The pregnancy diaries: ‘I’m pregnant. Now what?’ – Week 30 [What to pack in your hospital bag]

By Catherine Hudson, editor of FashTravels

FashBaby: A whole new kind of adventure hosted at FashTravels. Here, you’ll find a weekly diary of my pregnancy journey.

Week 30 has certainly been a roller coaster. Very sadly, my partner’s father passed away. It was totally unexpected. So, pregnancy has been put on the back burner, and all my energies have gone in supporting him. I don’t remember a lot of what has happened, to be honest, so, instead of a diary update, I am sharing all the lovely tips everyone gave me via social media about what to pack in our hospital bag for the baby. I have found that in times of real stress, distraction can be key. And figuring out what I, he and our little girl will need, is certainly a big task! I’ll write up what we end up packing, soon, but for now, here are some brilliant tips I gathered from Instagram and Facebook…

⭐️ A D V I C E ⭐️ … We are packing the hospital bag. Wondered if anyone has any tips of things that they found really handy? What were your most useful items? I have so many lovely baby blankets already, including this patchwork one (above) that one of my aunties made for me when I was born ❤️ 

From Instagram…

  • birthofamummy  Make sure your partner knows where stuff is in the hospital bag, Catherine. I was in no fit state during labour or after to be rooting around my hospital bags looking for something. Labour for me is a bit of a blur but I remember getting annoyed at W as he didn’t instantly find a flannel I had packed 😂😂😂. Clearly I thought he could read my mind and know which of the five (🙈) bags it was packed in.
  • lizbethrose86 Some hats you don’t mind getting ruined – they pop a hat on the baby as soon as it’s born and it will be forever stained! (But hold lovely memories!)
  • birthofamummy Also, we were underprepared for babies bag. I thought I would be in and out but due to C section was in for three days. We quickly ran out of nappies and sleep suits for Bump. So don’t skimp on the stuff for baby. And don’t underestimate the weather. I had a lovely going Home out for Bump. He was born middle of July. So the outfit was v summer heatwave orientated. Day we went home it was pouring with torrential rain and about 13degrees. His outfit wasn’t suitable at all and I could see the midwife thinking “really they are leaving with the baby in that” 😂😂
  • thestarwhisperer I learnt that you don’t need much! Just a really comfy pair of knickers for you and some big fat sanitary towels lol and a cosy and cuddly romper for the little one… plus a blanket and hat etc for when you’re ready to go home… oh and nappies and wipes 😉 but apart from that I used NOTHING!! I’d prepared snacks and a book and music… yes … I was completely deluded haha xxx it’s a great experience though and one with the best prize at the end! Enjoy it if you can xxx
  • thefourthbear  A change of clothes for Dad- our newborn pooped all over him pretty quickly! Also, fizzy drinks were a life saver during labour 💕
  • _thismummycan_ Slippers, eye mask, big old t shirt as you won’t want anything tight around your tummy, loads of snacks, big water bottle, hat for the baby (they like the baby to wear one in Hospital) dry shampoo. Hope that helps! Xx
  • theunconventionalmum I didn’t even open mine! Didn’t care! With exception to lip balm… my god you must have lip balm at the ready!!
  • thenurseryedit Comfy going home clothes for you, flip flops, change for car parking, favourite post birth snacks, chargers, all the usual baby Essentials, I had packed mini jars of honey to give me energy during labour but I found I couldn’t eat anything and struggled drinking (no idea why), I liked aromatherapy oils on my wrists or a tissue tucked in my top, comfy labour dress/outfit, calming music playlist and the sheet with all my birthing positions drawn out in case I forgot. Sorry I went on a while there! X
  • petalsandberry I’ve found ear plugs useful as the ward was so noisy I couldn’t get any sleep when daddy was with the baby. We were in the hospital for 3 days. Oh and a yoga mat or mats for daddy if he stays for the night . My hubby slept on the floor and it was very useful.
  • birthofamummy I also agree with comfy knickers. If you end up having a c section you will want the biggest size pants possible- say three sizes bigger. My mother in law had to go out and buy me some bigger ones as the ones I had really hurt my c section scar because of where they sat. I also ensured I had my fav shower products and perfume to make me feel more human when I had my first shower in hospital.
  • beanbabyldn Penny sweets and mini cheddars. All your favourite naughty treats. Because you will deserve them more than ever 😘
  • yvadney Bring your own pillow. It makes all the difference. Wear the hospital gown, you don’t want to ruin your own things. Big knickers, loads of pads, flip flops and loads of lush shower products. X
