What to pack in your hospital bag: Our comprehensive list of everything you may need for the birth of your baby.
We've taken the guesswork out of packing your hospital bag
First, a couple small tips when packing your hospital bag
Don't under-pack: IMO packing not enough is worse than having a little too much, so don't let this list scare you by thinking it's too much. Take one look at my house; you'll know I'm a minimalist at heart, but I don't recommend practising minimalism when packing your hospital bag. From personal experience of both regrets, regretting not bringing it will sting more than regretting bringing it.
Pack three bags: I hear you; it sounds OTT. But hear me out; riffling through your labour things, shower stuff and all your clothes to find a little baby beanie is not what you want to be doing. Nor do you want to be going through it all when you really need your chapstick in labour, and you need it LIKE RIGHT NOW!
C-Section births will differ: For a C-section birth, we recommend removing labour/birth products and all products for your peri/vulva. You'll also generally be in hospital for 2-5 days, so ensure you consider that when packing clothing.
Add, remove, and you do you: Some of this will be preference-based, and you may not want it all. Though the products that are intended for comfort, we recommend not skipping them. Something that brings you even the slightest additional comfort in labour and postpartum is worth its weight in gold and more! You won't regret prioritising yourself!
Bag One: Labour & Birth Bag
- TENS Machine
- Wireless headphones or speaker
- Heat pack
- Lip balm
- Birth plan
- Snacks (easy to eat snacks)
- Camera (waterproof if doing a waterbirth)
- Drink bottle (with a straw)
- Your pillow (if you have a preference)
- Electrolyte drink/powder
- Bobby pins, clips or a headband
- Long phone charger
- Thongs (to wear in the shower on your feet)
- Eye mask (bonus if it's cooling!)
- Essential oil roller blends
- Labour & birth comb and/or spiky massage ball
- Entertainment for the early hours (books, puzzles, tablet & Netflix etc.)
- Bathers/button front nightie/crop top (something to wear in labour
- Peanut ball (your hospital may have this)
- Affirmation cards
Quick Tips: We recommend packing anything you'll use in labour straight into your labour bag, even if you'll use it more on the ward.
We also have a small list of recommendations if you want to make your birth space more comfortable; you may need to check with your hospital for some of these, such as, diffuser + oils, inflatable birth pool, flameless candles, fairy lights, family photos, ultrasound photos & anything else that makes you feel comfortable.
Bag Two: Parent's Ward Bag
- Comfy clothes for discharge
- Pyjamas (pack for 2 changes per day, or 1.5 if you're in for more than a couple days)
- Dressing gown/robe
- Nursing bra (pack for 1 a day)
- Disposable maternity underwear (5 per day)
- OR High-rise underwear (pack for 2 changes per day) & 5+ pads per day
- Breast pads
- Witch hazel wipes
- Ural (trust us, it will help reduce the sting of your wee)
- Peri bottle
- Peri spray
- 1x Roll of 3ply toilet paper
- Face care (what ever you use)
- Shampoo & Conditioner
- Body wash
- Body lotion
- Recovery shorts/band
- Pen and paper
- Medicare/insurance card
- Dirty washing bag
- + Double the essentials if birth partner is staying too
- Hydrogel breast discs
- Nipple cream
- Breast ice packs
- Nipple shield (preferential)
Bag Three: Baby's Bag
- Hospital bag organisers
- 5x Onesies
- 5x Singlet onesies
- 2x Socks (if no feet on onesies)
- 2x Beanies
- 2x Swaddles
- 3x Terry towels/burp cloths
- 1x Small pack of nappies
- Baby wipes
- 2x Dummies (if using)
- Expressed colostrum
- Birth announcement items
- Going home outfit
- Dirty clothes bag
Okay, I warned you it was going to be extended. Some of this might not apply to you and is more of a 'nice to have', but if you hope to go in prepared and not have to send anyone home for anything, this list should help.
Something we have forgotten? Let us know, and we'll add it!
We recommend packing your bag around the 36-week mark unless you feel that you may go earlier.