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Things to Pack for Hospital when Having a Baby

Updated on February 11, 2015

Packing your Bag Before Delivery

When you are in the final trimester of your pregnancy, it is a good idea to start planning on what you will take to hospital. Even if your pregnancy has been straight forward, prepare your bag in case of an early labour. If you wish to have a home birth, have a few things in a bag on the off chance of any complications and you have to be taken in.

Source

Who do I need to pack for?

It may be a good idea to take two bags. Take one for your labour and one to go on the maternity ward after you have had your baby.

You will need things for your labour and birth, your aftercare and things for your newborn baby. You may wish to go home after having your baby, but make sure you have plenty of things in case you have difficulties and need to stay a while longer.

Always prepare for complications as birth cannot always be planned. You could have problems with breastfeeding and need extra support in hospital or your baby may need to stay in longer due to illness or infection.

As well as having all you need for yourself and your new baby, you will also need a few bits for your birthing partner. It could be a long labour and your partner will need to be comfortable.

Don't take more than you need!

It can be easy to get carried away when packing your bag. You may worry about your labour and feel you must pack everything, or get excited and pack all your baby’s best outfits.

Some hospitals allow things that others do not, so check with them before you’re due to go in. If you plan on using birthing equipment and want to bring your own, again check you are permitted and ask what they can provide.

What goes in my maternity bag?

There are basics you will need in your maternity bag for hospital, although you can add some extra things in there if you wish.

  • Birth Plan

Some hospitals will respect your birth plan, whilst others may dismiss it. If you have a plan or just an idea of what pain relief you want make sure it’s researched beforehand.

  • Nightdress, Large T-Shirts, Dressing Gown, Slippers

When you go into labour, you’ll want to put on something comfortable. An old t-shirt or nightie will be fine, especially if it gets stained. Take a spare one for when you are on the ward with buttons down the front if you plan to breastfeed.

A lightweight dressing gown will be helpful before birth (if you are pacing up and down the corridor) and when you are on the maternity unit. Just throw it over your nightdress when you head to the toilet or shower.

  • Birthing Equipment, C.D’s, Socks and a hairband for Labour

If you plan on using a birth ball or tens machine, bring it along if the hospital cannot provide you with one. If you are using the birthing pool discuss this before your labour so you can decide if this is right for you. You can then bring all you need, such as towels and swim wear for your birthing partner.

Your birthing partner will need a change of clothes if he or she is with you for a long time. They can also massage you to help with your labour pain, so take some massage or baby oil.

Most people like to listen to calming music in hospital so bring in a CD or your MP3 player.

Some women can experience cold feet when they go into labour, so have a pair of socks handy. Lip balm is useful for the use of gas and air as your mouth can feel dry. Face wipes can be refreshing as well and tie back long hair with a hair band.

  • Watch, Mobile Phone, Books, Magazines, Camera

Labour can be a long experience and if you manage to get some rest, you and your birthing partner may want to read a book.

A watch or a smartphone with a clock will help time your contractions and space in between.

You will also want your camera for before and after photographs, especially of your gorgeous baby.

Get Ready For Your Baby
Get Ready For Your Baby | Source
Taking Baby Home From Hospital
Taking Baby Home From Hospital | Source

What do I need after I have my baby?

You will need things for yourself after you have you baby, which include:

  • Maternity pads
  • Breast pads
  • Nursing bras
  • Toiletries (body wash, flannel, towel, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste)
  • Disposable or old big Knickers
  • Nipple Cream (if you breastfeed)
  • Snacks (you will get hungry, especially if you breastfeed)
  • Comfortable clothes and something to wear going home
  • Shoes or sandals (In case your feet swell with water)

What do I need for my baby?

  • Nappies in new born size
  • Cotton wool, baby lotion, nappy rash cream (some hospitals like you to clean your baby using cotton wool and water, rather than baby wipes)
  • Baby blanket or shawl
  • Baby grows and vests (about 3)
  • Baby going home outfit and hat
  • Scratch mittens (or baby nail clippers if the nails are very long)
  • Baby towel
  • Baby shampoo and wash
  • Socks and booties
  • Coat or Snow suit for the winter
  • Baby car seat


You may want to pack plenty of items or just a few of the basics. Just be prepared for the space you have (you may just have a small locker for your bag).

