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What to pack in your hospital bag: mum, baby & partner

Updated: Apr 9


A baby girl wrapped in a pink blanket with a pink headband that includes three small flowers

Waiting for spontaneous labour can be an anxiety-inducing few weeks. Having your hospital bag packed early can help ease some of the stress so you know you can grab-and-go when it's time to make the trip to the hospital or birthing centre.


Similarly, if you've got a planned section, or induction booked in, the last thing you want to be worrying about is making sure you've remembered clean undies, so keep reading to find out some of the essential items you'll want to make sure you've packed in advance.


There are a couple of ways you can organise you hospital bag for birth. Some people like to go with a bag for each person: mum, baby, and partner. Whereas another option is to have a bag for pre and post-birth.


To help you get organised, we've listed out everything you might need for each person at the hospital, keeping everything pre-birth at the top of the list, and the post-birth items underneath. Remember you may not want or need all of these items, depending on whether you're having a winter or summer baby, your planned (or unplanned!) length of stay in hospital, and your birthing preferences. But you can use it as a rough guide.


What to pack in mum's bag

  • Birth plan

  • Tens machine

  • Drink

  • Magazines or books (especially if booked for an induction/section)

  • Light snacks

  • Nightie, baggy t-shirt, crop top/bra (for labouring in)

  • Flannel (great as a cold compress during the later stages of labour)

  • Lavender oil (great stress reliever)

  • Other massage oils

  • Headphones and phone (for listening to music, or positive birth affirmations)

  • Scrunchie and headband

What to pack for after birth

  • Baggy clothes and pyjamas

  • Nursing bras (if choosing to nurse)

  • Button down shirts/pyjamas (if choosing to nurse)

  • Maternity pads

  • Disposable underwear

  • Large comfy underwear

  • Socks

  • Toiletries such as:

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash

  • Micellar water for a quick freshen up

  • Deodrant

  • Washcloth

  • Bedew almond oil cleanser (my personal favourite face wash)

  • Makeup (if you fancy it!)

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Contact lens cleaner and storage case

  • Flipflops/sandals for the showers

  • Phone charger!

  • More snacks

  • More drinks

  • Peppermint capsules or oil (great for post-birth trapped wind)


What to pack in baby's bag


  • 3 or more vests (long and short-sleeved depending on the weather forecast)

  • 3 or more sleepsuits

  • Socks

  • Hat

  • Muslin clothes

  • Bibs

  • Cardigan

  • Blanket (or two). Remember not to overdress your baby for the car journey home. Cover with blankets instead of padding them out in thick outerwear

  • Nappies

  • Cotton pads or sensitive water-wipes

  • Bottle-feeding kit (pre-made bottles are great for hospital stays)

  • Colostrum syringes (if you've pre-expressed or would like to during your hospital stay)

What your birthing partner should pack

  • A copy of your birth plan

  • Phone and charger

  • Change of clothes

  • Change of underwear

  • Snacks and drinks

  • Loose change

  • A post-birth plan of action (who should they call first?!)


No matter whether you pack at 20 weeks or 38 weeks. Having an idea of what you need to bring can help check one thing off of the list of things to do before baby arrives. I do wonder whether we can truly ever be ready for the birth of a baby but having some of the essentials in place can help make the process that little bit easier.


Good luck with the birth of your baby and if you're interested in any of our newborn photography packages please do get in touch!

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