What to include

Babies can be unpredictable, so having your bags packed early will mean that you’ll be ready for whenever your baby does decide to make an appearance! It is advisable to have your bags packed at 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.

Your hospital bag should contain all the items you’ll need during labour and immediately after birth for both you and your baby. Any type of bag is suitable, one with extra pockets may be best as there will be lots of items that need to be kept in a safe place.

A hospital stay can vary in length depending on whether you deliver in a government or Private hospital and whether you have natural birth or a Caesarian Section. An average stay for a natural birth is around 1 day and for a Cesarean section expect to stay around 3 days.

Hospital bag checklist

Hospital Bag Checklist

Items for labour and birth:


  • Birth plan and maternity notes
  • 2-3 front opening nightshirts 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 panties – you may even find disposable ones are a good idea
  • 2 packs (at least) of Lil-Lets Maternity Pads with wings (10 pack)
  • Lil-Lets maternity pads with wings
  • 2 packs of breast pads – even if you don’t plan on breastfeeding you may still need these
  • A toiletry bag to include:
    • Toothpaste
    • Toothbrush
    • Shower gel – a PH balanced or fragrance free one for the intimate area is ideal!
    • Shampoo/conditioner/dry shampoo – travel sizes would be ideal
    • 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

Hospital bag list

You may also want:

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

For your baby:

  • Baby clothes – vests, sleep suits, hats – at least three of each (but more vests and sleepsuits are always handy) – and a hat and mittens plus an all-in-one snow suit if it’s cold
  • Muslins or bibs – useful for mop ups
  • Nappies – babies can get through a lot during the first few days
  • Baby toiletries and cotton wool
  • Baby blanket or shawl – for when you go home

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

Read our other advice articles:

Pregnancy And What
Happens To Your Body
What To Expect After Birth Stress Incontinence Looking After You Getting Back To Normal Contact Us