Packing your hospital bag

Packing your hospital bag

As you come to the end of your pregnancy, you should start to prepare for the hospital, even if you're intending to have a home birth. 

It’s a good idea to pack two bags, one for labour and the other for after the birth. 

Here are some suggestions for what to put in them:


  • Car parking money
  • Baggy T-shirt (one of your partner's?) to wear in labour.
  • Warm socks and sweatshirt (you may feel chilly in strong labour).
  • Hairbrush and Hair bands (keep hair off your face).
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Face cloth.
  • Lipsalve.
  • Unscented massage oil (baby needs mum to smell like mum).
  • High-energy snacks for you and your labour partner.
  • Fruit drinks for both of you.
  • Magazines, jigsaws, games (for early first stage).
  • Camera to capture that first precious picture.
  • CD/MP3 player.
  • Babycare TENS.


  • Nightie, pyjamas and light dressing gown (postnatal wards are hot).
  • Wash bag with make-up, deodorant, brush.
  • Disposable knickers. 
  • Large-size maternity pads. 
  • Nursing bra and breast pads.
  • Nappies and clothes for your baby.
  • Coins for phone.
  • Books/magazines. 
  • Important phone numbers.
  • Your favourite treat - you deserve it!

If you know that you are having a Caesarean birth, remember to pack enough for a few days.   For more information on preparing for labour and birth, see our labour and birth checklist.

And, to see what real mums put in their hospital bags check out our 'packing your hospital bag' video.

Bounty Organiser

You can keep track of your pregnancy milestones with our free online calendar. It lets you enter your baby’s due date which automatically populates the calendar with need-to-know dates such as when to give your MAT B1 form to your employer, the earliest date you can start maternity leave, and when to apply for free prescriptions and dental treatment, the Health in Pregnancy Grant and Child Benefit. You can add in your midwife appointments, scan dates and antenatal classes and select to receive email reminders for them a month, a week or a day before. Plus, print off our useful checklists which cover everything from what to pack in your hospital bag to breastfeeding essentials.



The voucher for your 2nd Bounty pack is in the pack given to you by the midwives at your first appointment. You hand the voucher in at Boots and they give you the second pack. I understand the third pack is given to you at the hospital.

I got LOADS of brand new clothes off ebay, along with cot, safety gate, pushchair, high chair, travel cot, vibrating chair. I bought a car seat (using the Boots voucher), bedding and a primary bouncing chair brand new. ASDA also have some absolute bargains for baby clothes if you wanted to buy some things brand new without spending a fortune. If you join Boots Parenting Club you get 10 point in every pound spent instead of 4 and you get a welcome letter with vouchers in it. One is for £25 off when you spend over £100 on a car seat or pushchairs and one of the vouchers is for a free changing bag when you buy a pack of Pampers Active Fit or Newborn nappies. I'm a single mum and I have now finished work for mat leave and I have everything I will need for my baby. If you are on a tight budget it is amazing what you can get brand new off the internet from mums who had too much and didn't get to use them. If you search for e.g. baby boy coat bundle 6-9 months - you will probably find lots of bundles which include coats, it's so simple to get bargains and if they are not brand new then they have probably only been worn a couple of times. Just add the postage to the existing offer, consider the items and then decide what they would be worth to you. A pair of baby jeans is about £10, so if you can get a brand new coat, jeans and a top for £15 delivered then you have a bargain - put that in as your maximum bid and then try to forget about it until you get an e-mail telling you if you have won the auction. Do not get caught up in the moment and increase your bid or you could end up paying more than you wanted :-) Good luck new mums! x

Hello, first time mum here.

Hello, first time mum here. I'm 33 weeks now and I can't wait to see my baby, I'm nervous and excited as well. I don not know what I'm having as I decided at the early stage that I wanted to be surprised but now I really want to know. I cant afford to go private for a scan so I guess I'll just have to wait.
I was wondering if any experienced mum or an experienced shopper can tell me where to get quality cheap baby clothes from as I'm still yet to decide, been looking but just can't make up my mind and I'm too tired to go window shopping now. I would really appreciate it. Thanks


i have no idea what you need to take in to hospital whether you need to take formula in case you are unable to breastfeed, i know you dont have to take bottles unless you want to, but how many outfits for baby... how many nappies...???? can anyone help ??? 4 weeks to go and starting to worry about the little things now !!

