What to pack in your hospital bag(s) for birth

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.

What to pack in a hospital bag? I’m ready (as I’ll ever be) for giving birth…

I couldn’t fit everything I needed into the one cabin-sized bag the hospital told me I could take. So, I’m going to pretend I didn’t see that, because we’ve managed to squeeze it into these three. Additionally, we will pack a bag for my partner, which I’ll also list, below.

Everyone is different (yes, we know), but this is what I have gleaned that I will need, plus things I want to take. Oh, and there will be a bottle of champagne on order (* EDIT POST-BABY: This did not happen. It was literally the last thing I wanted), Five Guys ordered via Deliveroo, (*EDIT POST-BABY: It was not Five Guys but we did have a LOT of takeaway at the hospital, mainly because hospital food is terrible), and a box of biscuits bought and packed for those hardworking midwives.

[A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who has given me brilliant recommendations for what to pack! My actual bags are ones I had at home already, from DKNY, Pink Lining, and Scamp & Dude]

Here goes…

  • TENS machine, for when contractions start
  • Toiletries bag with shampoo and conditioner
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Paracetamol
  • Elemis face cleanser (have also packed flannels)
  • Tangle Teezer hairbrush
  • Hair pins and hairbands
  • Mustela lip balm
  • Mustela maternity body cleanser
  • Ear plugs (to drown out any unwanted noise during birth)
  • Bendy straws + will pack water bottle
  • Boots gentle toilet tissues (given by a friend who recommended)
  • Breast pads
  • Maternity pads
  • Nursing vest tops x 2 from H&M
  • Comfy loose trousers a size bigger than normal, from Primark
  • Will also be wearing a zip top for layering

  • Snacks! Prosecco fizzy gummies from Superdrug (have been craving sour sweets the whole pregnancy), and Brunch Bars. There is a cafe at the hospital for more.
  • Gaviscon – my saviour so many times
  • Travel hairdryer – if I’m washing my hair, I’ll want to dry it
  • Striped maternity pyjamas with shorts from ASOS
  • A big towel
  • Flannels
  • Tissues
  • Havaianas flips flops – for wearing in shower, and I hear slippers are far too hot for labour wards!
  • Maternity nursing nightie from the Mamas & Papas x Bloom & Blossom collection
  • Thin cotton dressing gown from the Mamas & Papas x Bloom & Blossom collection
  • Lucozade bottled drinks
  • Carrier bags for dirty washing and rubbish
  • Maternity notes – all important!

  • Large navy muslin for swaddling from Aden + Anais
  • Small muslin cloths from Aden + Anais x Disney Baby
  • One patchwork blanket, handmade by my auntie and which I used when my mum brought me home from hospiotal
  • One crochet alpaca cream blanket by Plum of London
  • Nursing oil by Weleda
  • Metanium Everyday barrier ointment – though we will be trying not to wash the baby for a week, except for with cotton wool and water
  • Cotton wool balls
  • Aptamil ready formula – I’ll be attempting breastfeeding but this is a just in case. It can be used without being heated.
  • MAM self-sterilising newborn bottle – need to buy a feeding tube to go with, from my local breastfeeding cafe
  • Melobaby changing pouch that comes with integral fold out change mat
  • Kit & Kin newborn nappies
  • Kit & Kin nappy sacks
  • Water Wipes
  • Newborn cardigan from Marks & Spencer
  • Grey pramsuit from John Lewis
  • Newborn hat from Marks & Spencer

  • A bib from Mamas & Papas x Liberty
  • An Orla Kiely Grosnug 
  • Four newborn vests from Primark
  • A tiny baby bodysuit from Petit Bateau, in case she’s extra small
  • Three newborn sleepsuits  – might also pack one slightly bigger one in case she’s a big baby!
  • Scratch mitts from Mothercare
  • Baby booties from Kissy Kissy

+ Partner’s bag

  • Headphones
  • Camera
  • Phone chargers x 2
  • Mini fan
  • Change for the car park and food/drinks
  • Spare change of clothes
  • Flip flops
  • Towel
  • Shorts
  • Books and magazines

We will also pack my bbhugme pregnancy pillow and some lavender essential oil to put on a flannel. Plus the Mama Mio spray – all to help me feel relaxed and comfortable as these are things I have been using to help me (attempt) sleep while pregnant.

So, have I missed anything? Let me know by commenting below…

* I must prelude anything I write in this blog series as totally my own experiences and opinions. I’ve learned to prefix everything I say in general conversation about pregnancy and babies with, ‘everyone’s different, but…’




  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…
  13. The pregnancy diaries: ‘I’m pregnant. Now what? Week 30
    Advice from friends about what to pack in a hospital bag
  14. The pregnancy diaries: When to start maternity leave
  15. The pregnancy diaries: What formula milk to use?










  1. March 3, 2018 / 9:37 pm

    Can’t believe you’re almost ready! So exciting and good luck with the last few weeks.
    I packed way less to take to hospital and hardly used anything. I had a cotton button down nightie, cotton rope and my summer slippers (hospitals are hot!) the Bridget Jones nickers and pads, cleansing wipes, hair brush, mascara, moisturiser and my fav lipstick. I brought a book and some magazines but never read them, phone charger is a must though. For baby I packed nappies, bodysuits and a going home outfit. A blanket, a muslin, a bottle, water wipes and cotton wool. They advise not using any product on your little one until they are a few weeks old. My partner only packed his phone and tablet charger, a clean shirt and money for the cafeteria

    • March 17, 2018 / 12:41 pm

      Thanks Hester! I can’t imagine taking anything out, now! So excited 🙂 Definitely need Lee to bring money for all the snacks I’ll send him for

  2. Sophie
    March 13, 2018 / 9:34 pm

    Massive pants. And I mean MASSIVE. I packed my normal pants but ended up having an emergency c-section and had to send my mum out for the biggest pants m&s sold. Whether you have a c-section or natural birth, you’ll want to pull those pants up to meet your bra. Also flip-flops in case you don’t want to wear socks.

    • March 17, 2018 / 12:43 pm

      Thanks! Yep, flip flops are above, and that’s a great idea about sending mum out. If I need anything, I know the town centre is close by 🙂 I think being as organised as i possibly can be makes me feel comforted in some way, if that makes sense?!

  3. Emma
    March 14, 2018 / 7:54 am

    I really wish I’d taken spritz for bitz by Expert Midwife – a spray for down below to help with the healing. Otherwise I think you’ve got everything!

    • March 17, 2018 / 12:43 pm

      Great idea, Emma! Will get that!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: