When should you pack your hospital bag?

Your baby could arrive earlier than expected, so being prepared is key. Having your hospital bag packed during the third trimester, from about 36 weeks, is ideal, so you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice. 

Read on to find out the important essentials you need for your hospital bag. 

Essentials Before & During 

pack your hospital bag

There are many different essential items you’re going to need for your hospital stay; however, keeping your records and documents (hospital file and birth plan) with you is important for your own peace of mind. Read on to find out what else we’d recommend a soon-to-be mum to have in her hospital bag.

Dressing gown

Comfort is key, don’t forget to pack yourself a nice fluffy dressing gown or an oversized t-shirt. This will come in very handy after birth, too, if you find yourself in hospital for a few days. 


Slippers and flip-flops are great for slipping on and walking about, especially when you decide to have a shower. 

Lip balm

Your lips can become very chapped during labour, so packing some lip balm for hydration would be ideal. 

Water spray

During labour, you might find yourself getting very hot at times. A water spray bottle is great for spraying your face and neck if you find yourself getting a bit hot and clammy. 


The hospital will provide you with pillows, but they might not be right for you, and your comfort is so important. You’re going to be there for a while, after all! If you have a favourite pillow, make sure to bring it with you, it’s essential. 

Relaxing entertainment

Packing some bits to help you relax is a great idea and will help pass the time. This could be an iPad, book, music, or magazines – whatever helps you relax. 

Eye Mask

pack your hospital bag

You might find yourself in a busy and bright maternity ward, which is where an eye mask can become useful. To get some well-deserved rest after labour, make sure to pack your eye mask and earbuds.

Essentials After Birth 

You may still be in the hospital at this point, so it’s important to have everything you might need on you. Here are a few of the must-haves we would recommend packing in your hospital bag:


Clean clothing and underwear are the after-birth essentials. Packing some comfies to relax in and travel home in is vital. It’s important to look after mum as well as the baby.


Don’t forget your toiletries, you might not want to think about having a shower now, but when you’re there, you will want to. A towel, toothbrush, deodorant, face wash and body wash are all things you might not think of, but all things you’ll be grateful for when the time comes. 


Your skin may feel drier than usual. Pack skincare and makeup if you want to wear it. 

Phone charger

Unless you want to switch off, a phone charger is essential for keeping in touch with your loved ones during this special time. You also need your phone charged to be able to take photos of your newborn’s first few days.


You could be in labour for a couple of hours or a couple of days, but either way, you should consider packing some snacks and drinks and packing your favourite snacks for some comfort during your hospital stay. 

Baby Essentials 

Before you know it, your little one will be in your arms, and this list of essentials will come in useful. Here are a few things we’d recommend taking in your hospital bag for your newborn baby.


Babygrows are essential for your hospital bag; once your baby has arrived, you’ll want to wrap it up in something warm and comfortable. Easy access, fastened at the front babygrows, would be our top recommendation. 


Newborn babies can get cold really easily, so packing some little socks and booties provides them with an extra layer. Even during skin-to-skin content, your baby can wear its hat and socks. 


Whilst your hospital will more than likely provide you with a blanket for your baby, it’s always best to be on the safe side and pack your own. We’d recommend packing a blanket to keep your baby warm in their car seat on the way home. 


New baby

Your newborn will get through at least 10 – 12 nappies each day, so having plenty of nappies packed in your hospital bag is vital. Most hospitals will have some, but it’s important to remember these, just in case!


Newborns’ skin is very sensitive in the first few weeks of their life, so we would advise using cotton wool balls and water to clean them or even sensitive baby wipes. 

Going home outfit

Depending on the time of year you are giving birth, you’ll need a suitable outfit for your baby to go home in. Preparing for different weather conditions would be ideal for saving your birthing partner travelling back and forth for clothes. 

If you’re looking for a going-home outfit for your little one, take a look at Millie & Ralph’s wide range of baby clothes. Unsure what you’ll need? Speak to their helpful team of experts who can advise you on the best things to get for your baby.

When should you pack your hospital bag? 1

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