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Packing for Hospital

Packing Your Hospital Bag


When I was thinking of a word to define the past week, the one that sprung to my mind immediately was ‘packing’. It is all I seem to have done in the past ten days. First, I packed the bags we will take to the hospital when it is time to give birth, which made me feel really happy and relieved, since I did it quite late in my pregnancy this time round. I would normally have it all ready by the time I am 36 weeks pregnant. On Wednesday last week, I was in Cardiff, but that was an easy one as I was only staying there for one night and I was on my own. On Sunday morning, I packed for all of us just before we left for Devon, where we are visiting our family this week. I am sure you will agree that is a lot of packing!


When I had Crevette six years ago, I was not sure what I was supposed to take to the birth centre, so I did a bit of research into what you were meant to pack for delivery and afterwards. I am about to have my fourth baby and I have barely changed that list. We will probably not use all of it, but I find it reassuring to have everything we might need or want for the birth of our baby.

We have two bags: a bag for labour (the small one) and a post-natal bag for me, hubby and the baby (the suitcase).


Car seat

We fit ours in the car a couple of weeks before the due date. You will not be allowed to leave the hospital or birth centre without one.


Things to grab at the last minute and put in my labour bag (sticky note attached to labour bag):

  • Maternity notes with birth plan stuck in
  • Camera set on automatic mode and charger (I left it in manual mode last time. The first shot hubby took of Jumpy and I was blurry and rather dark.)
  • Phone and charger
  • Breastfeeding pillow


Labour Bag

  • Notepad & pens (I love writing everything down – contractions, feelings, first impressions after the birth, etc.)
  • Timer (to time contractions)
  • Flip flops (easy to get on and off)
  • Warm socks (your feet can get cold in labour)
  • Dark comfy dress or nightdress for labour
  • Lightweight dressing gown (you might end up pacing hospital corridors in the early stages)
  • Snacks and drinks for hubby and I (to keep energy levels up), including dextrose tablets & honey
  • Book/magazine
  • Water spray (it can get hot when you give birth!)
  • Music (I use my phone – I have all sorts on mine, from birth hypnotherapy tracks to rock music to classical to ‘angry music’ to make sure I have everything on there that will suit my mood at the time)
  • Headphones (if you want to shut out the world. I like to be left alone with my pain!)
  • Cash for parking meter / other (in coins) – £20
  • Tissues
  • Water (at least 4 x 75cl sports bottles – I drank 6 litres during my first labour!)
  • Tea bags


Hospital Bag

Toiletries and three towels easily accessible on top as you might need them during labour (see list below – When I gave birth to Crevette, the gas and air made me feel so dizzy I had to have a cold shower… I was in so much pain and so ‘out of it’ it took me 45 minutes to find my toiletries and a towel in my suitcase).

For Me

  • Comfortable going home outfit (maternity jeans I was wearing until 7 or 8 months pregnant, nursing tank top or bra, dark, loose T-shirt, waterfall cardigan, pashmina-type scarf which can double up as a breastfeeding prop)
  • Nursing bra
  • Nursing tank top
  • Breast pads
  • Tena pants (I know, giving birth, not turning incontinent… Best advice I was given: get those for the first couple of days rather than huge pads and disposable pants. They are comfortable and mean no mess.)
  • Nightdress or loose pyjamas (yoga type pants)
  • Water Wipes


For Hubby

  • Change of clothes
  • Phone numbers
  • Snacks
  • Book


For Baby

  • Going home outfit – vest, bodysuit, hat, socks, cardigan, coat
  • 5 Vests (2 in ‘newborn’, 3 in ‘0-3 months’ – we tend to have big babies!)
  • 5 newborn sleepsuits
  • 2 pairs scratch mittens
  • 2 pairs socks
  • Cellular blanket
  • 1 pack newborn nappies
  • 5 muslin squares
  • Cotton balls

Toiletries (travel size if available)

  • plasters
  • Paracetamol
  • gauze strips
  • Gaviscon
  • physiological water
  • haemorrhoid cream
  • cotton buds
  • hair clips / hair bands
  • hair brush
  • face wipes
  • nail file, scissors, polish remover (nail varnish will have to come off before you are allowed in a birth pool)
  • dry shampoo
  • floss
  • tweezers
  • baby powder
  • shampoo & conditioner
  • shower gel
  • intimate wash
  • nipple cream
  • Sudocrem
  • deodorant for hubby and I
  • razor & blade
  • 2 new toothbrushes
  • toothpaste
  • baby oil
  • body moisturiser
  • face wash
  • toner
  • moisturiser
  • eye cream
  • night cream
  • lip balm
  • Bach Rescue Remedy drops (for labour)
  • Arnica homeopathy pillules 30c (help with post labour bruising)
  • ear plugs and eye mask (could come in handy if sharing a brightly lit, noisy ward after the birth)


Is there anything else you would pack?


