Bump on board and your due date getting closer? When it comes to planning the ‘big day’, it pays to be organised. The NHS suggests having your hospital bag packed and ready around two weeks before your due date so you’re prepared for an early arrival.
It’s good to have a gym-sized holdall to pack all your essentials, from toiletries and lip balm (did you know your lips often go dry during labour?), to comfortable nightwear, dressing gown, slippers and an eye mask (you can thank us later). Don’t forget at least two changes of clothes, including a comfy outfit for the journey home.
Of course, you’ll need your phone for those just-born photos, to keep in contact with friends and family eager to hear your happy news, and something to keep you occupied while you’re waiting.
And, although you can’t fit it in your hospital bag, a car seat is another essential to transport your baby home when you’re ready to leave the hospital.
From babygrows and blankets to nursing bras and nappies, we’ve put together a hospital bag checklist and roundup of essentials to pack for baby’s arrival below.
Top 10 essentials to pack before baby arrives
Make sure to pack a comfortable pair of slippers that are easy to slide on and off. This super-soft furry pair will ensure your feet don’t get cold and you’re snuggly during labour.
Packing a pair of flip flops to wear to the shower is also a good idea if you don’t want to ruin your lovely new fluffy slippers.
Price: £35, The White Company – buy here now
A cosy dressing gown is a must for those moments you may find yourself pacing around during labour.
Opt for a soft towelling or faux fur option to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible. We love this Next version in on-trend grey.
Price: £28, Next – buy here now
Make feeding a hungry newborn easier with a good set of nursing bras. Collection packs are great value, and these options from M&S are made from stretchy cotton for a comfortable fit.
There’s a sling to support the bust, and non-wired cups for extra comfort factor. These will see you through the birth and beyond.
Price: £30, M&S – buy here now
Comfort is key during labour, so a stretch-jersey loose-fitting pyjama set will be your new BFF.
This pretty printed set is ideal for use during pregnancy as well as after, and the wrap-front style will come in handy for feeding your little miracle.
You can then keep using it post-pregnancy after you’ve headed home with your bundle of joy.
Price: £24.99, Amazon – buy here now
5. My Birth Bag
As well as your usual toiletries (think cleansing wipes, toothbrush, deodorant) you’ll also need some other essentials. This handy birthing kit bag has everything you might not have thought of.
It contains a lovely lip balm, which is a top essential for your delivery bag as lips can often go very dry; there’s a natural lavender oil, which you can smell or use as a massage tool to help strengthen contractions; there’s 10 large maternity pads specifically designed for post-natal use, breast pads, and large cotton briefs to keep you comfortable.
Price: £29.99, Amazon – buy here now
Muslin cloths are super-handy to drape over your shoulder or place under baby to prevent dribbles getting on your clothes. You could also use bibs for this, but lovely organic muslin squares are a great choice.
We love this pretty set from Wayfair, which features a star-print, white and dusty pink option.
Price: £11.99, Amazon – buy here now
Keep baby cosy, suited and booted in a lovely little sleepsuit and accessories. Babies can get cold easily, so you may want to add to what the hospital provides in terms of accessories and layers.
This gorgeous unisex set includes a sleepsuit, bodysuit, bib and hat all made with 100% cotton so its comfortable for a baby’s sensitive skin. And how cute is the farmyard animal print?
Price: £13, Next – buy here now
A cosy blanket is always good to have on-hand during skin-to-skin contact, and is also handy to keep your baby warm in the car seat on the way home.
This gorgeous Kimbo the elephant and star print blanket is knitted from pure wool for a finish that’s wonderfully soft against a baby’s delicate skin.
It’s cosy yet breathable, and will be useful when you arrive home, too.
Price: £36, The White Company – buy here now
It’s a good idea to have up to 30 nappies packed away in your hospital bag, as newborns may need changing 10 to 12 times a day.
When it comes to nappies, the smart move is to buy in bulk. This set contains 160 nappies that are more eco-friendly than many other options on the market.
What’s more, they’re soft-on-skin and contain 54% less chemicals than standard nappies, helping to prevent nappy rash.
Price: £7.49 (per pack 20), Amazon – buy here now
There may be times during labour when you want to rest, and that can be difficult in a busy and bright hospital ward.
Cue a gorgeous, soothing eye mask that’s also scented in calming lavender to help you relax as much as possible.
Not only does it feel luxurious, it looks good, too.
Price: £18, Ocado – buy here now