits with in-built scratch mittens.

  • A hat

  • 15 - 20 nappies (you will most likely not need as many as this, as the hospital will also have some to hand but better to be safe than sorry)

  • Water wipes

  • A cellular blanket (this is something the hospital should provide while you’re there but you will need to keep baby warm as they make their first journey out into the big, wide world)

  • 3 muslins

  • Depending on the time of year: hooded snowsuit, hooded coat.


  • Pre-made bottles of formula if you decide not to breastfeed or if baby is struggling to latch.


Tip: hospitals don’t usually let you leave unless the baby is wrapped up in a coat or jacket and is in a car seat. 



  • A change of underwear

  • An extra top

  • Deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Snacks

  • Water bottle

  • A book, or phone and head phones

  • Change for parking

  • Charged Video Camera

  • Portable Charger


Remember, everyone is different, what we feel is essential may not be an essential for you. This is just to give some guidance if, like us, you’ve have packed and re-packed your hospital bag a gazillion times already!


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