When to pack your Hospital Bag

Whether you're planning to have your baby at home, in hospital or at a midwifery unit, the NHS recommend you should have a bag ready at least 2 weeks before your due date. Remember, if you’re having twins, this would beat around 35 weeks, as full term for twins is 37 weeks.


What to pack in your Hospital Bag

Below we have set out a list of recommended items to include, but keep in mind, every mother is different, so will come down to personal choice and needs!

The basics:

  • your birth plan and hospital notes
  • any medication you need
  • Glasses - if you wear them
  • something loose and comfortable to wear during labour – it gets messy, so don’t invest heavily here, as you may want to dispose of it later. And best to bring back up clothes too.
  • 2 or 3 comfortable and supportive bras, including nursing bras if you're planning to breastfeed – remember, your breasts will be much larger than usual
  • front-opening or loose-fitting nighties or tops if you're going to breastfeed – you need easy access to those boobies!
  • dressing gown, socks and slippers (some thing to easy slip on your feet to walk around the hospital.
  • a loose, comfortable outfit to wear home – again, comfort is key here. And easy access tops if you are planning to breastfeed.
  • breast pads – to absorb any milk leakages
  • a couple of packets of maternity pads
  • 5 or 6 pairs of underwear – we would recommend black soft plain cotton, or disposable ones. Comfort is key!  
  • your toiletries - toothbrush, hairbrush, soap, lip balm, deodorant, hair ties and other toiletries.
  • things to help you pass the time and relax – for example, books, magazines, music or podcast
  • a fan or water spray to cool you down – it can get quite hot!
  • healthy snacks and drinks – Vitimum can be mixed with just milk or water, so is a great handy snack for labour or during your hospital stay.
  • a TENS machine if you intend to use one


For the baby, you might want to pack:

  • bodysuits, under vests and sleep suits – remember babies can’t regulate their heat, so can’t be too warm.
  • an outfit for going home in
  • a bonnet/beanie
  • scratch mittens and socks or booties
  • plenty of nappies and wet wipes (the hospitals do not supply these)
  • nappy rash cream or barrier cream – or coconut oil
  • a shawl or blanket
  • muslin clothes
  • a pram suit if it's cold
  • a car seat for the trip home


Our tips:

  • Don’t invest heavily in any special clothes, as you may not keep them afterwards.
  • Lip balm can be your saviour – your lips will get quite dry
  • A bottle and a straw – not only useful in labour, but afterwards too, as you’re hands will be busy cuddling your baby, so won’t have time to mess round with lids! 
  • A power bank - you can't use most hospital power sockets, and will want to have your phone fully charged for photos! 
  • Pack healthy snacks – filling up on sugar won't give you the sustenance you will need 
  • Finally, don’t stress, if you forget something, you will probably be able to pick it up nearby or will survive without it.