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Writing from experience you may want to get your hospital bag ready earlier than you think! I hadn’t and when I was suddenly told I was being induced at 35 weeks I had a bit of a mad dash around Boots to get everything I needed.

It’s hard to know what to pop in your bag so that you don’t look like you are arriving for a month long holiday but also ensuring you have everything you need for your baby’s arrival.

When it comes to what to include you need to think of yourself, both during labour and after, your baby and your partner. I actually packed two bags. One for labour and immediately after and a second smaller bag (I used our changing bag) with things for baby and me after the birth. Try not to pack too much as you don’t want to be rummaging around to find what you need.

Although you always hope you won’t have to stay in hospital long you just never know. With Molly I ended up being in for four days as she was a bit poorly and in Neo-Natal so I had to keep getting Edd to bring extra supplies in. On that note, I actually left a pile of PJs, clothes etc at home just in case and it was easier to be able to tell Edd to grab the things I had left than trust him to find what I wanted!! Obviously if you know you are likely to be in longer or having a c-section then you can adjust the quantity of items you take accordingly.

I pre warn you that a lot of things for yourself aren’t uber glamorous but they are essential! To make it easy for you we have even provided a handy pin.

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For You

  • Hospital Notes and Birthing Plan – These are essential to remember so make sure they are safely in your bag.
  • Comfy t-shirt/nightie for during labour – It may get messy so don’t buy anything special or just go for a cheap option.
  • Warm socks – Bizarrely although the rest of you is boiling during labour your feet get very cold.
  • Front opening PJs or nightie – After birth you may or may not stay in but clean pjs are a must and if you are planning to breastfeed front opening ones will be best. Hospitals can be hot so don’t go for your thermals!
  • Dressing gown and slippers/Flip flops – In case you fancy a wander whilst in labour or afterwards
  • Lip balm – You will find you get very dry lips so I found lip balm a life saver
  • Hairband if you have long hair
  • Magazines, books or music – In the early stages you may need something to pass the time and music can be calming later on so choose your track list wisely!
  • Water spray or hand held fan – You may not want your other half dabbing you with a wet flannel but a nice water spray or fan works wonders
  • Drinks and snacks – It is important to keep your strength up and keep hydrated. Go for water or isotonic drinks. You won’t want anything too sickly but bananas, oat biscuits and some muesli bars work well. Saying that, if you fancy a Mars bar go for it!!
  • Black knickers and disposable knickers- In truth you won’t want to be wearing these again so I opted for cheap supermarket multi packs.
  • Hand Sanitiser – Belive me, you will use this a lot!
  • Toiletries – Decant in to smaller bottles or buy travel sizes to save space. Deodorant is a must as you can find you sweat more after birth.
  • Towels, Hairbrush and toothbrush
  • Maternity Pads – These are essential and quite a lot of them. Also make sure you have a good stock at home for when you get back.
  • Nursing bra and breast pads if you are planning to breast feed
  • Comfy clothes for travelling home in – Don’t go thinking you are going to home looking all glamorous! Those that do are few and far between. You need leggings or loose trousers and a loose fitting top. Your bump will have gone down but you probably won’t be back in your normal clothes yet.

For Your Partner

  • Fully charged phone – Make sure they have a list of everyone you want contact after the birth. Either programme in the phone or write down a list.
  • Camera – For capturing baby’s first pictures
  • Cash/Change for the car park
  • Snacks and drinks – Obviously the hospital is likely to have places to purchase these but believe me you don’t want your other half rushing off mid way through labour as they are a bit peckish!

For Baby

  • 5 Sleepsuits and 5 vests – These are essential. It can be hard to judge what size baby will be but I’d suggest you go for newborn or 0-3. If you have a teeny baby or equally a large baby then you can always get people to bring things when they visit.
  • One pair of socks – You can pop these over sleepsuits if they get cold toes.
  • Hat and Cardy – Ideal for keeping baby warm and cosy.
  • Nappies – You may need a whole pack as babies can get through a lot!
  • Muslin Squares – Ideal for everything!
  • Going home outfit – You may want something special but a comfy babygro is best. I had a cute one set out for Alice but she ended up going home in her vest as we were having a heatwave!
  • Car Seat – The hospital will normally want to check that you have securely fastened baby in before you leave

Do you have any top tips of things to take with you? Was there anything that you forgot?