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  1. 30/05/2014 / 12:12 pm

    A pillow. My midwife told me the ones in the hospital were rubbish. How right she was.

    • Mel
      30/05/2014 / 12:48 pm

      I did think of taking my pillow the first time round, but hubby laughed at me! Great idea. Mel

  2. 30/05/2014 / 2:26 pm

    Your word just has to be packing then – that’s a whole lot of packing! Sounds like you’re set 🙂 Thanks for sharing with #WotW

    • Mel
      30/05/2014 / 9:04 pm

      Just got to unpack when we get home tomorrow, then pack school bags, lunchboxes, work bag etc. for Monday, ha ha! Pack, pack, packing! x

  3. Kim Carberry
    30/05/2014 / 5:34 pm

    Very helpful! I remember packing for when I went into hospital….I ended packing way too much! lol

    • Mel
      30/05/2014 / 10:57 pm

      Thanks Kim. Same here, we probably have more than we need, but you never know…

  4. 30/05/2014 / 6:09 pm

    I have to admit I used very little of what I took, after sections each time I wasn’t up to much more than the bare minimum, although nice shower gel made me feel much better 🙂 Lipsalve was a must, it’s so hot and dry in hospital! #WotW

    • Mel
      30/05/2014 / 9:00 pm

      So true about the nice shower gel! My friend sends me my favourite one from France and it makes that first shower after the birth really enjoyable!

  5. wrymummy
    30/05/2014 / 10:10 pm

    Great list! Was going to add lip balm but you’ve got that! Straws to drink your sports drink through? This has made me want another baby. What are you doing to me! Best of luck with the impending big day!x #PoCoLo

    • Mel
      30/05/2014 / 10:53 pm

      Sorry about that! I feel broody myself even though I am about to give birth… Crazy! Great idea for the straws if your bottles do not have sports caps. x

  6. 30/05/2014 / 10:53 pm

    Wow you are so organized! Pilow! Yep. When I am in labor and after.. I just want to bury my head into something soft but the hospital ones are so hard =P #wotw

    • Mel
      30/05/2014 / 11:02 pm

      You are the second person to mention a pillow! I did not have any ‘pillow issues’ at the birth centre the first three times, but this time, the birth centre is in the hospital, so I might pack my pillow from home actually!

  7. 30/05/2014 / 11:15 pm

    I discovered water wipes the second time around and I have to say they made such a difference to the experience – first time round i was so scared of everything I was doing with a new born and all that faff with cotton wool and water – not great for wiping away merconium poo!! – was rubbish. I also have to say that I learned from my mistakes second time by taking in a breastfeeding horseshoe shape pillow with a nice fleecy side to it. It made that night in hospital so much more chilled being able to have baby lying on me within the comfort and security of the cushion. Happy memories! You seem mega organised though – pretty much thought of everything hon! X #WotW

    • Mel
      30/05/2014 / 11:34 pm

      Hubby really insists on cotton wool and water only for ages, but water wipes are brilliant! The dermatology department at the hospital recommended them when Jumpy was seen for her eczema last year, and you can even find them in Boots these days. I think I have the same breastfeeding pillow as you had! I will probably pack this rather than a regular pillow actually. I am using it to support my huge bump at night at the moment. This is going on my ‘last minute’ sticky note! xxx

  8. 30/05/2014 / 11:18 pm

    I just want to add that this packing in preparation for birth – its got to be the nicest bit – it feels like packing to go on holiday – just knowing that you are preparing to do something amazing and challenging and come out the other side with a beautiful addition to your family – it does make me feel nostalgic! 🙂

    • Mel
      30/05/2014 / 11:30 pm

      This is such a lovely and heartfelt comment, Sam… and oh so true! xxx

  9. 31/05/2014 / 12:21 am

    Amazingly organised Mel! I wouldn’t add anything. I just wanted to say though that I’m getting so excited for you! xx

    • Mel
      31/05/2014 / 12:24 am

      Thanks a lot, Kiran. I am incredibly excited about meeting my little girl! x

  10. Jeany
    31/05/2014 / 7:04 am

    Imagine my surprise and shock after Leni’s birth when I didn’t fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans which I had brought to the hospital! Nobody had told me that! 😉

    • Mel
      31/05/2014 / 10:09 am

      Oh no! To be fair, the first time, I thought I was going to go straight back into my pre-pregnancy clothes, too! Not! I am glad someone told me to pack baggy trousers! X

  11. 31/05/2014 / 1:10 pm

    Wow you are so amazingly organised! I’d got about halfway through packing my hospital bag when Arthur arrived three days early (first baby – I was convinced he was going to be late) but fortunately we managed to stay at home for all of it so I had everything to hand! One thing I found really useful, especially during my 2 1/2 hour second stage was dextrose tablets – I wasn’t up to eating anything else but really needed to keep my energy up… Good luck with the birth – exciting times! X

    • Mel
      31/05/2014 / 9:50 pm

      Good point about the dextrose tablets! I will be adding those to the list. It also took me over two hours of exhausting pushing to get my first baby out, and I really did not want to eat anything. Those would have helped. In my third labour, when I started telling them I wanted to give up and go home (as you do!), the midwife gave me honey and it really helped give me that little boost of energy I needed.