Free Changing bag

Hi im a new mum .... I also need a free changing bag .... Boots membr said you Go online....i really dont knw the process so Plz help me ..... I need bag thnx


am a new mum i didnt get a pack of free pack,i went to boot they say i should email you please i need the free bag for my new baby thanks

hospital bag

do i need to pack a towel to go into hospital to give birth?

Never to early!

I didn't get to pack a bag with my first baby as I was taken in to hospital at 6 months (for a condition unrelated to the baby) and they didn't let me out until 10 days after the baby was born so I had to make do with the piecemeal bits my hubby remembered to bring in (I had shower gel but no shampoo for weeks!) Had I packed early it would have made life far easier...

What to pack for you and baby

"Emma's Diary" autumn/winter 2010/11 has a useful list on page 44. Plus "Emma's Club" (unsure which edition) has info on what to take for you and baby, see page 5. www.emmasdiary.co.uk

does anyone know if i need to

does anyone know if i need to take my own bottles to the hospital? im being induced on monday at 38 weeks due to some minor complications with my placenta and am suddenly a bit nervous!!! more excited to meet my daughter though ;-D

Packing your Hospital Bag

Hey, I am 32 weeks this week, and have decided to start packing my bag already. I'm trying to be as organized as I can, as you never know when the time will come!!!!!!!!


never too early to pack a hospital bag with my two previous babies i unsuspectingly went in early and was not as prepared as i would have liked, this time i am packing two bags one bag that will be just for labour and immediately after birth and the second bag for my stay in hospital that way my husband can take my first bag home after the birth. and this time i will remember some snacks for labour and also change of clothes for husband as who knows how long labour will last!!

ummmm im 32 weeks and need to

ummmm im 32 weeks and need to yet buy everything for my bag - i best get out there and shop for it!!!! i have written a list though!!!!!........

I packed my bag with DD at

I packed my bag with DD at around 25 weeks.. so then i had a chance to chop and change if i wished to. This time ive been putting bits in my bag and when i get a chance. its only been 18 months since DD and ive already forgotten what i need.. oh dear.. might pack my bag when i get a chance today. :)

i say its never too early to

i say its never too early to pack your hospital bag as with my first child came ( weeks early and i didnt have a thing to put in my bag! As soon as I have had my 12 weeks scan i will start to gather things up for my bag and get it ready! There is no way am i going into hospital unprepared this time... good luck x

hospital bag

hi, i'm due 26th august and am just starting to pack my hospital bag. can anybody give me an idea on how much to take, especially baby clothes etc? i've had to unpack it all as it doesn't fit and the bag is fairly big!

when to pack

i'm currently 29wks1day and have been feeling a strong urge to get my hospital bags ready but dont want to seem daft by doing it too early :-S i tend to be over organised (developed ocd with last lil one) so didnt want to do it if its way too ealy. alsocoud someone tell me if i'm better doing a bag for my baba and a seperate one for me as doing attempted vbac so dont know if would be in for a while xxxxx

hi 39 weeks and 2 days , only

hi 39 weeks and 2 days , only just packing bag so unorganised its unreal!. what do i need to pack for baby i.e what clothes shall i take for her?

im 36 weeks and so tired and

im 36 weeks and so tired and have no energy, worried that if i do go into labour i wont have the energy to give birth. have my bag and babies bag ready for past 6 weeks, i think ive everything ready but then i hear someone else mention something else. i find when i wake at night it takes me atleast an hour to get back to sleep.

