Essential Hospital Bag Checklist for Mums-to-Be

Imagine, for a moment, you’re on the brink of becoming a parent. Your home is about to be filled with tiny socks and an air of anticipation so thick it’s almost tangible. Amidst this whirlwind of excitement and preparation, there lies one task that might seem deceptively simple yet is fraught with considerations: **packing and your hospital bag checklist**.

It’s not just any bag; it’s akin to Mary Poppins’ carpetbag but for the modern mum-to-be. This isn’t merely packing; it’s preparing for one of life’s most significant events. Sure, we’ve all packed bags before – a weekend away here, a business trip there – but this? This requires precision planning mixed with a dash of unpredictability (because let’s face it, babies have their own timeline).

The essentials are given: clothes for you and baby, toiletries… But then comes the curveball items like granola bars or that specific pillow which somehow makes everything better. And amidst all these decisions stands the ever-important question – did I bring enough? Finding the sweet spot between packing everything but the kitchen sink and just bringing the essentials is key. So, always remember to pack smartly, focusing on what truly matters for your comfort and needs during this significant time.

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Packing Your Hospital Bag: Essentials for Mums-to-Be

Peace of mind goes a long way when you’re having a baby. If you sort everything out ahead of time by having that all important hospital bag checklist, it can really take the edge off those nerves that come with big, exciting changes in your life.

Another thing to add to your to-do’s? A hospital bag packed with everything you’ll need when it’s time to have your baby.

When to Have Your Bag Ready

Experts recommend getting your hospital bag together at least a few weeks ahead of your due date if possible.

You’ll feel better able to welcome your baby knowing you’re prepared with clothes, blankets and nappies, and that the car seat is ready to go,

Essentials for Mum: Hospital Bag Checklist

Here’s what to bring to make your stay at the hospital or birthing center more comfortable:

  • Drivers’ license or other identification card
  • Insurance card and any hospital paperwork
  • Your birth plan, if you have one (bring multiple copies to give to your practitioner and various nurses)
  • Your phone and an extra-long charger
  • Comfortable, loose clothing for you to wear home
  • Extra underwear and a little bigger than you usually wear
  • Hair ties, clips or a headband
  • Your own toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash
  • Your own brush and comb
  • Glasses and/or contacts and saline solution if applicable
  • Lip balm, deodorant
  • Nursing bra and breast pads if you plan to nurse
  • Nightgown or pajamas
  • Lightweight dressing gown to throw on when you have visitors
  • Slippers or cozy socks with grip soles

Must-Haves for Baby: Hospital Bag Checklist

As for what to pack for your little one, here are the essentials:

  • A car seat to bring baby home in
  • A few sleepers and onesies
  • A hat and socks to keep baby warm
  • Disposable nappies
  • Baby wipes
  • A soft baby blanket
  • A cute ‘going home’ outfit

Comfort Items to Enhance Your Hospital Stay

While the hospital will provide the basics, packing a few comfort items can make your stay much more pleasant. Think cozy PJs, your favorite pillow, some yummy snacks.

It’s nice to pack your own toiletries and any other items that may make your labor, delivery and postpartum time more comfortable,

For Entertainment and Relaxation

Labor can be long, so pack some things to help pass the time and relax:

  • Massage oils or lotion for labor
  • Music or headphones that plug into your phone
  • Diversions like a juicy novel, magazines, a deck of cards, or handheld electronic games
  • Healthy snacks like musli bars to munch on after delivery
  • A reusable water bottle to stay hydrated
  • A camera and/or video camera (and memory card) to capture those first precious moments

hospital bag checklist

What Not to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

While it’s good to be prepared, there are certain items that should be left at home. The hospital will provide most medical necessities, so skip packing things like medications or medical supplies.

You also won’t need any valuables like jewelry or large sums of cash. And leave most of the the nappies and wipes at home – the hospital will have plenty on hand.

Other items to leave behind:

  • Lots of baby clothes (you’ll only need 1-2 outfits)
  • Sanitary pads (the hospital will provide heavy-duty ones)
  • Towels (the hospital has these too)
  • A breast pump (wait until you get home to try this)

Key Takeaway: 


Use your hospital bag checklist and get ready weeks before your due date to ease pre-baby jitters. Pack essentials for comfort and practicality, like clothes for you and the baby, snacks, entertainment, and personal care items. Remember to leave home valuables and items the hospital provides.

Preparing for Baby’s Arrival at Home

Ensuring Everything is Set for Baby’s Homecoming

Before you head to the hospital, make sure your home is ready for your little one’s arrival. Believe me, down the line, you’re going to be patting yourself on the back for this one.

First up, install that car seat or baby capsule. It’s not just a legal requirement, it’s a lifesaver. Practice securing it properly so you’re not fumbling when it’s go-time.

Next, prep your baby’s sleeping space. Whether it’s a bassinet, crib, or your bed (hello, co-sleeping.), make sure it’s set up with clean sheets and breathable blankets.

Don’t forget to stock up on essentials like nappies, wipes, and baby clothes. Having a few different sizes on hand is smart, since babies grow faster than you can say “blowout.”

Speaking of clothes, have that adorable “going home” outfit picked out and ready to go. It’s a special moment you’ll want to capture forever.

And finally, roll up those sleeves and give your home the deep clean it’s been waiting for. You’ll be too busy snuggling your newborn to worry about dusting later. Plus, a tidy space can do wonders for your mental health in those early days.

Trust your instincts, prepare what you can, and remember – you’ve got this.

Partner’s Checklist for the Delivery Room

Keeping Comfortable and Occupied

Hey there, birth partners. Your role is crucial, so don’t forget to pack a bag for yourself too.

First, comfort is key. Labor can be long, so bring a change of clothes, comfy shoes, and maybe even a pillow. You’ll be glad you did.

Stay energized with snacks and drinks. Pack some favorites for both you and the mum-to-be.

Don’t forget your phone charger. You’ll want to stay connected with loved ones and capture those first precious moments.

If you wear contacts, pack your glasses, spare lenses, and solution. Labor can be unpredictable, and you don’t want to be caught with dry, irritated eyes.

Consider bringing entertainment like books, magazines, or a tablet loaded with movies. They can help pass the time and provide a welcome distraction.

Most importantly, be present and supportive. Your partner is going through a lot, so offer encouragement, back rubs, and anything else they need. You’ve got this.

Postpartum Recovery Essentials

Addressing Physical Recovery Needs

Congratulations, mama. You did it. So, let’s shift gears and talk about how to get your body back on track after you’ve brought a little one into the world.

Stock up on maternity sanitary pads. The hospital will provide some, but having your preferred brand at home is a must. Don’t be alarmed by the heavy flow – it’s normal.

Soothe sore nipples with a good nipple cream, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Trust me, it’s a game-changer.

Invest in a peri bottle to keep things clean down there. Fill it with warm water for a soothing spritz after using the bathroom.

When it comes to soothing pain and swelling down there, ice packs can truly be your best friend. Some mums swear by “padsicles” – sanitary pads soaked in witch hazel and frozen. Give it a try.

Don’t forget about your hair. Dry shampoo can be a new mom’s best friend when showers are hard to come by.

Remember, every mum’s recovery is different. Take your time, be gentle with yourself, and remember, it’s completely okay to ask for help when you need it.

Supporting Mental Health Post-Delivery

While it’s easy to focus on physical healing, don’t neglect your mental health. Postpartum emotions are no joke.

Hormonal shifts, sleep deprivation, and the overwhelming responsibility of caring for a newborn can take a toll. Baby blues are common, but if feelings of sadness persist, it could be postpartum depression.

Don’t suffer in silence. Reach out to your partner, friends, or healthcare provider if you’re struggling. There’s no shame in asking for help.

Try to prioritize self-care, even in small doses. Take a shower, eat a nutritious meal, or just step outside for fresh air. Little things can make a big difference.

Consider joining a new mums’ group or online community. Connecting with others who understand what you’re going through can be incredibly validating and supportive.

Don’t forget, looking after yourself deserves as much attention as caring for your little one. You matter, and your mental health should be a top priority.

Key Takeaway: 


Before the big day, make sure your home is baby-ready. Install the car seat, set up a sleeping spot with clean sheets and breathable blankets, stock up on nappies and wipes, pick out a cute going-home outfit for bub, and give your place a good scrub.


Partners need to pack for the delivery room too. Bring comfy clothes, snacks, drinks, phone charger (don’t forget this.), glasses or spare contacts if needed, and some entertainment. Most of all – be there for support.


New mums should focus on physical recovery post-delivery with maternity pads , nipple cream if breastfeeding , peri bottles for cleanliness , ice packs or ‘padsicles’ for pain relief , and dry shampoo . Mental health is crucial too; don’t hesitate to seek help if feeling overwhelmed.

Documents and Practicalities for Your Hospital Stay

Using the Hospital bag checklist isn’t just about comfy clothes and toiletries. Oh, and let’s not skip over those key documents and handy items you definitely shouldn’t leave behind.

First up, make sure you have your medicare card and any relevant insurance information. You’ll need these for hospital admission and billing purposes.

Next, pack your ID like a driver’s license or passport. So, the hospital’s going to need you to confirm who you are for their files.

If you wear contact lenses, bring a case and solution. You might prefer glasses during your stay for comfort and convenience.

Don’t forget your birth plan if you have one. Print a few copies to give to your medical team so everyone’s on the same page about your preferences.

Pack a copy of your medical records, especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy or underlying health conditions. So, this makes it super easy for your doctors to quickly grab the health info they need about you.

Toss in a notebook and pen to jot down questions for your medical team, or to record special memories from this momentous occasion.

Bring a folder to organize paperwork like your birth certificate application, hospital forms, and medical bills. Keeping important documents handy will make your life easier post-delivery.

Last but not least, don’t forget your mobile phone and a phone charger. You’ll want to text family and friends updates, and of course, take tons of photos of your new little one.

A little preparation goes a long way in ensuring all necessary paperwork is prepared and easily accessible during your hospital stay. One less thing to stress over during this exciting time.


So there you have it, the ultimate guide to packing your hospital bag checklist, broken down into bite-sized pieces of wisdom and practical advice. It’s not just about tossing items into a bag; it’s an art form that marries necessity with comfort. We’ve walked through when to get your bag ready, ensuring nothing essential for mum or baby gets left behind. From maternity bras to those all-important baby blankets, we made sure every base was covered.

We also didn’t forget about the importance of comfort items – because let’s face it, a little bit of home can make any space feel warmer. And while we’re on the topic of what makes things feel homely, let’s not overlook the essentials for entertainment and relaxation which could turn waiting times into moments of peace or discovery.

Remember though: amidst this preparation marathon lies something equally crucial – knowing what NOT to pack. Yes, sometimes less is indeed more.

As our journey concludes here (but yours continues), remember that each item in your hospital bag carries its own weight in gold in making your stay as comfortable as possible whilst welcoming new life into this world. You’re armed now; not just with musli bars and comfy socks but with knowledge — arguably the most powerful tool at any mum-to-be’s disposal.

The narrative around preparing for childbirth might be filled with uncertainties but consider this guide your trusty compass—a means to steer through without feeling overwhelmed by ‘what-ifs’. As you zip up that hospital bag and glance over at it standing by the door—know you’ve done everything within your power to get ready. Let this moment fill you with confidence, not anxiety. You’ve meticulously prepared, crossed off lists, and sought advice when needed. So take a deep breath; it’s time to embark on one of life’s most remarkable journeys.

Kapture photography will be here for you once bubs arrives for all your newborn photography needs.