The Hospital Bag

On the countdown to the arrival of your little baby the hospital bag becomes a big topic and of course an important element as you want to make sure you have what you need for those precious first few days of your little ones life.  As many things as you can have organised will naturally help!

On my first pregnancy I read lots of other people’s lists online and in magazines and compiled what I thought I’d need.  Luckily I had kept a list and packed pretty much the same this time.  As I’m only home a few days I thought it was a good time to write this post comparing what I packed versus what I used.

My strategy on both stays was to have three bags:

  1. The Labour Ward Bag
  2. The General Hospital Bag
  3. The Going Home Bag


As I went through the few days stay I repurpose the original bags, so after the baby’s birth the labour ward bag becomes my bag, the general hospital bag becomes the baby’s bag and the going home bag becomes the laundry bag!!

Bag 1: The Labour Ward Bag


What I used (and couldn’t of done without!):

  • Sports bottle for water (so much easier then trying to sip water from a glass)
  • EOS lip balm (my lips were so dry, this really helped)
  • Hair bobble to tie back my hair
  • Fresh underwear for after
  • Nappy for the baby
  • Night dress (they gave me a hospital gown as I got an epidural and they needed to access my back easily, I put a night dress on after)
  • A magazine (this was handy before the labour ward, I was induced so I spent quite a few hours waiting for anything to happen!)

Extra items I packed (I didn’t use any of these this time but some are nice to haves!):

  • Outfit for a boy (Babygro, vest, nappy), Outfit for a girl (Babygro, vest, nappy): I didn’t need these as you don’t dress the baby until you are back in your room
  • Ankle socks
  • 3 pairs of underwear
  • Hand towel
  • Big towel (handy for a shower, I got the epidural early so I couldn’t walk around but others may have more time)
  • 2 night dresses: if you don’t have an epidural, therefore you may not be gowned so it’s nice to have a second night dress to put on after the birth
  • Maternity pads (they also have these in the labour room
  • Packet of tissues
  • Hair bobbins and pens
  • Breast pads
  • Hair brush
  • Note book and pen (really… no time or interest in writing anything!!!)
  • Sucky sweets
  • Toiletry bag (tooth brush, tooth paste, deodorant, facewash) I got the epidural earlier this time so I wasn’t able use the bathroom to freshen up but the last time I definitely brushed my teeth and washed my face to freshen up)
  • Slippers (didn’t need them in the Labour Ward bag but I did use them on the ward after, or flip flops could be handy too for going to the bathroom)


Bag 2: The General Hospital Bag


For me:

What I used (and couldn’t of done without!):

Within the general bag I pack 3 toiletry bags (this sounds like OCD but having everything in it’s own bag or compartment makes it so easy to just grab what you need and it stops you having to route around):

  1. Shower bag
    1. Shampoo
    2. Conditioner
    3. Shower gel/bodywash
    4. Body moisturiser
    5. Facecloth
    6. Deodorant
    7. Hair brush
    8. Hair bobbles and pens
  2. Toiletry bag
    1. Tooth brush
    2. Tooth paste
    3. Facewash / mini cleanser/toner, cotton wool and face moisturiser
    4. Spare pads (these are handy to have in the bathroom or are discreet to take this small bag to the bathroom with you when you have visitors)
    5. Arnica tablets – very handy to start taking for bruising
  • Cosmetic bag – I am a big believer that if you look good you’ll feel good, so at the risk of sounding vein I brought a little makeup bag with me and applied it each day after my shower J
    1. Foundation
    2. Powder/blush
    3. Mini eyeshadow palette
    4. Mascara
    5. Make up brushes
    6. Lipgloss
  • Socks x 2
  • Underwear x 5
  • Big towel
  • Small towel
  • PJs x 1
  • Packet of Maternity pads
  • Large cotton wool pads – extremely useful for dampening and cleaning stitches if you have stitches

Extra items I packed (I didn’t use any of these this time but some are nice to haves!):

  • More socks
  • Extra under wear – I only stayed 24 hours after having baby so I didn’t go through many socks and underwear, this will depend on how long you stay so it’s nice to have plenty packed rather than not enough!
  • Spare PJs
  • Dioralyte: I drank so much water I wasn’t dehydrated but thought in case I was these would be handy
  • Solpadeine: The midwives give you all the tablets you need for pain relief before and after so you won’t need extra

For baby:

  • 7 x Ikea/ freezer zip bags each packed with one Babygro, one vest, one nappy, one bib (I used 4 packs, again this will depend on how long you are in hospital, I would also increase to 2 bibs per pack, my little guy got a lot of mucous up so we went through a lot of bibs! I also only had one new born outfit and the rest were up to 1 month or small 0-3 month Babygro’s as I knew I was in for a big baby!!) (the ikea bags/freezer zip bags are useful to put in the dirty items as you use them)


  • Cellular blanket
  • Burping cloths x 4
  • Extra bibs x 4
  • Hats x 4
  • Packet of nappies
  • Water wipes
  • Sudars


For toddler:

  • Present from the baby

For the nurses:

  • 2 boxes of chocolates and 2 thank you cards, I gave one to the labour ward midwives and one to the midwives on the ward as they do such a wonderful job

What I didn’t have but would have been nice:

  • An extra towel for the floor for coming out of the shower
  • Leggings / t-shirt to change into from PJs for a change during the day
  • More bibs and more cloths – I had spare at home and hubby had to bring them in!

Bag 3: The Going Home Bag


  • An outfit that fitted you at 26 weeks pregnancy, that is apparently the size of the bump after delivery)
    • Jeans, vest top, top, socks, shoes, underwear, maternity pad

As I mentioned I moved the purpose of these bags after the labour ward.  I used The Labour Ward Bag for all of my stuff and then the General Hospital bag for all of baby’s things.  This is useful again just for easy access of what you need.  I left the going home bag in the car and hubby brought it in when I needed it.  Once I took my going home clothes out of the small bag I repurposed this bag and used it for the laundry.

One last bag that’s useful is a bag for himself! Hubby packed an overnight bag and ended up in the hotel next door while he was patiently waiting to be needed!!!

I hope you find this list helpful and happy packing!!

Love T xx

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