  • beanbabyldn @petalsandberry definitely vote for the ear plugs. Good one!
  • lizbethrose86 @fashcatherine yup, same goes for first outfit! I honestly didn’t really use much of mine all I cared about were massive knickers and pj bottoms 😂
  • missnjfox My friend who’s a midwife tells her mums to pack a mini aerosol of ‘oust’ – and a small battery operated massager for dad to use on your back. I am so excited for you!! Xx
  • thestarwhisperer @fashcatherine And don’t worry if you can’t stick to your birthing plan (if you have one…I refused to write one!!) just go with the flow! Good luck mama! X
  • thewellers_ I didn’t even open my bag! I got to the hospital at 6cm and everything happened quickly! Dads don’t get fed whilst there so pack some food for him xx
  • mumandmama Goodness cereal bars. So so good (excuse the pun lolz 😏) x
  • thebear_and_thebird I had separate outfits (vest, nappy, babygro, cardigan) in food bags then it was easy for me (or anyone else) to grab one from the bag to get little man changed x x
  • lifewiththecamerons Muslin cloths and protein bars/ snacks, both come in very handy.
  • tinytotssleepconsultancy Massive pants, slippers and bottles of water 👍
  • emmajwal Having a bag of spares in the car is handy just in case – Flo went through about 10 outfit changes in 24 hours but Alfie just had a couple. A bag for dirty washing too. Big pants and something cosy to change into afterwards xxx
  • rocknrollerbaby I’m sure you’ll manage it – even after a terribly traumatic time with Raffie I still managed to snaffle some Champers (we his the bottle in our bag rather than the bin as the nurses didn’t look like they’d approve) and Champagne is a whole lot more mellow mixed with morphine… 🙈
  • fairyclarey Snacks especially if you’re in more than one night. Sainsbury’s maternity pads were great. Your own pillow. Toiletries. Very stretchy and comfy clothes for coming home in. A few sleepsuits, hats and bibs for baba and muslins are amazing! I have so many now! A lot of stuff I packed didn’t even make it out of the case. I definitely overpacked. As long as you have your home comforts you’ll be set. Oh and phone charger! X
  • belles boutique @my_expertmidwife Spritz your bits, hair bands, energy bars, milestone cards for those first photos, paracetamol, flannels for a wet wash if you can’t face a bath afterwards (also handy in the shower), flip flops for the shower because they’re pretty gross…
  • mrshockallz I had straws to drink from in mine
  • my_expertmidwife  and flip flops are a great idea!!!
  • onevintagemama Defo bring a dressing gown (one of the lightweight ones) a few granny nighties that make boobies easily accessible. Also bring some carton drinks with straws, if the mat ward is busy it can be hard to get a drink. I also brought some fizzy sugary drinks so i could get abit of energy. Socks when blood pressure dips feet get cold and also looooads of maternity pads xx
  • rachaelmlsutherland What I’ve seen in the convo so far and agree with; Flip flops, maternity pads (not sanitary towels), food and snacks for you both and if you have a c section v comfy clothes. Hope it goes well. I’m booked for a c section at 39 weeks due complications last time xxx
  • forthesmall Yes own pillow I agree.. energy sweets .. bed socks useful … and toiletries a plenty. I had a mini bottoms of prosecco when I needed it after the birth too (snacks always good too for after.. you will be famished) xx
  • karleensanjose Seeing that picture has reminded me of one thing. We had that babygro but it’s one of the ones that had to go on over the head. We found the zip up or button up ones soooo much easier. X
  • jimjamz_kids Yes ear plugs! & drinking straws & lots of snacks! X
  • diaryofafatenglishgirl I also say straws! And lucozade tablets (or equivalent.) Just in case you are nil by mouth these help a lot! xxx
  • ohso_box Hey, you’re super organised well done you. With my first, a bendy straw to sip drinks was handy but with my second who was a lot quicker I didn’t really have time for much. Although I highly recommend a tens machine. Helped me with the discomfort of labour with both babies. Eeek exciting times 😊
  • gerrardandgrace  Your ipod/phone with headphones and @scummymummies podcasts downloaded just in case you are in for a little bit afterwards. Not much to pack and a real life saver if you’re too wired to sleep and your birth partner has popped home. Also Rennie, just in case. You don’t want heartburn on top of everything else xx
  • Big baggy (I’m talking huge!) clothes to go home in. I had an emergency c-section and my legs were so swollen! Also check sleep arrangements for husband/birth partner… we only had a sit up chair, an extra blanket and pillow for my husband would have been great! More than one change of baggy nightdress and oh so many maternity pads!

