Unilever logo
Cleanipedia AE logo

A comprehensive checklist to pack your hospital bag for delivery

Our comprehensive hospital bag checklist shows you exactly what to pack in your maternity bag.


baby clothes on the table

So, you’ve reached that exciting moment: packing your hospital bag for delivery! With a comprehensive hospital bag checklist for mom and baby by your side, you can actually enjoy the process. We’ll show you what to pack in hospital bag for delivery, after delivery and for your baby. Let’s get packing!

Preparing for delivery? Get organised and pack your maternity bag by the 36-week mark. That way you can relax knowing it’s done – plus you’re prepared should baby decide to make an early appearance!

What to pack in hospital bag for baby and mom

As you’ll be packing for yourself and your precious new arrival, you might find it easier to pack three bags – one hospital bag for delivery, one maternity hospital bag for after delivery, and one bag for your newborn. You can use a large gym bag, rucksack, holdall, cabin bag, small suitcase or your baby’s changing bag.

Hospital bag checklist for baby

The main essentials you’ll need for baby are:

  • Clothes: bodysuits, sleepsuits, vests, socks, hat, scratch mittens, going home outfit and jacket/snowsuit if it’s cold.

  • Nappies: you’ll need plenty, as newborns can go through 12 nappies a day! You’ll also need a changing mat, nappy bags and cotton wool.

  • Muslin squares: they’ll get used lots, so pack a few.

  • Blanket: the softer and cosier, the better.

  • Car seat: to help ensure you both get home safely after leaving the hospital.

Mom’s hospital bag checklist for delivery

And for yourself you should pack:

  • Hospital notes and birth plan: keep it handy so everyone knows what you need.

  • Loose outfit to wear during labour: choose something comfortable and not tight.

  • Water spray or fan: to keep you cool.

  • Snacks and drinks: for energy and hydration.

  • Camera: to capture those precious first moments.

  • Music: a soothing playlist to listen to during labour might help you feel calmer.

  • Lip balm and massage oil: to keep you comfortable and relaxed.

  • Hair clips or light scarves: to keep your face clear and cool.

  • Medication: anything you take regularly. Take a couple days’ supply to be safe.

  • Phone and charger: for your birth partner to announce the good news, and to use the stopwatch to time your contractions.

  • List of phone numbers: in case you can’t use your mobile phone for calls in the hospital.

Post-delivery hospital bag checklist

You don’t just need to pack items for yourself during delivery, you also need to plan for what you’ll need immediately after giving birth:

  • Maternity nighties or pyjamas: three changes of front-opening clothes is a good idea.

  • Comfortable, loose outfit to wear home: elasticated/drawstring waistbands are ideal

  • Underwear: five or six pairs that are comfortable and supportive. If you plan to breastfeed then remember to choose nursing bras to make it easier.

  • Breast pads: even if you don’t intend to breastfeed, you’re likely to need these.

  • Maternity pads: a couple of packs.

  • Toiletries bag and towel: travel size toothpaste/brush, soap/shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, hairbrush/comb, flannel, tissues and nipple cream.

  • Extra pillows: and maybe a favourite blanket for you too.

  • Reference books/notes from prenatal classes: to help you settle into motherhood.

  • Eye mask: great if you need help sleeping on a brightly lit postnatal ward.

Now that you know how to pack your hospital bag for delivery, post-delivery and baby, you can feel confident that you’ll have everything you’ll need in your maternity bag. That leaves you free to enjoy the experience, and focus on what matters most: welcoming your beautiful new addition to the family!

Key steps

Here’s a handy summary of what to pack in hospital bag that you can tick off as you go:

  • For baby: clothes, nappies, muslins and car seat.

  • For during birth: hospital notes/birth plan, camera/phone, pillows/blankets.

  • For after birth: change of clothes, toiletries/towel/medication, maternity pads and breast pads.

Originally published