What Was In My Hospital Bag

A newborn baby in hospital wrapped in a purple swaddle with a blue knitted hat

The other day a friend asked if I had a hospital bag list for when I had Rory earlier this year and I thought it’d be a good opportunity to share it! I’ve also noted where I didn’t use bits that I packed.

I had Rory at Birmingham Women’s Hospital and the cubicles on the postnatal ward are not very big so I’m glad I only packed 2 bags (one for me and one for Rory). Due to COVID we weren’t able to have a tour around the hospital so just went off what others had said and online tours. If you’re able to have a tour of the maternity ward, definitely take advantage!

I had my bag packed very early as I was anxious our baby would be early. Most resources suggest having your bag ready to go at week 36/37, but mine was packed and ready to go by week 29. My mum had me and my brothers and sister early (my little brother the earliest at 11 weeks and me at 2 weeks early) so I was very conscious Rory might be early. I was right! We had a few false alarms in the third trimester and each of those times we grabbed the bags which were permanently by the front door and threw them in the car with us just in case!

I read so many of these posts when I was pregnant and loved seeing what others had packed so I hope you find this handy. Next time there are a few extra bits I’ll do organisation wise which I’ll mention at the end.


Bag: I used my pink Ralph Lauren duffel bag and it was the perfect size. Not too big or small.

Pjs: button down shirt/ tshirt and comfy pj bottoms. Pack a couple of each. These from M&S look perfect and super comfy too!

Big t-shirt or nightie for labour: to be honest I was just in my comfy bra (this one) so I’d say this isn’t a necessity. All dignity goes out of the window during labour. The midwives and doctors have seen it all so no need to stress.

A light dressing gown: I got this one from Amazon in black which was fine for hospital. Don’t use your nice, white one and bring something you don’t mind getting dirty/ potentially gross in hospital.

Nursing bras or seamless non-wired crop tops. I wear these all the time now as they’re so comfy and easy to use when breast feeding.

Comfortable knickers or disposable knickers: I used these M&S big granny pants in black! Make sure they’re a dark colour.

Cheap slippers you don’t mind potentially being thrown away. I ended up leaving mine at home so ended up walking around with my compression socks on which ended up getting really gross. So make sure to remember these! I got mine from Amazon.

Outfit for leaving hospital: Make sure it’s breastfeeding friendly! I brought a comfy dress but made the error of it not being breastfeeding friendly. As soon as I got home I changed. Leggings and a t-shirt would be perfect.

Slip-on shoes that fit over swollen feet for when you leave. If you had swollen feet before baby it’ll take a few days for the swelling to go down. I wore these M&S ones permanently in my last trimester as it’s all that would fit over my swollen feet.

Flip flops (for the shower): I forgot these and didn’t have a shower until I was home.


Wash bag: I used a clear one which had 2 parts to it. Similar to this but mine was Elemis (unable to a link as it is a few years old now).

Make sure these are travel size. To be honest, I didn’t bother using some of these until I had to go back into hospital on day 5, but they were then already packed and ready to go!

  • Shampoo 
  • Body wash 
  • Dry shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Face cream
  • Body cream

Tooth brush

Mints: good to have in case you get sick during birth. Gas and air can make you nauseous all of a sudden.

Towel – not used until my second trip into hospital.

Face wipes

Lip balm

Hair brush

Hand sanitizer: a must during COVID days!

Intimate items:

Nipple cream 

Nursing/ breast pads

Nipple shields: if your baby doesn’t latch these are really good. There was a lot of pressure to not use them but I wish I’d used them sooner to help with Rory’s latch and the pain.

Maternity pads and lots of them!

Disposable pants: tbh I forgot to use these and instead used my M&S granny pants.

Random bits:

Extra-long phone charger: this was such a great shout from a post I read. It means you don’t have to move from bed once it’s plugged in.

Battery operated fan: another great suggestion for labour. I got this from Amazon.

Drink bottle with a straw: the hospital can fill it up with ice and water during labour. I got this from Amazon.

Snacks: for before, during and after labour. I wasn’t allowed any during labour but was glad to have them for afterwards. The postnatal ward was noisy and I remember sleeping for only a couple hours over the couple days I was in so the snacks got me through!

Plastic bag for dirty clothes: the pj bottoms and sandals I came in in were drenched in amniotic fluid (gross I know!) so I’m glad they were thrown in a separate in a bag!

A playlist for labour: we ended up using Spotify and playing McFly.


I’d suggest packing extra bits for baby in case you need to stay in hospital for a few days. Also pack newborn and 0-3 as you don’t know how big or small baby will be.

Bag for baby: I used my Tommy Hilfiger bag. A weekend bag size is perfect or baby’s changing bag.

Short sleeve vest: x4 0-3 and new born. (It is recommended that baby wears a short sleeve vest under a baby grow to keep them warm)

Baby grows/ sleepsuits x4 (0-3 and new born)

Socks : Not needed if baby is wearing a baby grow.

Blanket: The hospital will make sure baby is all wrapped up before leaving hospital. Rory was in his car seat with this blanket over the top.

Cellular blanket: this should be provided by the hospital while you are there to swaddle up baby to keep them warm.

Hats x2: the hospital provided one and was put straight on Rory when he was born. We then had our own one for leaving hospital.

Mittens: new babies have sharp nails and will scratch their little faces so light weight mittens are great. Even better if your baby grow has inbuilt hand protectors!

Muslins: bring a couple. Rory was a sicky baby so muslins were permanently on me for months!

Nappies: bring enough for a few days.

Nappy bags

Baby wipes: we used pampers pure (see here).

Next time, I’d separate baby bits out in bags like these. I had them in tie-handle bags which were handy but it’s all about convenience and anything to make your life a little easier is a life saver. 

And that’s it! Wow – that brought it all back! I can’t believe it was over 9 months ago now… time really has flown by. 

Next time, if we have another baby, I really hope Tim is allowed to stay with me on the postnatal ward. I found it really hard by myself for a couple days and then back on for several days afterwards. If your partner is there they can grab things from the bags, pass you baby, change baby, help you out of bed etc. It’s only looking back now I realise how mentally as well as physically hard I found it. But I did it and you can too 🙂

I hope you found that helpful! 

Is there anything else you found useful or a must?

Until next time,
Cathers xx