    And from Facebook…

    [I’ve removed names, here, as my profile is private]

  • Headphones are a must! Antenatal wards can be noisy at night. And download things to watch and listen for distraction and entertainment purposes
  • I wish I’d had a spare carrier bag to hang on the bedpost to put bits of rubbish in. I couldn’t get to a bin and all the other (second-time) mums were doing this!
  • Flip flops! Better than slippers. Hospitals are boiling hot!!
  • And take the foam type that can get wet so that you can wear them in the shower if you want to
  • The obvious of course but make sure you take a hair band and food for both of you, snacks really. And I also packed a bottle of a Champagne. Well, why not?! Dextrose tablets I found helpful as did a mist spray to keep my face cool and I know this is a bit rank but afterwards, BEST thing EVER is Tena Lady pants… Not the pads, the FULL nappy! P.S Lansinoh is the best nipple cream – I’ve tried loads but it really is worth paying the extra for AND having it in your bag – and Weleda nappy cream would be a must for me too. It’s SO hot in hospital that most of the babies I saw just had their nappies on.
  • Easy clothes to put baby in. You are all fingers and thumbs to start, especially dads. Lip balm, flannels, a good water bottle.
  • Prosecco for when baby’s arrived! I got my partner to smuggle it in.
  • Lucozade and plenty of sugary snacks for you! You will be grateful for them.
  • You are going to need loads of maternity pads. The biggest ones you can find and Bridget Jones style pants. Arnica tablets as well to help with the healing.
  • I found – jelly babies and lucozade were good, you won’t feel like eating but they are a great sugar fix for when/if you start getting tired! Also a good lip balm as for some reason my lips got really dry in the hospital
  • The midwife told us to get packs of disposable pants but they were all papery and horrible. I just got a a pack of ordinary knickers from Asda or Primark instead!
  • I was actually a fan of the disposable pants! They had a very high waist which was good post c section.
  • Snacks and drinks for the Dad! Sometimes they don’t get offered anything and it’s not always possible for them to go off in search.. a good water bottle, I agree with that one, decaf tea (don’t seem to have it in maternity despite breastfeeding etc…)
  • Hundreds of muslins and more spare baby clothes than you think you’ll need. Bag to put washing in.
  • Proper loo roll – hospital stuff is rubbish! Nice lavender pillow spray. Something luxury to look forward to using – I had some nice new pjs that I’m lounging in now (button up for any pjs incase of feeding), extra long phone charger cable.
  • Lip balm and snacks. Also, to be on the safe size, bigger clothes for baby. We packed three outfits all washed and ironed and, upon the arrival of an unexpectedly large baby (9lb10!), the midwives nearly fainted and the clothes didn’t fit!
  • A few changes of underwear and nightclothes just in case the bleeding is bad. Dextrose tablets. Tens machine.
  • Was just about to comment again saying Tens machine! I used it and it was awesome. Use from home when the contractions start getting uncomfortable.
  • A nightdress with buttons down the front, ideally cotton as you get hot flushes afterwards. PJs with a buttoned shirt are good too but impractical if you end up with a catheter
  • Music in the background can be a good distraction so I’d recommend a little speaker you can plug your phone/iPod/whatever into
  • Lansinoh nipple cream!
  • I took a hand held mirror and watched as grace’s head crowned and once her face was out. It was such a lovely experience knowing she was almost here! I regret not getting my partner to take any photos of me whilst in labour (top half!)
  • A bag of essentials for your partner, too. Snacks, spare clothes and something to do eg. Book, headphones, iPad etc. Oh and change. And camera.
  • Oh gosh, I had better pack a bag ASAP, 35 weeks and not done it yet. Am envious of your organisation! I was in and out within 7-8 hours with all 3 so hoping the 4th is similar: all I needed was the basics, clothes for bubs and me and wash stuff etc but with first I even took a portable TV in my bag lol. So exciting!
  • Waterproof mascara, 12 hour lippy.

Thank you everyone for all the advice! Are we missing anything??



  1. The pregnancy diaries: ‘I’m pregnant. Now what?’ – Introduction: Weeks 0-18
    Hello, my name is Catherine and I‘m pregnant!
  2. The pregnancy diaries: ‘I’m pregnant. Now what?’ – Week 19
    Hearing the heartbeat and telling people
  3. The pregnancy diaries: ‘I’m pregnant. Now what?’ – Week 20
    Sleeping, 20-week scan and nesting
  4. The pregnancy diaries: ‘I’m pregnant. Now what?’ – Week 21
    Confidence, quiet time and trial runs
  5. The pregnancy diaries: ‘I’m pregnant. Now what?’ – Week 22
    The one where we went on a babymoon to Sri Lanka
  6. The pregnancy diaries: ‘I’m pregnant. Now what?’ – Week 23
    Bathtime, being lazy and shaving rules
  7. The pregnancy diaries: ‘I’m pregnant. Now what?’ – Week 24
    We’re a team, baby – you, me and…
  8. The pregnancy diaries: ‘I’m pregnant. Now what?’ – Week 25
    Seeing your baby in 4D – what is it and is it a good idea?
  9. The pregnancy diaries: ‘I’m pregnant. Now what?’ – Week 26
    Christmas, acid reflux and wondering who I am
  10. The pregnancy diaries: ‘I’m pregnant. Now what?’ – Week 27
    Being stuck in limbo and working 9am – 5pm/6pm/7pm…
  11. The pregnancy diaries: ‘I’m pregnant. Now what?’ – Week 28
    Injections and indifference
  12. The pregnancy diaries: ‘I’m pregnant. Now what?’ Week 29
    Oh right. I’m pregnant…




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