Need wipes today? Find your nearest Tesco store

What to actually pack in a hospital bag, by mums

We suggest starting to plan, buy and pack for your hospital bag as you enter your 3rd trimester, so from around 28 weeks. There’s lot of handy lists out there and beautifully styled influencer videos showing what to pack in your hospital. But what do our Mum & You mums say you actually need (and don’t need!) to pack. The ultimate list below…

For mum:

  1. Comfortable clothes: Cotton, loose-fitting, comfortable outfits. One night dress for labour with buttons or easy access for skin to skin or breastfeeding. Bikini top if planning a water birth. 1-2 pairs of pyjamas or night dress for post labour. A light weight dressing gown (hospitals are warm but you might want to cover up if walking about). And a comfy outfit for going home in like leggings, joggers, maxi dress, cardigan, hoodie etc.
  2. Slippers, flip flops/sliders and socks: Choose non-slip, comfortable slippers and cosy socks. Flip flops are handy for shower or going home in, especially if your feet swell
  3. Maternity bras and nursing pads: Useful if you plan to breastfeed and even if you don’t you will feel more comfortable in a soft bra when your milk comes in and your body adjusts
  4. Underwear: Lots of big, black, high waisted, comfortable cotton knickers are essential for post bleeding and to cover your tummy incase you need a c section. Disposable underwear is also handy for the first day or two
  5. Sanitary pads: thick maternity and heavy-flow pads (did you know you bleed for up to 6 weeks after giving birth?)
  6. Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, deodorant, hairbrush, moisturiser, hair bobbles/clips/hair band. Glasses and/or contact lenses if needed. Top tip: lip balm is a must as your lips can get so dry during labour
  7. Flushable toilet wipes: those first wees and poos can sting and you want something more gentle than rough, dry toilet paper that will actually clean you too. Floosh moist toilet tissue are plastic free and plant based, gently cleans and certified fine to flush by Water UK
  8. Dark towel
  9. Nursing essentials: If you plan to breastfeed, bring nipple balm and a nursing pillow. If you have a car leave the pillow in the car until needed. Ready made formula if you’re bottle feeding
  10. Comfort items: Consider bringing your own pillow, a blanket, or any other items that provide comfort during labor and recovery. A positive note written by yourself or friends or cards and drawings if you have other children can help give you a boost when you need it
  11. Tens machine if using: you usually need to pre-borrow these or buy your own
  12. Entertainment: Books, magazines, tablets, puzzle books etc to help pass the time during early labor or recovery. And a pen is always handy!
  13. Phone and tablet chargers with extra long cable as plugs can be far from your bed
  14. Snacks and drinks: light snacks and beverages to keep you energised during early labor, such as cereal bars, high energy bars, crisps, juice or sports drinks. Don’t pack many as once you’re in more active labour you usually won’t be able to eat. Top tips: mints are good for dry mouth and helping with reflux.
  15. Water bottle with a straw: it’s easier to drink from a straw during and after labour
  16. Hand held fan and/or water spritz bottle: your face can feel so hot so your birthing partner’s number one job is to help keep you cool!
  17. Carrier bags for dirty washing and rubbish
  18. Purse with change and cards for parking and vending machines

For the Baby:

  1. Clothing: Baby grows which have built in mittens and socks, vests that have the folds on the shoulders (makes it easy to take the vest off down the body rather than over the head if baby leaks) and some soft thin hats. Pack 2-3 sets and then either pack a 3rd bag with spares/various sizes and leave in the car, or show your birthing partner where to find them at home so they can be brought in if you need to stay longer or baby is a different size than you thought. Top tip: Wrap a vest inside a onesie and put into a small sandwich bag so its easy to find.
  2. Blanket: The hospital will provide them too but you can also use your own. You might want a thicker one to go home with to put over the top of them after they have been strapped into their car seat, depending on the weather, but you can leave this on the car seat in the car. Top tip: sleep with the blanket or rub it on yourself before baby arrives so it smells like you
  3. Going home outfit: a onesie, vest, thin baby hat. Don’t buy anything too fancy incase baby is different size and doesn’t fit in it! If it’s winter add a thicker wool type hat over the top and a thin cardigan, plus a blanket, as you shouldn’t put baby in a bulky pram suit if going into a car seat
  4. Nappies: One pack should be enough and you can always ask family to bring in more if needed. Look for nappies that have a wetness indicator at the front, like Mum & You eco nappies, so you can peek to check if they have weed rather than changing them unnecessarily. Our super soft eco nappies have a plant based core and are free from harsh chemicals, perfume and latex so they’re super gentle on newborn skin
  5. Baby wipes: 2 packs is plenty. Look for natural, biodegradable ones like Mum & You plastic free wipes, which are made from 99.4% water and soft, plant based material so they’re suitable to use from newborn.
  6. Muslin cloths: This is the one thing to pack more of than you think. Handy for putting under baby when changing nappy so the cold mat doesn’t touch their bottom and to gently put over their genitals to catch surprise wees. Also for wiping up milk spills from baby’s mouth, breast leaks and baby sick. Top tip: try white cloths for feeds and coloured cloths for changing so you don’t get them mixed up
  7. Car seat: Make sure you have a properly installed car seat for your baby’s journey home and practice how to use it.

And the things you really don’t need:

  1. Hair dryer/ straighteners / curling irons etc – there’s usually no time or place to use them (and in our case no energy!) If you get time to shower, let your hair dry naturally until you get home (side note, we think a voucher for a wash and blow with a hairdresser is a great gift for new mums should you want to drop hints!)
  2. Make up – this is a personal one as some people feel better with some make up on which is totally fine but it’s not an essential so skip or just take a few simple items
  3. Razor – we really don’t think you will care or have the energy to shave
  4. Nail varnish – no one needs to smell that on a hospital ward
  5. Breast pump – if you need to use one the hospital will provide it. We also suggest you don’t buy one for at home until you know if you actually need one as you’ll be able to get one quickly if you do, so save your money
  6. Cotton wool – if you use a gentle, plastic free natural baby wipe, you can use them from newborn and they’re easier to clean messy baby poos then using cotton wool and water, especially if you’re on your own trying to change them while recovering from birth and balancing over the bed or cot
  7. Baby toiletries – unless you need to stay much longer than planned due to health complications, it’s unlikely you will wash baby in hospital. The guidance is to wait until their umbilical cord has fallen off at home before the first bath which can be 7-10 days from birth.
  8. Baby toys – avoid soft toys in baby’s cot as they can be a safety hazard, and it will be weeks before baby can see or is remotely interested in toys, all they need is you. However it’s never to early to read, chat or sing to them as communicating with your baby helps with bonding and their language development (but leave the baby books at home!). We call it Nappychat and you’ll find characters on all our nappies and packaging to inspire you to chat to baby at change time.
  9. Baby socks and mittens – make your life easier and buy the baby grows that have them built in as they don’t fall off

We hope you find this list useful and we wish all the luck with the packing and the birth.

Want to keep up to date with our future blogs like this one? Subscribe to our mailing list for more tips and special offers you surely won’t want to miss!

You Might Also Like

No Comments

    Leave a Reply