A handy guide to all you need to pack in your maternity hospital bag

You’ll be surprised at how many things you need to take with you to the hospital. Our handy checklist for your baby hospital bag will ensure you arrive prepared for every eventuality, with a few pampering extras too…

Getting your hospital bag ready

Think ahead – some babies arrive early, so it’s wise to get your bag packed in plenty of time, adding snacks and perishable items just before you leave.

Include everything you'll need for your baby, plus a few little luxuries for yourself. And don’t forget the car seat! You won’t be allowed to leave the hospital without it.

What you'll need to pack for you

• Medical notes and birth plan (if you have one)

• Toothpaste and toothbrush

Maternity pads

• Disposable maternity briefs

• Mini deodorant

• Shampoo

• Shower gel

• Breast pads

• Lip balm or salve

• Something to read


• Face flannel

Change bag

• Nightie or T-shirt for labour

• Hair clips or scrunchies

What you'll need to pack for baby​​​​​​​


• 3 baby vests (newborn/0-3 months), preferably cotton

• 3 sleepsuits (newborn/0-3 months)

• Soft baby hat, newborn size

• Pair of baby socks (newborn)

• Pair of scratch mitts

• Baby blanket

• Bibs

• Baby towel

• Coming home outfit (warm clothes if cold)

Changing essentials

• Cotton wool balls or pads

• Newborn-size nappies

• Nappy sacks

Feeding kit

• Muslin squares

• Breast pads

• Breastfeeding pillow

• Nipple cream

• Maternity bra

Non-essentials… but nice to have​​​​​​​

• Your own pillow

Face spray or room mist 

• iPod with relaxing music

• Headphones

• Lip balm

• Make-up and cosmetics

• Eye mask

• Ear plugs

• Favourite teabags

• Energy snacks and treats

Hospital bag must-haves for your partner

• Lightweight, comfortable clothes

• Change for car park and snacks/drinks

• Energy snacks

• Bottled water

• Wash bag

• Camera and phone charger

• List of people to contact with your baby news

Car seat

When should I pack my hospital bag?

There’s no set rule on when you should pack your hospital bag, but being prepared never hurt anyone! It’s advised to get a few things ready at least three weeks before your due date.

What type of hospital bag do I need?

Any style of bag will do, as long as it fits everything you need – and yes, a mini suitcase will also do the trick. You might find that packing two separate bags is more efficient – one for during labour and one for afterwards – so you can easily locate your items when you need them.

Once you’ve got everything together, leave your bags by the door or any other accessibly place so they’re easy to grab and go when the time comes. Let your birth partner or whoever is driving you to the hospital where they are, too!

What else should I prepare outside of my hospital bag?

It’s important to plan how you will get to the hospital or midwifery unit, as you won’t be able to predict when you might need to make this journey. Talk to your birth partner or whoever is driving you to ensure they know what to do when the time comes. If you’re planning to go by car, make sure you have plenty of petrol in the tank, too.

The first few weeks as a mother are precious, and you’ll want to spend as much time with your new-born as you can. If you are able to, in the weeks coming up to your due date, begin to gather together items which you’ll be regularly using, so you don’t feel caught out. Consider buying basic items such as toilet paper, sanitary towels and nappies, and stocking up your freezer with leftovers or frozen food.