Hospital Bag Checklist for Labour & Birth – What Should You Pack?

hospital bag essentials checklist

Hospital Bag Checklist for Labour & Birth – What Should You Pack?

What is a Hospital Bag

First of all, what is a hospital bag? Also known as a hospital baby bag, a hospital baby changing bag or a maternity bag, is a handy bag used to pack all the essential things you need for yourself and for baby when going into hospital to give birth.

When Should You Pack Your Hospital Bag?

Its never too early to start organising your maternity ‘going into hospital bag’ and the earlier you do it the better. To make it easier for you, we’ve put together a handy guide for packing your maternity bag, for before and after the birth.

Before my son was born and even though I had everything planned in my head, I never actually got to pack my hospital changing bag. I was taken into hospital 3 weeks early and ended up with practically nothing that I needed. Let that be a lesson – be prepared!

Even if your Ob-Gyn has said you probably won’t deliver until on or after your due date, you can never really predict when you will go into labour. Experts say that 80% of women deliver between 37 and 42 weeks. So what about the other 20%? The truth is, your baby will arrive when your baby and your body decides.

Why Do You Need a Hospital Bag?

Packing a maternity bag means that when you go into hospital you will everything you need when you need it and you can also surround yourself with all your own home comforts. Plus you will want to make sure you have a really cute baby outfit for your little one’s first baby photo. Why not try Linda Clarke Photography’s Remote Newborn Photo Sessions, which use an app on your phone to take beautiful photo of your newborn baby.

One Hospital Bag or Two?

Some Mums recommend having 2 hospital changing bags, one for you and one for baby. My personal preference is to have only 1 baby bag (some hospitals only allow 1 bag), and put baby’s stuff at the bottom and yours on top. And even when your bag is packed you will still think of things to add during the last few days of your pregnancy, so it’s really an on-going work in progress. Using a changing bag as your hospital bag means you have the expense of buying only one bag instead of two and you can continue to use your changing bag until your baby is out of nappies and beyond.

Which Baby Bag is Best?

Most good changing bags are ideal to use as a hospital bag. All those pockets and compartments mean that you have a place for everything, just make sure that you pick one with plenty of space without being too unwieldy. At Tots Baby Shop we have a great range of stylish and functional baby bags to choose from and you will be sure to find one that fits your needs and your budget. Many of our baby changing bags don’t look like typical changing bags and can be used well beyond the baby years – as an office bag, general handbag etc.

From around your 30th week of pregnancy you should start gathering all the essential items you will need for both you and baby while in hospital. To make things a little easier to organise, we have compiled two lists, one for Mum and one for Baby. The Coombe Hospital also have some useful advice about hospital bag guidelines.

A good baby changing bag should have enough room to store both sets of items so bear this in mind when choosing your bag style. Make sure to choose a baby bag with plenty of pockets and compartments and at least one insulated bottle pocket.

Best Baby Changing Bags (in our opinion)

Uppababy Changing Bag – Emmett by Mamas & Papas is made from premium leather and fabric for a luxury look.

So City Changing Bag from Little Baby Shop is small but perfectly formed and ideal if you are watching the pennies.

Taren Backpack Changing Bag by BebeSak Ireland looks compact but has enough room to pack for twins and offers a luxury look at an affordable price.

Your Hospital Bag Checklist

  • Toiletry essentials, moisturiser, cleanser etc
  • Shampoo, conditioner, etc (bring them in little bottles for handiness)
  • Hairbrush, hair dryer, etc
  • Nightwear with a wide neck or buttons for breast feeding
  • Nipple pads & cream
  • Nursing bras
  • Large comfortable undies as you may need to wear pads after giving birth
  • Comfortable footwear
  • Flip flops to wear in the shower
  • 2 large towels & a facecloth
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Glasses case or contact lenses essentials
  • Prescription medications, if you take any
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Makeup
  • Money for snacks etc
  • Comfy clothes for going home.

Your Baby Bag Checklist

organic baby sleepsuit
Organic Cotton Baby Sleepsuit

General Checklist

  • Your own pillow – I don’t know about you but I don’t get a wink of sleep unless I have my own pillow.
  • Sweets/Gifts for the nurses as you leave hospital
  • Baby’s first photo props
  • Car seat (arrange to have it brought in on the day you go home)

I am not 100% sure I have remembered to list everything here so if you spot something I’ve missed let me know on our Facebook page or in the comments below 🙂

Helpful Parenting Resources

The Ultimate Online Antenatal Class by The Baby Academy – is a 1 day Antenatal Class to support expectant parent/s with the most up to date information for your journey into parenthood and, along with a fully packed hospital bag, will have you totally prepared for your new parenting journey.

MeMammaB Online Shop – Maternity Wear & Essentials In One Place – Gorgeous maternity wear and products to pack in your hospital bag, including the most glamorous 3 in 1 labour/delivery/nursing gowns I have ever seen.

Newborn Baby Equipment & Nursery Furniture | BabyCareShop – An Irish family owned independent baby shop stocking a large range of nursery and childcare products.

Any Hospital Bag Queries?

Packing your hospital bag can actually be a wonderful experience. It means that your big day is coming closer and being prepared will set your mind at ease. We at Tots wish you much luck on your parenting journey and we hope that you have found this post useful in helping you to pack your perfect hospital bag. If you have any questions or need any advice please comment below or contact us and we’ll be happy to get back to you.

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