As my sister Ellie is getting close to becoming a mummy I thought I would give her a hand packing her hospital bag. When I first went over to help she had a bag packed full of teddies, eight muslins, six pairs of baby socks and no nappies!
I’ve listed below all the products I feel are essential for your hospital bag and included them all in a handy downloadable checklist.
Pregnancy notes – An easy thing to forget
Nappies – Some say you don’t need more than two or three nappies for a newborn but my daughter Maisie had no less than poos in the first 12 hours of her life, yes you heard right EIGHT! Luckily I always tend to over-pack so had plenty of nappies and wipes.
Pampers Nappies from Mothercare
Cotton wool – Hospitals often don’t like you to use baby wipes and will advise that cotton wool and water is best for a new born.
Extra Large Cotton Wool Balls from Boots
Wipes – If you go with Water Wipes or 0% Neutral wipes they are chemical free so they wont be frowned upon.
0% Baby Wipes from Neutral
Vaseline – Some people say if you put a little Vaseline on your baby’s bottom it makes cleaning the meconium poo a lot easier and anyone who has had a baby will know anything that can help is a god send!
Bodysuits and sleepsuits – You will need to take a range of sizes usually newborn and up to 1 month. These tend to cover from 5 to 10lb so unless you are early or have been told you are having a large baby these should have you covered. I would suggest taking 2 or 3 or each size in case they get messed on.
Mummy and Daddy Bodysuits from Mothercare
My First Sleepsuits from Mothercare
Going home outfit – We all do it, put together the perfect outfit and just take the one, imagining them coming home in the same outfit. In reality they may go through 2-3 outfits in 6+ hours so I would say keep this until you know you are on your way out of the door.
3 Boats Smocked Footsie from Mini-La-Mode
Duck Embroidered Baby Sleepsuit from JoJo Maman Bebe
Muslins – Muslins are great for mopping up milky chins and protecting your clothing when burping and feeding. I would suggest taking 4-5 muslins.
Pre-washed Classic Muslins from Mori
Bibs – Bibs are great for keeping an outfit free of spit up while feeding and burping.
Punto Roma Hands Smocked Bib from Bebe Bombom
Cotton Hat– Babies should always be kept warm and depending on the time of year and the temperature of the ward hats are a must. If you do not use in the ward you will need one for coming home.
Hat 2 Pack from Mori
Bottles & Formula – The World Health Organisation recommend exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Even if you are planning on breastfeeding it may be worth packing a bottle and some formula in case you have trouble. A fed baby is a happy baby. When I had George the hospital gave him some formula through a syringe while I was waiting for my milk to come in.
Closer to Nature Bottle from Tommee Tippee
SMA PRO First Infant Milk From Birth- 200ml from Mothercare
Swaddles – Some say you shouldn’t swaddle anymore but sometimes it’s all that will settle a baby, and what’s more, swaddles can also double up as thin blankets too – so they’re super handy to have.
Jungle Jam Giraffe Classic Swaddle from aden + anais
Baby blanket– The hospital do have these but it’s nice for pictures to have your baby in a lovely blanket you have picked.
Luxury Knitted Blanket from Shnuggle
Baby car seat – If you’re driving home from the hospital which is more than likely you will not be allowed home without a suitable car seat. Remember – always set these up rear facing!
iZi Go Modular by BeSafe from Stokke
Pants – You won’t really need them when you’re in labour at the hospital but afterwards you’ll need quite a few. Think Bridget Jones, and go with larger sizes or maternity pants as you will still have a bit of a belly straight after birth and will want something comfortable.
Blooming Marvellous Maternity Comfort Fit C-Section Briefs from Mothercare
Disposable Knickers– It’s safe to say during labour your knickers will get messy, after your waters have broken you are constantly passing water and blood (not nice) so disposable pants can be a life saver.
7-Pack Disposable Knickers from JoJo Maman Bebe
Maternity pads – The hospital do have these but do expect you to bring your own too. I would suggest to include a whole pack in your hospital bag, and I found the best ones were Tesco’s own make.
10 Maternity Pads from Tesco
Bras – You dont really need too many of these, one and maybe a spare will do. Best to go with a non-underwired nursing bra for comfort and easy access.
Breast pads – You may find your milk doesn’t come in for a few days after birth so these may not be necessary, but it’s always best to be prepared and pack a few sets of two.
Disposable Nursing Pads from Lansinoh
Nipple Cream – This was a total saviour for me, the Lansinoh cream seemed to heal within hours! Top tip – you only need to use a very small amount per nipple, or it will affect baby’s ability to latch – they’ll be slipping and sliding all over the shop! (Rest assured, it’s also safe to use while breastfeeding).
Nighties – I would advise to wear a nightie rather than pyjamas while you’re in hospital, not only for comfort, but if you get one with buttons down the front you’ll find feeding and skin to skin much easier.
Midnight Blue Button Down Nightie from Seraphine
Dressing gown – I would take an old one as it’s likely to get covered in all sorts and you might want to bin it afterwards.
Sparkle Hooded Dressing Gown from Asda
Slippers – Again worth taking in an old or inexpensive pair. I left mine behind by mistake the first time round and would have been devastated if I had taken my favourite pair.
Totes Blue ‘Terry’ Bow Ballet Slippers from Debenhams
Flip Flops – If you are in a shared bathroom it’s nice to not have to walk barefoot when you want to have a shower. These can also double up as slippers if it’s summer.
Iqushion Super Ergonomic Flip Flops from Fitflop
Waterproof mats – Depending on whether your waters have broken you may want to protect sofas and car seat by putting down a waterproof mat.
Viva Medi Bed Pad from Incontinence Choice
Favourite snacks, and drink – I found these were more for my hubby than me while I was in labour but afterwards I was so hungry I was so grateful for a nice sweet snack.
Lip-balm – If you are on Entonox (gas and air) it can make your lips very dry, so a little lip-balm is handy to have packed.
Flannel/water spray – You can get very hot during labour and it can be nice to cool off with a wet flannel or water spray to the face.
Me and Bump Cool and Relieve Soothing Spray from Tesco
Wash bag – Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, make-up wipes, creams et. It’s so nice to have a warm shower after hours of labour and no matter how much I tried to keep my hair nice, it just doesn’t happen and you will need to wash it. I found mine was so matted I needed a whole mini bottle of conditioner.
Spritz your bits – This spritz by My Expert Midwife helps to provide instant relief for post-delivery discomfort caused by tearing and stretching. A must-pack!
Arnica tablets – It’s advised to start taking these a few weeks prior to the birth to reduce bruising but please consult with your midwife first.
Nelsons Arnica Pillules from Boots
Hair Brush – You will need one of these to get the knotting out!
Rose Gold Brush from Rock and Ruddle
Hair bands / hair clips – Handy to have during and after labour to tie your hair back.
Make Up – You may think it’s the last thing on your mind after having a baby, but it is nice to put a little on for those pictures and if family come to visit.
Charger – A definite must. I forgot to pack one with George and my phone died just after visiting hours ended and I spent a whole night and the next morning with no connection to the outside world. I couldn’t even tell when the time was so had no idea when my hubby was going to be coming through the door.
Camera – It’s nice to get some decent early pictures, most people use their camera phones these days, but if you do have a decent camera, get it charged and packed!
iPod /iPad – Most hospital rooms now have speakers you can use, so if you have a set playlist or hypnotherapy make sure you remember to take the device it’s loaded onto – and again, charge it before hand!
Portable speaker – Some hospitals may not have speakers in all the rooms so it may be worth packing a mini portable speaker just in case.
Cash – For parking or the shop for snacks, magazines, newspapers.
Pillow – It can make your rest after birth a little more comfortable but I found it an extra large thing to remember. Don’t forget to pack a coloured pillow slip, so your white pillow doesn’t get absorbed straight into hospital laundry!
TENS machine – If you have decided to try out a TENS machine just make sure you have packed it!
Going home outfit – Try to pack something loose and comfortable, you wont be able to fit into your pre pregnancy clothing straight away.