The hospital may provide you with many things too. Baby toiletries, bowls for washing baby and bottles of ready made formula may all be there.

You will often be given a few free samples of baby cream and baby bath. If not, take your shampoo’s in travel sized bottles to save space.

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    • Emma Harvey profile image
      Author

      Emma Harvey 4 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      People do forget the next time around. There is so much to think about when you are about to have a baby, but when it comes to packing your bag, the best thing is to do it in advance.

      Congratulations anyway and good luck for when your baby comes. You will be fine. Thanks for stopping by :)

    • profile image

      quettia 4 years ago

      This was very help I'm a very young mom I'm dued in january I was panicking because I didn't now what all to pack I kinda forgot from my previous pregnancy thanks for your help

    • Emma Harvey profile image
      Author

      Emma Harvey 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Hi Leah, yes those small things can be rather big when you're away from home and recovering from childbirth. It can be easy to forget to pack things and easy to pack too much - it's getting it right! Things like your own toiletries and towels can make a big difference.

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 5 years ago from Western New York

      This is great, Emma! I really missed having my own shampoo when I went to the hospital. The hospital provided the little hotel-style bottles, but my husband went home and brought me my regular stuff. It is nice to have those small comforts when you are recovering from childbirth.

    • Emma Harvey profile image
      Author

      Emma Harvey 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      dinkan53 - I'm so glad this is a help to all Mothers-to-be. I remember so well how excited I was, plus the anxiety of doing it for the first time. Thank you so much for sharing.

      dwachira - Thanks for voting this up. There could be so much more to add to this list, but new Mothers don't need to over-pack for their hospital stay. As long as they have the things they need, anything else could be brought in by a family member.

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Hi Emma Harvey, this is a good carry list for would be mothers, thanks for reminding us about this. Voted up.

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 5 years ago from India

      The third trimester or the final stretch of pregnancy is the period of routine checkups, anxiety and excitement. When it reaches near to due date the anxiety and excitement will double up. A list like this is going to be a great help to not miss anything and to be completely prepared. Rated as useful and shared!

    • Emma Harvey profile image
      Author

      Emma Harvey 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Thank you Mommiegee - I appreciate the share!

    • Mommiegee profile image

      Mommiegee 5 years ago from Alabama

      Great hub! Thanks for sharing. This will definitely help someone especially if it's their first baby. I will be sharing!

    • Emma Harvey profile image
      Author

      Emma Harvey 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Thanks carter06. I know when I was a new Mum I was looking for useful tips everywhere, and a list like this would have helped a lot.

      Thank you for sharing :)

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Good job Emma, I think a new mum needs all the help we can give them and this is such a helpful reminder...voted up,useful & shared...cheers

    • Emma Harvey profile image
      Author

      Emma Harvey 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Hi rutheddavid, I am so glad this was useful to you. You must be getting rather excited now! When I was pregnant I think I started to pack my bag about a month before he was due, because of the anticipation! I kept adding things and taking things out. The only thing I forgot were the scratch mittens for my baby's long nails.

      Hi Jen - that labour room sounds amazing! Going to hospital is never a nice experience but that would help a lot.

      I can't really remember much about the labour room with mine - it was a bit daunting, but there were no heat lamps or other impressive techy-stuff. The ice packs are a good idea, all hospitals should have those.

      Thanks for the comments ladies.

    • profile image

      jenubouka 5 years ago

      Great tips for moms Emma. When I had my son, my labor room was also the recovery room, for a natural birth. This giant closet unfolded into this incredible contraption in which the baby was cleaned, weighed, and had a special heat lamp. There was also a heat lamp above my bed too. The hospital had these special ice packs for recovery too, they were awesome....Great ideas!

    • rutheddavid profile image

      Ruth Serrano 5 years ago from Philippines

      I love your hub!!! thanks a lot.. I am in my third trimester and is hoping to have my baby around september or october... your hub was really helpful.. VOTED up :)