What to take in your hospital bag

When I was pregnant, people often asked whether I’d packed my hospital bag. I think you’re supposed to pack it eight weeks in advance, but to be honest, I packed mine properly the day before I went into hospital. I had the stuff together in piles, but not in a bag per se until right up until the wire.

It didn’t matter anyway what I put in the bag, as we ended up staying in hospital for five   days (I was in for six), so Benn was constantly bringing me stuff every time he visited. I thought I would write a guide of what worked and didn’t, to help other people who might have to go into hospital (not just for having a baby!)

Your own pillow: Seriously, NHS pillows are pants.

Night shirt: Be prepared to wear something whilst giving birth that you’re prepared to chuck away or be covered in more blood than a CSI Miami crime scene. Take a spare for after the birth and socks and a dressing gown.

2-in-1 shampoo: This is not the time to get too hung up on haircare. You’ll want a shower  and you’ll probably be pretty weak. I wouldn’t spend a fortune on this and I just used the Timotei 2-in-1 that I kept in my swimming bag and not only did it smell nice, it made my hair very soft and shiny- as demonstrated in the picture. I didn’t use the dry shampoo I took in the end.

Shower gel and body lotion: I was given a Dirty Works  set of mini toiletries at my baby shower and took these with me. I found that the lemongrass scent of the shower gel was really refreshing and made me feel a little bit more human after a few sleepless, worry-filled nights. The body lotion was also really lovely and moisturised  well. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy from this range again, now I’m back to ‘real life’! Buy something small and fresh smelling- you’ll be grateful for it!

Maternity pads and disposable knickers: Not glamorous, but necessary. You’ll need the pads once your waters break (and midwives are particularly keen on updates. Nice.) and I found that the undies were just less hassle. One tip though- use Mothercare’s Aloe Vera pads post-birth. They’re a bit more expensive than Boots’ but are just brilliant. You might also want to chuck a few breast pads in your bag as well, in case you end up staying a bit longer.

Hand sanitiser: I’ve become obsessed with this. I’m finding I’m stashing bottles round the house.

Sweets: Sounds daft, but these help with your energy levels. My favourites were jelly babies and Percy Pigs. I found them especially good when trying to work out just exactly was making Fidget scream at three a.m. and I was suffering from exhaustion.

Baby clothes: The books recommend four sleepsuits and vests. We were probably changing Fidget too much in the early days, as we clearly hadn’t a clue as to what we needed to do. Also, think about what time of year it is- will the baby need a coat/hat etc? We had a little outfit ready for going home in as well.

Nappies/wipes/cotton wool- Stock up on these. You’ll get through them quickly!



I also found that after a day or so, I was desperate for Benn to bring a facial moisturiser, as hospital air is so drying and warm. A good, rich one will do a world of good if your skin is sensitive like mine. Also make sure that you have painkillers at home for when you are discharged. For stitches etc, the best are paracetamol and ibuprofen, but obviously check with your midwife or a doctor! Lip balms and flannels are also advocated in the books, but I found I only used these sparingly.

Let me know if there’s anything I missed. Although the birth was less than a fortnight ago, I’m starting to forget stuff about it already (my brain is such a cliched mess right now…)



2 thoughts on “What to take in your hospital bag

  1. Jessica says:

    This is a great list. I need to get my bag together, but I just keep putting it off. Thinking what I would add to this list, I would say hair bands and a water aerosol for cooling. I did not have any pain relief, and so got quite hot and sticky. I got the water spray in the pound shop and it really helped me. After having the baby, all I want is a shower. I am going to take some Bodhi shower therapy with me this time, as I agree that the smell really helps you to feel human. I don’t like disposable pants, so I buy big packs of granny pants from primark and bin them. Last time they were actually cheaper than Boots disposables?! Also, take a light dressing gown. Hospitals can be like ovens.

    Also, before you leave, it may be worth doing a bit of a tour with your partner showing him where things are, should he need to bring you anything. I was in for a month with my last one (hence the fear of disposable pants) and some of the stuff my partner bought in nearly bought me to tears. I asked for pyjamas and pants, only to be presented with some lacy agent provocateur numbers for underwear, and some mis matched sweats for pyjamas. No, I didn’t think my boyfriend was that stupid either.

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