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Printable Hospital Bag Checklist

by Lisa Jones
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Printable Hospital Bag Checklist cover photo

Knowing what to pack in your hospital bag when you’re having a baby is both very exciting and a little overwhelming! When I was pregnant, I could not wait to pack my hospital bag. I made lists and packed, unpacked and repacked. I did this pretty much on repeat. But do you know what? I didn’t actually need a lot of the stuff that I packed! So, to help other parents to be, I have created a printable hospital bag checklist.

I have included all of the essentials you’ll need for mum, dad/birthing partner and baby for both labour and delivery. To make it even easier, I have made this a Printable Hospital Bag Checklist so that you cant print it off and check it off as you pack. You have enough to be getting on with, without having to worry about making a list of things to pack!

When To Pack

Generally, people have their bags ready between 32 and 35 weeks, but you can pack your bag whenever you want! There is no set in stone time but it does need to be done at least 2 weeks before your due date. However, do bear in mind, if you are pregnant with twins you may go into labour early so it’s a good idea to have the bags packed and ready.

What To Pack For Mum

Birth Plan/Hospital Notes

Obviously you’ll still need these for your midwife appointments so I started to make a habit of resting my notes just on top of my hospital bag.

Hair bands

If you have mid to long hair, make sure you pack a million hair bands and clips. Put them in every pocket so that they are easy to find. You never know if one is going to break so it’s always best to have too many than not enough.

Also, make sure that you have easy to use hair clips. When I was in labour, some of my wispy bits of hair were coming out of my hairband and I only had one of those thin sweat headbands and it kept pinging off of my head. It’s an annoyance that you don’t need during labour!

Loose Fitting/Front Opening Nighties

Or oversized t-shirts. Make sure that you pack more than one. Depending on how long you’re in labour and when your waters break you’re probably going to want to get changed.

Then for after you’ve given birth, if you decided to breastfeed you’ll want to get some easy access front opening nighties. Babies don’t like to be kept waiting you know!

Dressing Gown

You might want to take your dressing gown as you may end up spending time pacing up and down the corridors. Personally, I didn’t use one. It was about 3,000ºc in the hospital and I didn’t like feeling constricted.

Slippers/Flip Flops

You’re going to want footwear that is easy to slip on and off. You don’t want to be faffing around when you’re in labour. Flip flops are also handy as you can wear them in the shower if you don’t want to go barefoot.

Fans/Spray Water Bottle

Being in labour is hard work and you will get hot. Make sure you take a fan with you or a spray water bottle to help keep you cool.

Charger/Phone/Kindle/Playlists/iPad….

Take things to keep you occupied. Sometimes things move slowly so at the beginning you may some waiting around to do so it’s worth having things to keep you occupied. Just make sure you pack your charger!

Glasses or Contacts

Personally, I did not fancy wearing my lenses during labour because it was just too much hassle! Each to their own though. Don’t forget to pack lens solution and your glasses, just in case you change your mind.

Snacks!

Printable Hospital Bag Checklist - Snacks
Photo by Fallon Michael on Unsplash

Take some good snacks with you! I opted for energy bars and anything that was easy to break into bitesize chunks. Make sure you include some energy drinks too and lots of water.

Toiletries

You’ll need the usual shower gel, sponge, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, moisturiser, toothbrush, toothpaste (you could purchase a new toothbrush and toothpaste if you are worried about forgetting them), deodorant, hairbrush, towel. Unless you are really dedicated, I probably wouldn’t pack your 5 step cleansing routine. You’ve just had a baby, give yourself a little break. Same with makeup. You’ve just had a baby, you’re going to look tired! Also, your baby really won’t care if you have winged eyeliner and contoured cheeks.

Some mums pack some massage oil or essential oils so that their birthing partner can give them a little massage during labour. Personally, I would hate it, but I thought that I would include the option for you.

Little side note – go easy with the perfume or body spray. You’ll be cuddling that little babe in close so you don’t want to overpower them with fragrance, they want to smell you. Also, unless you have a private room, the smell will travel and interfere with the other babies trying to connected with their own mummies smells.

Oh, don’t forget to pack any medication that you are on!

Pants. Big Pants

I picked the biggest black pants I could find from Primark and I am so glad that I did. They were sooo comfy. I also took some disposable underwear with me. I would not recommend picking up the cheapest ones that you can find. They were thin, too small and uncomfortable so always double-check what you are getting first. You don’t want to leave it too late like I did.

Maternity Pads

Make sure you pack a decent amount of maternity pads in your bag. You’ll need maternity pads, not just normal sanitary towels. Maternity pads are specially designed to be longer, thicker, more absorbent and are less likely to irritate any stitches.

