My hospital bag in hindsight: What was useful / useless?

When I packed my hospital bag (this was nearly a year and a half ago) I had no idea what to pack. I relied on those checklists you can find when you type "Hospital bag" on Google. In principle the checklists are great, and they certainly helped me, but when it came to the actual hospital stay I ended up a bit annoyed with some of the items I was lugging around, and desperate to get some other items. So here is my post about what I packed and what I (in hindsight) should have packed.

Partly the reason why I was logging around quite a few unnecessary items was because I had this image of a serene NCT-inspired natural labour, ending with a blissfully relaxed baby and me relaxing while baby was sleeping... Well, it didn't quite go like that, like it doesn't for most people I guess. But anyway, here is a list of what I had in my hospital bag.

What I packed:
Antenatal notes 
Magazines and a book
Small towel for a shower and face washes
Breastfeeding bra and nipple cream
Wet wipes
Shower gel, moisturiser, facial stuff, toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant and other personal hygiene products
Warm socks
Some loose trousers, tank tops and a dressing gown
An old T-shirt to give birth in
Disposable undies and old undies I was happy to chuck away
Sanitary napkins
Snacks for myself and my husband
Biscuits to midwives 
And obviously nappies, wet wipes and clothes, hats and mittens for the little one

And in hindsight what I should have left behind:
Magazines and a book - as if you have time or energy to read anything...
Small towel for a shower and face washes - useless, you get one from the hospital
Make-up - seriously, what was I thinking?
Warm socks - it is steaming hot in hospitals
An old T-shirt to give birth in - a hospital gown is much more useful and quite comfortable, and when in labour you won't care the hospital gown looks ugly
Disposable undies - disposable undies were horrible, too tight on the thighs, too loose on the bum, difficult to put on and uncomfortable. I'd recommend just packing your old undies that you are happy to chuck away!

The most important things I found invaluable were plastic flip-flops I could use in the shower, and a sleeping mask, to use during labour in those brightly lit delivery rooms. I particularly enjoyed a facial mist (mine was Vichy Thermal Spa Water)- it felt lovely and refreshing to use it when I was tired and feeling sweaty. Hairbands were great too to keep my hair out of my face. 

I should have left all those magazines and books home - no chance of reading them and made my bag heavy. And make-up - what was I thinking? Seriously - I must have been delusional, thinking I would read my magazine, and put my lippy and mascara on before the guests... I guess you won't really understand how tired you are after giving birth until you've actually done it yourself. Just brushing my teeth was an accomplishment enough!

And one tip I wish someone would have given me - pack your hospital bag in a cabin luggage. Because wheeling it around instead of dragging a heavy bag around the hospital is so much nicer.

If I were to pack one now, I would include:

  • Using a cabin luggage to pack everything in
  • My phone and charger
  • Camera
  • Several old dark panties to wear after giving birth
  • Nursing bras
  • Comfortable shirts to wear afterwards
  • Comfortable dark sweatpants to wear after giving birth
  • Slip-on fabric slippers
  • Plastic flip-flops for shower
  • Maternity pads (not normal pads due to potential stitches)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Basic hygiene products (deodorant, soap, face cream)
  • Hairbrush
  • Warm socks if it is cold, otherwise probably not needed
  • Nappies and clothes for the baby
A checklist for the things you will actually use in the hospital after giving birth - from a mum who packed a ridiculously long list of useless products.

In hindsight, what would you have packed in your hospital bag? And what would you have left home?


  1. Great post - somebody on the labour ward with me had packed hair straighteners! We had a laugh about it later. #thelist

    1. Hah - that is seriously optimistic thinking your going to do your hair :) Brushing my hair was enough of an effort...

  2. I wish I had taken my own pillow or cushion. Think it would have made the plastic beds more bearsble!! #thelist

    1. I've heard other people say that too, but I actually thought the pillows were decent. Guess depends, if you like nice fluffy ones you need to bring your own.

  3. I took three bags to hospital, one for me, one for Baby and an extra one for things that wouldn't fit into the first two! Probably didn't need half of it! Did like my flannel though that hubby kept soaking and putting on my head. Thanks so much for linking up with #TheList x

    1. Yeah, we had quite a few bags in the end - I think there was the changing bag, and then just a plastic bag with snacks, and then my bag. It was quite helpful that we lived only 5-10min away from the hospital, so my husband could easily pick things from home if we really needed something.


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