Hospital bag essentials for Mum & Baby
It’s important to be well prepared to welcome your new baby into the world. Whilst your due date may provide some indication of when baby will arrive, there’s no telling exactly when they will make their grand first appearance. Having a hospital bag packed and ready to go will give you peace of mind.
Ideally, start packing the essential items about two weeks before your due date. If you’re planning a home birth it’s just as important to have a hospital bag prepared in advance to avoid a mad last minute packing panic, should you need to go to hospital.
It’s best to choose a practical and functional grab and go bag for your hospital visit. A weekend holdall, a roomy rucksack, or small cabin bag on wheels are all ideal options. Just make sure that there are sufficient internal pockets and compartments in which to pack everything you need.
There are a number of essential items that you will need for you, baby, and your birth partner.
- Your birth preferences plan and maternity notes
- Several comfy nightdresses or sleep t-shirts
- An open front nightdress, if you plan to breastfed
- Slippers or non-slip socks
- A lightweight dressing gown
- Lip balm
- Wet wipes, to cool you down
- A hair brush
- Hair clips or a hairband, if you have long hair
- Toiletries – including toothbrush and toothpaste
- Going home clothes – choose loose and comfy
- 2 or 3 nursing bras
- Breast pads
- Maternity pads – 2 packs of heavy duty
- Nipple cream
- Disposable pants – or old cotton knickers that you can throw away
You may also want to
- A TENS machine – for pain relief
- Massage oil
- A book and/or MP3 player
- A mobile phone and charger
- A camera (optional)
- Your makeup bag (optional)
Most new mums don't stay in hospital for too long after giving birth. When choosing essentials for baby it’s important that you consider the weather, and do your best to avoid over packing. Ideally, you should be able to pack baby’s items inside your grab and go hospital bag.
- At least 3 each of newborn size vests, body suits and cardigans
- 3 or 4 all-in-one sleepsuits with popper fastenings
- A cotton hat and 2 pairs of anti-scratch mittens
- Muslin cloths or bibs
- Newborn size nappies, baby toiletries and cotton wool
- Sensitive baby wipes
- Medicated cream for nappy rash
- A super soft baby blanket or shawl
- A going home outfit
- Baby’s first soft toy
- An all-in-one snow suit, if it’s cold outside
- A baby car seat
Don’t forget Dad or your birth partner:
It’s equally important to ensure that your birth partner is comfortable, as it’s their job to help you relax and enjoy the experience before, during and after the birth. Pack these items in a separate rucksack or holdall.
- A pillow and blanket
- Plenty of loose change for parking and vending machines
- A list of family and friends to call
- A book or magazine
- Drinks and snacks
- A change of clothes