If you are having your baby in hospital you will need to take a number of essential items with you to help you cope with labour and take care of yourself and your new baby. It’s a good idea to have your hospital bag packed and ready about four weeks before your due date just in case your baby comes early. Here are some of the things you will need and some options you may like to consider.

We recommend that you print this page as a handy checklist !


For your labour you will need…

What Why
Your birth plan so your carers know what you want
Large nightdress or t-shirt to give birth in
Dressing gown or robe dignity and warmth!
Warm socks your feet can get very cold in labour
Small hand held mirror if you want to see your baby crown
Lip salve/petroleum jelly gas & air can make your mouth & lips very dry
Ice pack to relieve backache
Tissues blood, sweat & tears need we say more
Water spray & sponge/flannel ideal for a freshen up & to keep you cool
Personal/portable stereo to relax to & take your mind off the pain!
Drinks and glucose tablets to keep your energy levels high
Massage Oil massage can be very soothing in labour

Immediately after the birth you will need…

2 or 3 front opening nightdresses for breastfeeding
Slippers for moving about the ward
2 large bath towels (dark colour) they don’t show the stains!
Flannel and liquid soap they will not usually be provided
Change/phonecards you will want to call everyone you know?
List of telephone numbers Obvious
Toiletries, toothbrush, make up etc so you don’t scare your visitors
Maternity pads (2 packs) very uncomfortable but definitely worth it
Disposable or old knickers they will stain even with maternity pads
Breast pads to stop your clothes getting soaked in breast milk
Nursing bras to hold the breast pads & make you more comfortable
Snacks and drinks you’ll be starving after the birth
Camera those first proud pictures are irreplaceable
Magazines, books, something to do babies sleep a lot in the first few days
Ear plugs/eye shade baby wards can be very noisy day or night

Your baby will need…

1 pack of newborn nappies easier to deal with than Terries until you get the hang of it
Nappy bags old carrier bags will do to put the dirty nappies in
2 cotton vests depending on the season to keep your baby warm
2 cotton sleepsuits to keep your baby warm and comfortable
Sample pot of nappy cream regular tubs are huge and heavy – you’ve got enough to carry
Cotton wool used with cooled boiled water to clean your baby
Baby wipes because we all like the easy option!

For going home you will need…

Outdoor clothes for you unless you want to go home in your nightie
Rear facing newborn car seat you cannot drive your baby home without one!
Going home clothes for your baby for warmth or protection from the sun – you’ll need a hat whatever the weather!