  12. Let kids be kids
    31/05/2014 / 7:11 pm

    I packed too much for both my pregnancies, but was worse when I had my twins as I didn’t have a clue how much I needed to take for 2 babies. It sounds like you are nicely organised. Good luck! x

    • Mel
      31/05/2014 / 10:18 pm

      Thanks Karen. I probably have too much, but I would rather have a few extra things I do not need than really want something and not have it, hi hi!

  13. Steph @ Pretty Unexpected
    31/05/2014 / 10:25 pm

    That’s a pretty impressive list! Really useful for someone like me who hasn’t quite got round to packing her bags yet, tomorrow is definitely going to be the day I do it! I really, really need to get it done tomorrow – I’m not sure how much longer I can put it off since I’m already 37+3!

    • Mel
      31/05/2014 / 10:36 pm

      You should feel really relieved when it is all packed! That is certainly how I felt after doing it so late this time round. Exciting times, hey!

    • Mel
      05/06/2014 / 5:42 pm

      Thanks Fiona! x

  14. 05/06/2014 / 5:26 am

    I’d say pack some snacks for you hon, just in case you have to stay in a couple of days. I took nuts, dried fruit a few bananas and a few apples with me. If you eat museli then a good brand like Dorset Cereals do nice ones without too much sugar. I thought the food had massively gone downhill since my hospital stay with 2yo. VERY best of luck lovely, can’t wait to hear your news and see the first photos xxx #brilliantblogposts

    • Mel
      05/06/2014 / 5:41 pm

      Definitely a good idea to pack lots of snacks. I already have a substantial bag of goodies, but I will add fruit to my sticky note! x

  15. 05/06/2014 / 9:40 am

    A brilliant and comprehensive list. My boy came at seven and a half months – I hadn’t even sorted the nursery let alone my bag!!!

    • Mel
      05/06/2014 / 5:39 pm

      Oh dear, now that is early! Little man… How long did he have to spend in hospital? x

      • 05/06/2014 / 5:42 pm

        I actually gave birth on 17th December and signed myself out on Christmas Eve, little man was home on 30th December. Our first family new year was pretty special,x

        • Mel
          05/06/2014 / 5:49 pm

          Awww, it must have been so special (and unexpected!). xxx

  16. 05/06/2014 / 2:40 pm

    just checked your list, and i thought mine was big) i need to take paper or notepad and pen as well, but wont need camera as will use phone

    • Mel
      05/06/2014 / 5:37 pm

      Haha! Just make sure you do not forget your charger for the phone! Exciting times, hey!

  17. adeline
    05/06/2014 / 8:57 pm

    haemorrhoid cream????? I don’t understand what you mean????

    • Mel
      05/06/2014 / 8:59 pm

      Ha ha ha, je ne vois pas du tout de quoi tu veux parler…

  18. adeline
    05/06/2014 / 8:58 pm

    thinking about pineapple Mel !!!!!

    • Mel
      05/06/2014 / 9:02 pm

      Oh no, you are not allowed to mention that just before I am due to actually give birth. You are so cruel!!! Naughty, naughty friend!

      • 07/06/2014 / 9:28 am

        I couldn’t see food and snacks Mel! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts with your fab post and good luck-I see you know about Rescue Remedy already, I love the spray xx

        • Mel
          07/06/2014 / 10:56 am

          Always great to link and read a nice range of posts. X

  19. adeline
    05/06/2014 / 9:09 pm

    tu crois que j’ai pensé à quoi moi le jour J!!! Qui avait bien pu me mettre une image pareille dans la tête????? je n’arrive plus à me souvenir?????
    A part ça tu n’as pas quelques petits signes????

    • Mel
      05/06/2014 / 9:18 pm

      OK, si j’y repense bien, c’est possible… Je m’en veux maintenant (c’est juste parce que c’est mon tour!). Quelques contractions mais rien de bien méchant.

  20. 09/06/2014 / 2:15 pm

    When L was born in France, 7 years ago, I was given a list as long as my arm of what I needed to take that completely freaked me out, until a mum friend told me I only needed half of it. When I had C in the UK 18 months ago I took loads with me and didn’t use half of it, she arrived so quickly I didn’t even have time to get changed or tie my hair up! I hope everything goes well and I can’t wait to hear the big news 🙂

    • Mel
      11/06/2014 / 9:25 pm

      Haha, I didn’t even open the bags in the end! x

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