Bras And Breast Pads

You will need some good quality bras. Those boobies are going to get big so you’ll probably need to go up a size or two! If you decide to breastfeed, you’ll need to pack some quality nursing bras, at least two. At first, I purchased mine from Primark but they just were not good enough. If you need any breastfeeding advice make sure you check out my breastfeeding story post.

Don’t forget your breast pads too!

Going Home Outfit

Pack something comfortable and loose fitting for going home. You don’t have to look stylish, you need to make sure you’re comfortable!

What To Pack For Baby

Nappies

Babies poop a lot. We took a whole pack to the hospital with us. We didn’t use them all, but you never know how long you’ll be in the hospital for so its better to safe than sorry.

Wipes

Take a couple of packets – as again – you have no idea how long you’re going to be in the hospital for. Make sure that they are sensitive and suitable for use on a newborn.

Muslins

Just like babies poop a lot, they’ll also be sick a lot. You’ll need a few of these at the hospital!

Baby Grows And Vests

Pack a couple of both of these. Due to the poop and the sick, there may be a few outfit changes!

Milk and Bottles

If you’re not planning on breastfeeding you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got some pre-prepared milk that comes in the ready-made in bottles.

Blanket

Printable Hospital Bag Checklist - Baby Blanket
Photo by Ryan Stone on Unsplash

Although the hospital does normally provide a blanket, still take your own for when you leave the hospital.

Hats, Socks, Scratch Mittens

Take a couple of hats as the first one they wear is normally soon after birth and it tends to get covered in goop. Scratch mittens will CONSTANTLY fall off and you’ll probably lose one here and there so take a couple with you.

Going Home Outfit

I actually took a couple of outfits because I wasn’t sure what the weather was going to be like (it was July, what was I thinking?! Of course it was going to be hot!) In the end, it was so hot that my little one went home in a vest. If you’re having a winter baby, make sure you pack something snuggly and warm. Don’t forget – if you have put your baby in a snowsuit or anything with fluffy or puffy padding this will need to be removed before they go in the car seat.

Car Seat

Make sure you know how it goes in and out of the car before going to the hospital!

What To Pack For Your Birthing Partner

Change Of Clothes

There is no way of telling how long you’ll be at the hospital for. There’s nothing worse than being in 3 day old pants now, is there?

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Stuff To Freshen Up

All of the focus is on the mum during labour and all of the showers are normally reserved for mums only. You may have to do a quick strip wash in a sink so be prepared for that.

Charger/Phone/Kindle/Playlists/iPad….

Again, you have no idea how long you’re going to be in the hospital for. But please, for the love of God DO NOT just read your book or play a game on your phone the whole time. Mum needs looking after.

Glasses Or Contacts

Like I said above, I would probably opt for glasses as no one wants to be wearing contacts for 72 hours!

Snacks And Drinks

Food is only supplied to Mums so make sure you take food that will sustain you or have money for the canteen. Energy drinks will also be very handy

Pillow

Printable Hospital Bag Checklist - Tired dad
Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash

It’s likely that you’ll have to sleep in a chair. If you’re lucky you might get a fold-out chair. So take a pillow with you so at least have a little bit comfort.

Conclusion

And there we have it! Your complete Printable Hospital Bag Checklist. I hope you have found this useful. Now you’re ready to have your baby. Before you go, make sure you have a read of What Happens To Your Body After Giving Birth so that you are fully prepared!

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Cover Photo by Ömürden Cengiz on Unsplash

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4 comments

Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader) 12/10/2020 - 5:26 pm

I learned from my first pregnancy to pack early! My daughter arrived 4 weeks early. I had started packing my bag but was only half done. We were away from home when I went in to labour and had to go straight to the hospital. I had to send my husband home to grab my bag and finish packing. I was madly writing a list and trying to explain to him where to find things. Not good!

I didn’t make that mistake with my second baby! I think my bag was packed by about 20 weeks.

Reply
Lisa Jones 13/10/2020 - 6:45 pm

Oh my goodness, that sounds stressful!! Hopefully he managed to get everything you needed!

Yes, I think I’d probably pack early next time too!

I was 2 weeks overdue so was packed for ages 🤣🤣

Reply
Smelly Socks and Garden Peas 11/10/2020 - 9:23 pm

Definitely, big massive pants that come up to your belly button. Prepare for a possible c section and make sure you’ve got something that won’t go anywhere near your bikini line. Otherwise you’ll have to send your husband to the shops before you can get dressed go home.

Reply
Lisa Jones 11/10/2020 - 10:09 pm

Ouch! I can just imagine. Sounds like you might be speaking from experience on this one?? I still wear the big massive pants I bought for after giving birth 🙈 They’re just too comfy!

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