How soon should you pack your hospital bag

Hi i am 36 weeks and have been told my babys heads fully engaged do you think its best that i start to pack my bag now just incase he arrives earlier than excepted? Please help?

im 19weeks pregnant but

im 19weeks pregnant but really suffering with pains on one side is this normal can someone help me please i get really worried about these things, and how many clothes will i need for when its born?

is it just me but my ribs and

is it just me but my ribs and back are so painful even though its not my little mite inside me kicking its just uncomfortable/pain really drivivng me insane now. help me please if you know how i can ease this ive got 7 wks left cant deal with it much longer :(

Hospital bag for baby

Just a quickie, if you live in the south east they do not provide nappies in hospital. Just in case you're thinking of not packing some. My first born went through approx 10 nappies a day so make sure you stick a pack in the boot of the car in case you're in for a while after the birth. Wishing you all the very best with your new arrivals x x I'm due June 18th and hoping to have him in Haywards Heath PRH, anyone else due then and in the same area??

Hospital bag for baby

Just a quickie, if you live in the south east they do not provide nappies in hospital. Just in case you're thinking of not packing some. My first born went through approx 10 nappies a day so make sure you stick a pack in the boot of the car in case you're in for a while after the birth. Wishing you all the very best with your new arrivals x x I'm due June 18th and hoping to have him in Haywards Heath PRH, anyone else due then and in the same area??

my hospital bag is so full i

my hospital bag is so full i look like im leaving home..... make sure you get a decent sized bag peeps! x

need help

hi i went to da midwife she said i have very high protien ,wot should i do

hospital bag

I'm a new mum and im 5 months pregnant (20 weeks) when are you meant to prepare for your bag? any one know?

advice for hosp bag!

i've just started doing my hospital bag but baby's bag was done ages ago! the main things i put in there were just baby grows and sleepsuits then i had one outfit for coming home in! I put in a couple of nappies but you should get lots on the ward so don't feel you have to take everything! As for my bag i think last time i took a night dress which i wore for labour and after i just threw it away so don't get a expensive one! then i had pjs and slippers for on the ward and a comfy cardigan to keep me warm, i would definatly advise to take disposable briefs it's easier to change them and take some maternity pads but again you can get more from the delivery suite so take advantage! other things are a charger for your phone you'll get lots of texts, and money for the car parking so your partner doesn't get caught out they're brain will go into melt down bless them! Hope that helps some mums! Good luck

hi mums

i'm 36 weeks with my second and i've been on a real lul! i just haven't had any energy and can't be bothered to do anything but all of a sudden this week i've started nesting and getting everything ready! so other mum's don't worry it will kick in all of a sudden and you won't stop doing things but on the good side i've finally had a decent night sleep cause i'm so exhausted! when my partner sees me doing things he helps cause he doesn't want me doing to much so it's good!

I have a problem with my

I have a problem with my hubby's get up and go!! I need to sort and move bedrooms about to make space but our spare room as become a bit like a laundry room and still has boxes that have not been unpacked. I keep asking him to get all the stuff put in the loft so that we have space to put everything but he keeps putting it off. I am only 20 weeks so have a while to go - will keep trying!

to bettyboop3 - kno how you

to bettyboop3 - kno how you feel!! i'm 33 wks with my 2nd baby & have got so much to do & no motivation at all. this pregnancy has flew by! moved house 2 months ago so evrything still a bit upside-down! i suffer really badly with RLS at night so not sleeping & i'm soo tired! hoping the nesting instinct will kick in asap, & as for my hospital bag....don't even kno where i've put it!

i'm nearly 35 weeks pregnant

i'm nearly 35 weeks pregnant with my first baby. i haven't even started packing my bags yet as i have no dea what to pack. i have nearly everything i need for my little boy/girl coming along but i'm still not prepared. what should i pack for the hospital?

i am 33 weeks pregnant and

i am 33 weeks pregnant and this is my 1st pregnancy.my bag is done.

get up un go has got up un gone!!

