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The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist

Babies can be unpredictable, so we've prepared a handy hospital bag checklist so you can pack your bags in advance — just in case your little one decides to make an early appearance!

It’S Better To Be Prepared

It’s better to be prepared

“I’ll get to it!” — the famous last words of plenty a mother caught unawares! A hospital bag is a suitcase or kitbag containing all the things you’ll need when you’re in hospital. Even if you’re planning on giving birth at a birthing centre, or at home, it’s wise to have your hospital bag checklist ticked off and your essential items (such as maternity pads) prepared, just in case you or your baby need to be taken to the hospital.

Baby could come early

Have your bags packed and ready at around 34 weeks. Having everything ready and in one place also means that should you have to go into hospital for any reason, no one will need to rush around pulling together an emergency bag for you and forgetting to pack a toothbrush! Your hospital bag should contain all the items you’ll need during labour and immediately after birth — for both you and your baby. Any kind of bag is fine, although one with extra pockets will be easiest since there’ll be lots of items that need to be kept in a safe place.

Baby Could Come Early

Your birth plan could change

A hospital stay can vary in length depending on whether you have vaginal birth or a Caesarean Section. An average stay for a vaginal birth is around one day, while mothers who have Caesarean sections can usually expect to stay around three days. Remember, birth can be unpredictable, so make sure you’re packed for a longer hospital stay, even if your first choice is to deliver vaginally. View our pregnancy advice to find out more and feel as prepared as possible.

What to Bring

Essentials

  • Birth plan and maternity notes
  • 2-3 front-opening pyjama shirts or t-shirts (you may want to avoid pyjama bottoms)
  • A lightweight dressing gown
  • Slippers or slip resistant socks
  • 2 comfortable bras, or maternity bras – don’t forget your breasts may increase in size after the birth
  • A loose and comfortable outfit for when you leave the hospital
  • 5-6 pairs of knickers – you may even find disposable ones are a good idea
  • 2 packs (at least) of Lil-Lets Maternity Pads with wings (10 pack)
  • A pack of Lil-Lets Maternity Breast PadsYou may still need these even if you don’t intend to breastfeed

Toiletries bag

  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Shower gel – a PH balanced or fragrance free one is ideal
  • Shampoo/conditioner/dry shampoo – travel sizes are a good idea
  • Intimate wipes
  • Antiperspirant/deodorant
  • Hairbrush and hair ties (if you use them)
  • Lip balm
  • Moisturiser for the body and face
  • A towel
  • Water spray or sponge – to help keep you cool
  • Light snacks and a bottle of water – to keep your energy levels up
  • Tissues
  • Any medications you are currently taking
  • A plastic bag for used clothing items

For your baby

  • Baby clothes — vests, baby grows, hats: at least three of each (but more vests and baby grows are always handy), and mittens if it’s chilly
  • Muslins or bibs — useful for mop ups
  • Nappies — babies get through a lot during the first few days
  • Baby toiletries (wet wipes) and cotton wool
  • Baby blanket — for when you go home

Don’t forget your baby car seat too – an essential if you are driving home after the birth!

You may also want

  • Oil or lotion — if you want to be massaged
  • Birth ball — can be a useful aid during labour
  • Favourite music/birthing playlist
  • Book, magazine or a tablet — to help pass the time
  • Your phone & charger

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