Packing your hospital bag
Packing your hospital bag marks an exciting time in your pregnancy. It’s a good idea to have it ready two weeks before your due date – just in case your baby makes an early appearance. If you’re not sure what to take with you, watch our video. Remember to show your birth partner what you’ve packed too, so they know where to find things in a hurry. To ensure you’ve got everything you’ll need, see our list of hospital bag must-haves, recommended by midwives, pregnancy advisors and mum bloggers.
- Birth plan and maternity notes
- Socks or slippers
- Nursing bras and breast pads
- 8 pairs of maternity knickers
- Loose-fitting nightdress and dressing gown
- Sanitary or maternity pads
- Wash bag with flannel, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste
- Loose, comfy 'going-home' clothes
- Dark-coloured or old towels
- Flip flops
Drinks and healthy snacks
- Nuts, dried fruit and bananas
- Snack bars
- Water or sports drinks
- Bikini top for birthing pool
- TENS machine and batteries
- Make-up, moisturiser and
- Hair bands, ties or grips
- Books, music, magazines, tablet or eReader
- Extra pillow
- Earplugs and eye mask
- A handheld fan
- Lavender room spray
- A notebook or diary
- Baby vests and
- Scratch mitts and socks
- Baby blanket
- A rear-facing group 0+ car seat
- Going home outfit
- Muslin squares
- Nappy bag
- Cotton wool
- Money for
- Mobile phone and charger
- A change of clothes
Free online tools
Practical tools, from our Due Date Calculator to our handy Baby Symptom Checker
Ensure you don't forget anything, download our printable hospital bag checklist.
Other useful advice
Being prepared for a C-section, or giving birth to twins, can require a little more planning ahead. Find out more below.
Packing for a planned C-section
As you’re likely to be in
You’ll need several pairs of high-waisted cotton knickers to go over your scar, and comfortable clothes, preferably with buttons down the front for easy access during breastfeeding. A second nightgown is useful, along with slippers or slip-on shoes, as your movements will be restricted at first. Due to your longer stay, you’ll also need extra clothes and nappies for your baby, but as space in the ward will be limited, ask friends and family to bring you supplies as you need them.
Packing for twins
If you’re expecting twins, it’s a good idea to have your bag packed by week 26 of your pregnancy, as twins have a tendency to arrive earlier than full term. It goes without saying you’ll need twice as many baby clothes and nappies, so to save space on the ward, consider packing two bags and leaving one in the car or with your birth partner for when it’s needed.
Questions about feeding and nutrition?
Our midwives, nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch.