Hospital bag essentials for pregnancy and labour, including free printable check list at
Family,  Family & Kids

Hospital Bag Essentials

With a mere matter of days to go before I hit my due date, I thought I’d put together a hospital bag essentials list. It ties in nicely with my new found obsession for going through my hospital bags and double checking everything! I recently wrote about what items I’ve put together in my Baby’s Hospital Bag, but I never wrote about what I’ve packed for myself and Mikey. Obviously, there’s a lot more in our bag than the baby’s bag, so let’s get cracking.

*This post contains affiliate links. Items marked with an asterisk have been gifted to me.

Hospital bag essentials for pregnancy and labour, including free printable check list at

Hospital Notes/Birth Plan

I’m hoping to have a very different birth with Baby Number 2 than I did with Luke, but as we all know, it doesn’t always go according to plan. I’ve got my preferences written up in my hospital notes and Mikey is well versed in what I do, and most importantly, definitely do not want.

Drinks and Snacks

I had a long labour with Luke, but as this is my second baby, I’m hoping it’ll be significantly shorter. Nevertheless, I’ve packed a four pack of Lucozade Sport (orange flavour, of course) and some snack bars, just in case.

Maternity Pads and Breast Pads

Definitely an essential, you can’t go through the process of giving birth without having about a million maternity pads on stand by. I also found something I didn’t even know existed and definitely wish I had bought when I was pregnant with Luke – washable breast pads. What a game changer!

Phone Charger

Depending on how my birth goes, I may be in hospital for a little while. Although I’m hoping that I stay low risk and everything works out fine, I’ve packed a phone charger just in case. Also, between all that texting and taking photos of my precious little newborn, I know my battery power will drain at an alarming rate. If I do stay in hospital over night, I want to be able to stay in contact with Mikey.


I’ve packed a nursing bra – a great tip is to get fitted in Mothercare. Not only do they measure you up (it’s not scary at all, I promise!), but they usually have bras on sale. I got a pack of two nursing bras and added them to my hospital bag. It’s a really good idea to get fitted as the lady told me that for nursing bras, they usually add a cup size and decrease your band size by one. This is because after birth, your body will be a tad smaller, but you have no idea how much milk you will produce, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

I’ve also packed some fluffy socks, as well as a few spare normal pairs. Believe it or not, you can actually get really chilly feet during labour. Don’t forget some big pants! I’ve got a big old pack of black full briefs. They’re not sexy, but they do the job and hold your maternity pads in nicely. Also, they’re black, so any stains won’t show up. I definitely recommend buying cheap knickers over the horrible paper maternity pants you can buy!


I’ve packed the usual things: toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, hair ties, flannel, hair brush, hair clips, face cream and a towel. As well as those, I’ve also bought a tube of my favourite lip balm as hospitals are warm places and during labour/post birth you’re quite likely to get dry lips. I’ve decanted all my toiletries into smaller plastic bottles so they take up less space in the bag. I’ve packed some epic moisturiser from Colief, called Mum To Be Moisturising Cream* to use in conjunction with my post birth shower. The cream is enriched with plant extracts and vitamins to keep your skin soft and supple, relieve dryness and itching and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. I’ve been using it daily for the past few weeks and I like how well it absorbs into my skin and, to my relief, it really does stop the itchy skin problem.

Hospital bag essentials for pregnancy and labour, including free printable check list at

Face Spirtz

Once again, I have found myself being heavily pregnant throughout summer. Using face spirtz’s has been an absolute life saver for me. Lately, I’ve been using the Angela Langford Freshen Up*  hydrating and refreshing tonic. Honestly, I can’t tell you how I would have coped through our UK heatwave without it. So far, I’ve used it as a toner after rinsing my face in the mornings and I’ve also used it as a face spritz during the day. It smells absolutely divine as rose, geranium & orange blossom are mixed with aloe vera and comfrey to produce a refreshing tonic that keeps your skin hydrated, calm & fresh throughout the day. I have been storing mine in the fridge so it’s extra refreshing on my face, but you can also give yourself an instant wake up call by spritzing it on the back of your neck.

I know that this Freshen Up tonic will be invaluable when I’m in labour and I would definitely consider it an essential. I very vividly remember how hot and stuffy the hospital was when I gave birth to Luke and this uplifting tonic will definitely keep me cool and calm during the birth.


Sorry, but I can’t go in for a Princess Kate look. I’ve packed clothes that a loose, comfortable and I’m able to nurse in. My advice would be to avoid jeans! Your foof is going to hurt, girl, so loose, comfortable clothing is a must! I’ve chucked a few strappy tops, some soft, loose fitting trousers, some baggy PJs and some jogging bottoms in my hospital bag. I don’t even care if I look like I am leaving the hospital in pyjamas – it’s all about comfort! Don’t forget to pack some flip flops or some slippers for your time in hospital. The hospital I gave birth to Luke in had a toilet/wet room on the ward, so the floor was always soaking when you went to the toilet! I’ve also packed a bin bag for dirty clothes and a bikini top as I’m hoping to use the birth pool.

Lansinoh Lanolin

Speaking of nursing your baby, I’ve chucked a tube of Lansinoh Lanolin* in my hospital bag as, believe me, it’s what your nipples deserve. Sore nipples are common in breast feeding and Lanolin is a great, natural way to soothe and protect your nipples. It also has loads of other uses – I once used it to protect Luke’s skin when he had a terrible teething dribble rash!

Vitamin D Drops

As well as their moisturising cream, I’ve also included a pack of Colief Vitamin D3 Drops*. It is a food supplement that’s rich in vitamin D3, making it a great way to ensure children and babies are getting the required daily dose of vitamin D. Vitamin D contributes to the normal development of bones and teeth, as well as helping to maintain a good immune system – something that’s imperative in babies. Here’s what the Department Of Health has to say on vitamin D in children:

  • Babies from birth to 1 year of age who are being breastfed should be given a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10 micrograms (µg) of vitamin D to make sure they get enough. This is whether or not you’re taking a supplement containing vitamin D yourself.

  • Babies fed infant formula shouldn’t be given a vitamin D supplement if they’re having more than 500ml (about a pint) of infant formula a day, because infant formula is fortified with vitamin D and other nutrients.

  • Children aged 1 to 4 years old should be given a daily supplement containing 10µg of vitamin D.

An Extra For The Baby Bag

I have recently discovered a brand of wet wipes that will make that first nappy change a doddle. I’ve swapped out my old baby wipes and packed some Aqua Wipes* in the baby’s change bag instead. These wipes are 99% purified water with aloe vera extract and are suitable from birth. I did the whole cotton wool and water malarkey last time and it is such a faff, so I’m grateful to have found a brand that’s safe and gentle to use on my baby’s skin, is affordable and, best of all, is approved by the NHS.

For The Partners

As much as it would be wonderful if it was, having a baby isn’t usually as simple as just rocking up at a hospital, popping your baby out and then heading home. Often you’re in the hospital for a little while as your contractions build and your baby is monitored, so it’s a good idea to pack some form of entertainment in the hospital bag – especially for the partners.

For Mikey, we’ve packed:

    • iPod and Headphones
    • Phone Charger
    • Snacks
    • Money for coffee, food etc
  • Swim Shorts (just in case he feels brave enough to jump in the birthing pool with me)

Also: don’t forget the car parking money!

Do you think I’ve left anything out that I should definitely be including in my hospital bag? If so, let me know in the comments, while I still have a few days left to add it in!

To save and print this handy hospital bag checklist, right click and open in a new window, then save and print!

Pregnancy hospital bag checklist at

Rachael is a 31 year old mum to 10 year old Luke and 5 year old Oscar. She lives in England and writes about family life, crafts, recipes, parenting wins(and fails), as well as travel, days out, fashion and living the frugal lifestyle.


  • Laura

    This is such a useful post for those expecting! I have to say I wasn’t that prepared but had the essentials at least – yes to phone chargers and slippers

    Laura x

    • Lukeosaurus And Me

      I’ve not packe slippers…maybe I’ll shove them in, just in case. I’m all about the flip flops myself!

  • Erica Hughes

    You are well prepared. I found the mesh knickers (free from the hospital if I remember correctly) were the easiest thing for the first few days and easy on my c-section scar. I too like washable breast pads and much prefer them to the disposable type. I would put them into something for the wash (I used a mesh bag, but it wasn’t that good at keeping them inside and they escaped to clog up the washing machine, so I was banned from using them).

    • Lukeosaurus And Me

      Oh my, I never knew you could get knickers free from the hospital! I remember finding the disposable ones a bit tight and very difficult to get on after a shower, so I’ve opted for full on granny pants. Thats a great tip!

  • Talya

    You sound like you are super organized – this post will definitely come in handy for a reference point for those expecting. Wishing you all the best for the birth! x

    • Lukeosaurus And Me

      Ah, I’ve not found anyone else who has used it! I’m really enjoying it and for the last few weeks, I’ve ditched all the cocoa ones and have been using this instead. It definitely stops the itching!

    • Lukeosaurus And Me

      Birth plans are just a nice sort of thing to keep you occupied while you’re waiting really. We all know that they are rough guidelines at best! But it’s exciting to think about it all and know what you definitely do not want.

  • Jenni

    Snacks were crucial for me, since I’m gluten free and the hospital really wasn’t prepared for that back then. I also packed an extension cable for my phone charger in case there wasn’t a free socket near enough my bed and indeed there wasn’t.

    • Lukeosaurus And Me

      That’s such a good idea! 😮 I defintely don’t want to be hunched in a weird postion to try and text my other half. Thanks for the tip 😀

  • Kirsty

    This is a very comprehensive list. I could have done with a face spritz in my bags. I never thought of that. I think you are very prepared, more than I was, I always felt like I had forgotten something.

    • Lukeosaurus And Me

      I still feel like I’ve forgotten something! Last time I very nearly forgot maternity pads – not one you want to miss off the list!

  • Mellissa Williams

    Such a handy post, especially reminding people about money for the car park. I know of a few hospitals that do vouchers for the parking so it doesn’t cost but I know that isn’t nationwide which isn’t great.

  • Emma

    This will be a great reference for those expecting. I was super organised with my 1st and 4th but completely unorganised with number 2 & 3 who both decided to make an early appearance. I didn’t even have a bag packed for number 3 or one for myself!

  • Emma

    Oooh, this is very organised and what I should have been like! I was not organised at all with my first and I was in labour for over 72 hours. I could have done with more snacks and a phone charger!

  • Mudpie Fridays

    Sounds like you’ve got it all planned. I ended up staying in hospital for best part of five days with the second so could have definitely done with some extras. Hope you get to the pool xx

  • Kirsty

    Looks like you have everything covered. It’s great you’ve got some nursing bras ready. I had to pack earplugs and I really struggled with the noise in he hospital.

  • John Milnes

    Looks like you have al your bases covered. After your first child, you kinda know what you need the second time around.

    Not too long left. Hope everything goes well for you.

    John M

    • Lukeosaurus And Me

      That’s true! But there are loads of things on the market now that weren’t around when I had Luke so I have a few added extras this time.

    • Lukeosaurus And Me

      It was quite weird packing a hospital bag the second time around. There are different things to my first bag for sure.

  • Chloe @ Indigo Wilderness

    Ee, good luck with the BIG DAY! So very exciting! I absolutely lived by Lanisoh for my first weeks and this is a great list. Very organised! I will share my own nugget of wisdom… if you buy disposable maternity knickers, make sure they fit over your bum cheeks first. Mine absolutely wouldn’t… size 12 my arse 😀

  • Tubbs

    You sound really organised. All the best with the birth – hope everything goes well. I look forward to meeting the brand new little person who’s arriving soon

    • Lukeosaurus And Me

      All the products on the market are constantly changing, aren’t they? There’s some cool stuff available now that wasn’t around with my first.

  • Leighanne

    What a great list. I over packed and ended up with two bags lol. I would include a bottle or two of formula milk just in case and my midwife suggested I bought some cheap dark coloured cloths for after the birth

  • Ema

    I am so happy I have found someone else from the UK writing a hospital bag post. Every one I have read has been American and apparently, they get a lot more free stuff than we do! I’m getting ready to pack my hospital bag and also write my post about it on my blog. I was way to over prepared for my first birth, that I am going to try and not go overboard this time!

    • Lukeosaurus And Me

      There are tonnes of American posts, which although have the basics on them, just adds stress as you then have to try and work out an UK equivalent. Hope it helps you!

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