What Should I Pack in my Hospital Bag? | Cuddledry.com

Time to pack your hospital bag? Read our guide on how to pack your bag and the essential new baby items you definitely need take with you.

How to pack your hospital bag

What Should I Pack in my Hospital Bag?_Cuddledry.com

Packing your hospital bag is one pregnancy milestone that many women look forward to doing, but it’s also one that can suddenly seem quite daunting too! There are lots of hospital bag checklists out there, but there are also lots of mums who are more than happy to share advice too.

With all that 'help', can start to become overwhelming! We don’t want to add to that, so we’re including only items that we feel are really helpful, along with some tips on how to pack so that everything is where you need it, when you need it.

Separate bags for you and baby

Its a really good idea to pack separate bags for you and your baby, so that nothing gets muddled up and you’re able to grab what you need quickly and easily. That said, try to resist the temptation to pack too much, as there might not be a lot room once you get to the hospital.

Packing your main bag

Your main bag should be around the size of a weekend bag, with enough room to hold another bag for during labour. This will keep everything tidy and in one place. Keep room for essential items at the top so they're easily accessible.

Your baby’s main bag

Your baby’s main bag won’t be needed until after birth, so make sure your partner knows where it is. 

Your toiletry bag 

What Should I Pack in my Hospital Bag?_Cuddledry.com

Leave room in your bag for your toiletries. We recommend our Baby & Me family organiser bag for this, because it has two separate colour coded sides. This means you can keep your toiletries separate from your baby’s without the need for yet another bag!

When to pack your hospital bag

The general advice is to have your hospital bag ready to go from around 36 weeks onwards- but this could depend on your own situation. There’s certainly no harm in being organised a little early. Keep it an easy to grab place once it's ready and make sure that everyone who needs to know is able to locate it quickly if needed.

What to pack in your hospital bag 

So, what do you actually need in your hospital bag? The answer to this can vary depending on who you ask, so take our lists as guidance only, and then you can add or remove items according to your own needs. 

Labour bag

Your labour bag can fit inside your main bag so that it’s organised and ready to go when you need it. We recommend the following:

Hospital notes

Keep these at the top so that they’re easily accessible at all times.

What Should I Pack in my Hospital Bag?_Cuddledry.com

Birth plan

Again, keep this accessible in your labour bag so that you can direct your partner or medial staff towards it when needed.

Mini fan

Essential when the temperatures start to rise!

Refillable water bottle

Its important to stay hydrated, so make sure you can re-fill your bottle whenever you need to.

Bamboo wash cloths 

A damp bamboo washcloth is a great way to cool down during labour and can be used to remove makeup/ freshen up too.

Hair bobbles

Nobody wants their hair around their face when they’re concentrating on giving birth! Hair bobbles are essential if your hair is long.

Lip balm

To keep dry lips moisturised and soothed. 


Hospitals can be noisy places and you might want to switch off for a while with your own music. 

Nightie/ long shirt

What Should I Pack in my Hospital Bag?_Cuddledry.com

Nobody really wears those hospital gowns by choice, so if you’re going to be more comfortable in your own things this is a great option.

Your post-birth bag

This is the bag that you’re going to need after your baby is born and this makes up the second half of your main bag. You might need help accessing this bag after birth, so the organised the better!

Long phone charger

For obvious reasons- and make sure it’s a long one so that you can plug your phone in and still be able to reach it!

Flip flops or slippers

Flip flops for the shower, and slippers for comfort back on the ward. Comfy socks work just as well!


If you’ve got the space at the hospital and you know you rest easier with your own pillow then don’t be afraid to bring it.

Maternity knickers and pads/ period pants

For obvious reasons- you really don’t want to be caught out on this one. Period pants are a great, eco-friendly option as they can be washed and re-used safely and easily. 

Clothes to change into

Once you’ve had that glorious first shower, you’re going to want clean clothes to change into. Don’t forget underwear!

What Should I Pack in my Hospital Bag?_Cuddledry.com

Your baby’s post birth bag

Your baby’s bag only needs to be small, but there are some essentials you definitely need to remember.

Outfits in separate bags

This is one top tip we think all pregnant mums need to know! You can get a few biodegradable reusable bags from the supermarket (Sainsbury’s and Morrisons have them in the fresh product aisle!) and use them to organise your baby’s outfits.

In each bag, pack a vest, mittens, sleep suit, nappy and hat. Then each time your baby needs an outfit change, rather than rummaging around for all the separate pieces, you’ve got them all there to hand. Such a clever time saver!

Nappies and bamboo cloths

Newborn nappies are essential- and bamboo cloths can be used with warm water to clean the nappy area gently.

Muslin cloths

Feeding equipment

Whether you breast-feed or bottle feed, you’re going to need the bits and bobs that make it happen. So breast pads are a good idea, or sterilised bottles and formula if you need them. You might also want to pack a dummy too.


What should i pack in my hospital bag?

You will need items for yourself for during labour and after the birth. You'll also need items for the baby too. Make sure you bring your hospital notes and birth plan if you have one.

A comfy nightie or long shirt is also a good idea for during labour, and some women also like to bring headphones to listen to music. After birth, you will need maternity pads or period pants, clean clothes to change into and slippers or flip-flops. Your baby will need nappies, clothes and make sure you bring feeding equipment too. 

Check our list for other essentials and 'nice to have' items for your hospital bag.

What does baby need in their hospital bag?

Your baby will need nappies and soft bamboo cloths to use in place of baby wipes. You will also need to bring clothes: vests, sleep suits, hat, mittens and cardigan depending on the temperature. You will also need to bring any equipment you need for feeding.

When should i pack my hospital bag?

The NHS advises to have your hospital bag ready by around 3 weeks before your due date. 

Do i need a hospital bag for dad?

Your partner can also pack a bag for the time that you're in hospital, especially in case you're there for a long time. Useful items to pack include snacks, money, change of clothes, wash bag.