hiya all, this is my 3rd pregnancy un jst after sum advice really....i have a big gap of 10yrs between my babies so this really feels like its my 1st!! im 32wks un 2days un have soo much to do...both bags to pack+ i havent even started sorting out our room ( likkle 1 will b in our room) its just full of bags,new clothes un new baby stuff un my partner un my junk!!! its so frustrating,, i really want to get on with it but i just dont seem to get round to it..im so tired all the time....does any1 else feel like their get up un go really has gone? any tips or advice wld b gratefully received!! thanks

i'm tryin to pack my hospital

i'm tryin to pack my hospital bag but have no idea what i shud put init :/ i read up about it and so put in what they say every new mum needs, i'm 30 weeks now so i guess i should have time to change my mind and and things when i think of them

i started packing a few weeks

i started packing a few weeks ago things go in as i remember but its really going to start when i start maternity leave in couple of weeks when im nearly 35 weeks

hi there everyone,we planning

hi there everyone,we planning for water birth at the hospital,going to pack my bags soon and was wondering what else would i need for the water birth,i'm really excited as this my first time having waterbirth.xxx

i have had my hospital bag

i have had my hospital bag packed and ready since i was 24 weeks... i've been far too organised lol x


im 32weeks nows and my baby is just rolling and kicking around in here like madness. im loving it at the moment. starting to buy things to pack in my hospital bag! cant wait!! so excitied!! But then again this weather is not very friendly so abit panicky how my poor lil buba is gonna manage when she comes out! lol x

i've not even thought about

i've not even thought about packing my bag yet so much to do with little time to do it....im 34 weeks on friday its gone so fast this time round i cant remember what i packed when i went in the first time lol im sure it will all come together in the end :-)

im 33 weeks and not even

im 33 weeks and not even thought of packing, to busy tring to get the fella to finish the babys room, maybe ill do it next week

hi all,im now 36 weeks and 5

hi all,im now 36 weeks and 5 days my bags are done and so is babies, oh apart from i need a bath towel but thats all, i just need to think about putting my cot together then im pretty much done :)

baby bump

well ive got 7 weeks left on sat and i have nothin packed in bag for me just baby bumps done and dnt have a clue if tkin the right size clothes in for baby cnt wait tho soon b here just hope baby cums on time n not a week after xx

hay never been on here before

hay never been on here before im 32 weeks and 3 days i havent started packing yet for me i keep packing and unpacking her bag changeing bits i put in like the hats and sleep suits and what blanket i want. i havent even got a bag to pack my bits in :/

ive kind of packed my bag,its

ive kind of packed my bag,its hard to remember half the stuff i need to take,i feel like i should be packing a suitcase not a bag the things i need to take lol!!

Baby's bag is done just mine

Baby's bag is done just mine to go now. Couldn't even imagine having to rush packing that it's caused more tears and tantrums than anything in the past 7 months!

Hey newmummylynz thanks for

Hey newmummylynz thanks for sharing, at least u started packing I havnt just keep looking at the list :-p i'v just started to make a list now! How far along are u? @ clover3 congrats on twins and I know what u mean by packing is worse than holiday, I'm making my list n I know il b the same n I'm only hving 1! All the best x


Week 32.5 and packed bags today- expecting twins and ready to do it now!! Feeling so heavy and uncomfortable, can't imagine another 8 weeks like this! Have packed three cases so far, still got more to do- much harder than packing for a holiday! Struggling to know what to pack to give birth in?

hey tazz2582, im extremely

hey tazz2582, im extremely nervous too.... doesnt matter how many times i read this check list im sure im still forgotten something! all ive packed so far is the babys things and my mum done that for me he he he. im excited but the nervousness is definately the bigger emotion im feeling right now xx

Wow I dint know the time to

Wow I dint know the time to pack has come. I'm so nervous about the whole thing n wonder if I can do it? I hv such a bad pain threshold which scares me! I'm 32 weeks now does anyone else feel like this? I just see everyone just really excited n wonder if it's just me?!

I,ve packed my bag and all

I,ve packed my bag and all ready to go. just turned 36 weeks 2day. cant wait now really excited but nervous and scared at the same time!!!!!!