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      Hospital bag checklist

      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

      I had an emergency C-section and had to send my poor dad out to buy some granny pants to cover my scar! Even if you have a normal delivery, the last thing you want is teeny tiny knickers.

      Sarah, reader of This Mama Life
      • Loose-fitting nightdress and dressing gown
      • Sanitary or maternity pads

      They were not the most glamorous items, but they were certainly the most useful!

      Claire, reader of This Mama Life
      • Wash bag with flannel, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste
      • Loose, comfy 'going-home' clothes
      • Dark-coloured or old towels
      • Flip flops
      • Nuts, dried fruit and bananas
      • Snack bars
      • Water or sports drinks

      I would highly recommend a drink with a straw. This way your birthing partner can hold the drink for you during labour, which makes it so much easier!

      Dawn, reader of Oh So Amelia
      • Chocolate
      • Sweeties
      • Bikini top for birthing pool
      • TENS machine and batteries
      • Make-up, moisturiser and lip-balm
      • Hair bands, ties or grips

      My essential would definitely be hair ties. I ended up using an elastic band and it tangled my hair and hurt to get out. Never making that mistake again.

      Stephanie, reader of Hello Baby
      • Books, music, magazines, tablet or eReader
      • Extra pillow
      • Earplugs and eye mask

      On the off chance that your baby sleeps that first night, I can guarantee that someone else's won't!

      Kelly, reader of Oh So Amelia
      • A handheld fan
      • Lavender room spray
      • A notebook or diary


      • Baby vests and sleep suits
      • Scratch mitts and socks
      • Baby hat
      • Baby blanket
      • A rear-facing group 0+ car seat
      • Going home outfit

      A gorgeous going home outfit for my little one

      Claire, reader of This Mama Life
      • Muslin squares
      • Nappies
      • Nappy bag
      • Cotton wool


      • Money for car park
      • Mobile phone and charger
      • Toiletries
      • Snacks

      Lots of snacks for my husband, so he had no excuse to disappear!

      Susan, reader of Hello Baby
      • A change of clothes
      • Drinks
      • Entertainment


      Free online tools

      Practical tools, from our Due Date Calculator to our handy Baby Symptom Checker

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      Ensure you don't forget anything, download our printable hospital bag checklist.

      Download PDF

      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.

      As you’re likely to be in hospital for a few days, you may want to pack a few extras. Books, magazines, headphones or mini speakers and an extensive playlist on your phone can keep you occupied while you wait for the C-section – and during birth.

      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.

      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.

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