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Hospital bag checklist – what to pack for you and your baby

Babies do things in their own time, and only 1 in 20 will arrive on their due date.

It might be a good idea to get your hospital bag packed at least 3 weeks ahead of the due date, so that you're all ready to go if your baby decides to make an early appearance.

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What to pack for you

In your hospital bag, make sure to pack:

  • your birth plan and hospital notes
  • loose, comfortable clothing to wear during labour
  • dressing gown and slippers or flip-flops (which are also good for wearing to the shower)
  • nightwear – front-opening or loose-fitting if you're going to breastfeed
  • 3 changes of comfortable clothes
  • socks
  • 5 or 6 pairs of knickers, disposable ones may be useful
  • 2 or 3 comfortable bras, including nursing bras if you're planning on breastfeeding
  • breast pads
  • 2 packets of super-absorbent sanitary or maternity pads
  • your wash bag – with toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush, flannel, soap, lip balm, deodorant, hair bands, hand sanitiser, body lotion and anything else you need
  • an eye mask may help you sleep on the brightly lit ward
  • towels
  • your own pillows
  • healthy snacks, drinks and a water bottle (one with a straw may be handy)
  • a fan or water spray to help keep you cool
  • any medicines you're taking
  • a TENS machine if you have decided to use one for pain relief (with spare batteries)
  • books, magazines, podcasts, music playlists – anything to help you relax and pass the time
  • phone and phone charger (an extra-long charging cable or battery pack can be useful)
  • spare glasses or contact lenses if you wear them
  • a spare bag for any washing

What to pack for your baby

For your baby, remember to take:

  • bodysuits, vests and sleepsuits
  • an outfit for going home in
  • a hat, scratch mittens, socks or booties
  • snowsuit if the weather is cold
  • nappies
  • cotton wool or wipes
  • muslin squares
  • car seat for the trip home
  • a blanket or shawl

A few suggestions for your birth partner

  • a change of clothes
  • toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant
  • phone and charger
  • camera or camcorder
  • snacks and drinks
  • swimwear if they'll be getting in a birth pool
  • any medicines they're taking
  • spare glasses or contact lenses if they wear them
  • spare change for the car park and vending machine

Download the hospital bag checklist

You can use our downloadable version to easily edit and print your checklist.

Preview of checklist document