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What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

Updated on 30/07/2021 in Motherhood & Pregnancy & Baby

You've waited a lifetime for this moment to meet your baby. But what to pack for this precious first meeting?

Your waters have broken; your caesarean date has arrived, and it’s all go, go, go. As you’re heading out the door, that hospital bag with all your essentials is ready to make itself useful.

If you’re struggling with what to pack, we’ve prepared the definitive guide for must-have’s, and leave-behinds to help make your hospital and birth experience more comfortable. 

Plan and Pack Early

Don’t be reliant on your partner knowing what to pack and throw together at the last minute. Taking charge beforehand with our handy printable checklist means you’ll avoid those eye-rolling “but I asked you to pack it” conversations and focus instead on gazing in awe at baby and each other. Once you’ve packed your bag leave it by the door, or in the car with a check list of ‘last minute’ things to add (space on the 1st page of our checklist to write these). Even if you’re having a home birth, it’s worth preparing this bag so that all your must-haves are in one place, or ready to grab if plans change and you do need to head to hospital.

That way the only thing you’ll need to second guess is baby’s name!

Prepare that Phone List

Make sure you have a list of phone numbers ready to go – starting at the top of the family tree with the grandparents.

Your partner has an important job and news to share while you are in post birth care, the last thing you want to do is scramble for contacts or leave important people out of the loop.  Make sure the phone is charged too.


The Packing List

We’ve canvased experienced mums who know what’s actually needed, and not needed to pack in your baby hospital bag. Here's a few to consider but be sure to download the full printable checklist here.

The Essentials:-

  • Birth plan
  • Hospital / baby notes
  • Medicare and insurance papers or a Dropbox folder with it all uploaded
  • Spare folder and notebook / pen to organise post birth baby information / discharge paperwork
  • Phone – fully charged!
  • Phone charger / powerbank
  • Airpods or noise cancelling headphones
  • Music or meditation apps
  • Petrol in the car
  • Baby seat installed by an expert - baby must travel home in a fitted infant car seat so make sure this is installed before your hospital stay
  • Milestone photo cards / baby journal so you never forget this day

For Baby:

  • 3 soft baby sleepsuits / outfits with integrated scratch mittens / socks
  • 3 singlets in newborn size
  • 3 Muslin wraps for baby and for breastfeeding
  • Soft baby beanie / hat
  • Newborn Nappies / Diapers and fasteners– disposable or cloth - for the trip home
  • Water based nappy wipes (or muslin cloths your partner can take home to wash)
  • Breathable baby or swaddle blanket
  • Mild nappy rash / barrier cream (just in case)

For Mum:

  • Birthing clothes – comfy sleep bra, loose fitting dress and light robe.  Birth can get a little messy, you may want to change mid-way, and light, soft material will keep you feeling calm.
  • Nursing clothes – cosy hospital gown with nursing openings while you are getting the hang of things.
  • Post birth clothes – comfy lounge set, nursing tanks and breastfeeding bras 
  • Underwear – big, soft, dark coloured cotton ones that are kind on your body and easier to clean, or disposable underwear
  • 2 packets of Large Maternity Pads
  • Going home clothes – comfy lounge pants, roomy nursing top and running shoes
  • Sleepwear (extra pyjamas)
  • Comfy socks and Slippers
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Unscented deodorant
  • 3- 4 nursing bras with no underwire and breast pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Lip Balm
  • Hair Ties
  • Toiletries Bag with your favourite lotion, skincare, body wash to rehydrate
  • Shampoo and conditioner or dry shampoo
  • Spare Paracetamol / Ibuprofen for after birth pain
  • Spare plastic bags for your partner to take washing home
  • Breast pump (it’s a great chance to have a supervised lesson)


For Partner:

  • Apps for timing contractions, meditation and music
  • Money and spare change
  • Snack and drinks for you both
  • Spare change of clothes
  • Bathers if you are opting for water birth
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste in case they’re staying overnight


Don’t Pack:

  • Dressy or skinny clothes or anything white – trust us, not needed!
  • Tonnes of books or magazines (1 might do, but you’ll be resting, pushing, recovering or feeding for the rest of your stay)
  • Tonnes of cute baby clothes – just the basic grow suits and singlets
  • Formula and bottles
  • Nursing pillow – save that for home
  • Yoga balls, neck pillows

If you’ve forgotten anything, send visitors by home to bring it into you. And all you need to do now is make sure your partner remembers to grab that hospital bag as you head out the door!


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