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Pregnant woman checking hospital bag

What to pack in your baby hospital bag

    3-minutes read

    If the big day is a month away or so, it’s time to start thinking about what to pack for your hospital bag. You don’t want to get caught short and have to hastily pack once baby has decided it’s time to arrive! In fact, you ought to be getting your baby hospital bag ready from about week 36.

    Don’t forget you’ll need some bits for your new arrival, and dad or your partner will need to bring a bag as well. Deciding what to put in your hospital bag might be best done together with them, so you both don’t forget anything!

    Have a cuppa and put together your hospital bag checklist using our must-haves, and nice to have guide below.

    You might not need to go out and buy lots of new stuff either. Just the hospital bag essentials could be enough, plus you can always ask friends or family to bring in anything you need, and there’s always cheaper but just as good options if you’re on a budget. Why not add some items for your hospital bag to your baby shower gift list?

    Here are our hospital bag ideas…

    Your hospital bag must haves

    The must-haves for your hospital bag:

    • Your birth plan and hospital notes. Sounds an obvious one, but it’s an important thing to remember.

    • Dressing gown – it might not sound like an essential, but you don’t want to be nipping to the loo in your hospital gown once your little one has been born.

    • Maternity sanitary pads – some hospitals will provide you with these after the birth, but not all so it is a good idea to bring some of your own just in case; you might need to change them every two hours or so for the first few days.

    • A towel. Hospital towels can be a bit hard. Best to bring a soft dark coloured towel from home.

    • Plenty of underwear – an absolute essential! It doesn’t have to be fancy; a budget brand will do, especially as you might prefer not to wear the same pair again. Go for high waisted dark coloured big knickers.

    • Front opening nighties and shirts are useful for when breastfeeding and slippers for bathroom visits as well as keeping your feet toasty

    • Toiletries – another obvious one, but you don’t want to be without face wipes, tissues or a nice body wash. Those smaller travel shampoo and shower gel bottles can be good value, and you’ll really appreciate being able to have a wash once little one arrives and for the family photos.

    • Your phone and charger – you don’t want to run out of charge with all those baby pics you’ll be sharing!

    • And don’t forget to pack a change of clothes, nursing bras (x2) and breast pads.

    And the nice to haves…..

    Here are a few nice to haves….

    • Nice warm socks – hospitals can be cold places sometimes.

    • Flip flops – once you’re up and about, they can be handy for the shower.

    • Lip balm – your lips can get very sore during labour.

    • Massage oil or body lotion – dad or your birthing partner is there to help, and that might mean providing a soothing massage or two!

    • Music and headphones, this can be a soothing way to pass the time.

    • Water spray or a handheld fan – to help keep you cool in labour.

    • Comfy pillows – there’ll be plenty of these in the hospital, but if there’s room for your favourite cushion or pillow, bring it along.

    • Nipple cream - whatever you do, don’t forget the nipple cream. You might not need it in the early days, but better to be safe than sorry.

    Baby clothes in suitcase

    Packing a hospital bag for your baby

    Of course, you’ll also need to think about what to pack in the hospital bag for baby…

    • Babygrows, sleepsuits and a blanket . They might not wear them again, so they don’t have to be expensive, but it’s good to have babygrows and sleepsuits that do up the front – easy access for nappy changing!

    • Nappies – an obvious one, but an easy one to forget. You might get some from the hospital but remember, little ones can go through 10 nappies a day. There are some brilliant budget alternatives out there that do the job just as well, or why not try re-usable nappies?.

    • Baby hat and socks – great for keeping your new arrival warm during that all-important skin on skin contact. Scratch mitts are good to have as well.

    • A going home outfit – again, it doesn’t have to be expensive, just some clothes that are appropriate for the season and will keep your little one warm and snug.

    • Cotton wool balls – for wiping that little bottom, cheaper than wipes too. If you do buy wipes, make sure they are the ultra-sensitive ones. Supermarket own brand ones are a good option.

    • Muslin squares – these are washable cloths to prevent dribbles and sick up. They’re great for wiping little mouths, but a few bibs suited to newborns work well too.

    • Sterile bottles and teats and formula starter packs if you are bottle-feeding

    The hospital bag essentials for dad or your birthing partner

    And here are a few maternity hospital bag essentials for dad or your birthing partner…

    • Snacks and water or your favourite drinks – labour and looking after a baby when they first arrive is hungry and thirsty work for mum and you. Stock up in the supermarket ahead of time to save money on the hospital shop or canteen.

    • Phone and charger – there’s going to be lots of pics to snap and social media posts to upload! If you have an extra-long charger, bring it along, there might not be a free socket close to your partners’ bed. One of those mobile charger power units is even better.

    • Clothes – you might be there a while; it’s normally up to baby to decide when they’ll arrive after all.

    • Pillow – you might find yourself having to snooze in a hospital chair, so anything that makes it more comfy is worth bringing along.

    • Coins for vending machine and car park as not all accept contactless payment.

    All you need to do now is not to forget to bring the bags!

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