Whether you are opting for a hospital or home birth, you will need to get prepared and organised for the birth of your little one, but if you are anything like me many new parents can get completely overwhelmed when it comes to packing those all so important hospital bags. How much do you pack for a newborn? What will a new mum need during birth? The questions are endless. I opted for a home birth, but packed hospital bags in case of a transfer to hospital was needed. Thankfully these bags were not needed, but my birthing partner found it really helpful having everything in one place, so he wasn’t searching the whole house every time I asked him for something.
To navigate your hospital experience with confidence and be fully prepared for the special day you welcome your new addition into your family, we’ve put together our list of tried and tested items which we believe are essential for your hospital bag. So embrace the journey ahead by being fully prepared for your special day & get that hospital bag packed and ticked off the to do list!
What to pack in your hospital bag...read on for our tips!
We all know that bringing a new life into the world requires meticulous preparation, especially when it comes to catering to the needs of the tiniest member of the family. We have carefully picked some of our favourite baby essentials that we feel are perfect for your hospital bag, to provide comfort and care for your little one from the very beginning of your exciting journey into parenthood.
Photo: House of Pyaar
As a new parent you can never have too many swaddles, they are the perfect multi-tasking item which can be used for mopping up milk spills, protecting your clothes when burping your newborn, you can use them as a lightweight breastfeeding cover up & of course to swaddle your little one. The soft touch of an organic swaddle will envelope your baby in a soft and secure cocoon, which mirrors the warmth of your womb. We love our range of swaddles which come in an array of beautifully muted tones, they are super soft, lightweight and are designed and made in the UK from organic cotton. Shop our range of organic cotton baby swaddles here.
Photo: House of Pyaar
Keep your newborn soft and warm, a soft cotton baby blanket is essential to pack for newborns, it creates a gentle, soothing space for your baby to rest and will ensure they are kept cosy and comfortable no matter the season! We recommend wrapping them up in natural and organic fabrics, this blanket from Avery Row is made with lovely soft cotton making it extra comfortable for the little ones delicate skin.
Nappies and Wipes
Photo: Kit & Kin
Opting for eco-conscious choices, eco-nappies and sustainable baby wipes ensure delicate baby skin is pampered with safe and gentle materials, whilst also making a small positive change for the planet. We love Kit and Kin organic nappies for newborns, they are super absorbent and hypoallergic and the little animal designs on the back are super cute. To create a natural barrier against nappy rash and any discomfort, our Multi Tasking Baby Bottom Balm will provide protection and help soothe and heal delicate newborn skin. It is the perfect multi tasking product for your changing bag as it can be used for all skin conditions including cradle cap, nappy rash, teething rash, eczema, dry and harden skin patches, rosacea, psoriasis and sunburned skin. Just warm a little balm in the palms of your hands and apply it to the areas of skin causing concern, it can be applied head to toe and as often as desired.
Sleep Suit and Cuddle Cloth
Photo: Claude & Co
Make sure you pack a couple of little outfits and welcome your new bundle of joy in style in the softest organic baby sleep suit we love this one from Claude & Co, crafted from 100% organic cotton, it will keep your baby warm and cosy and the neutral style will look oh-so-adorable on any baby. Perfect to pack if you are keeping the babies gender a surprise! Complete the look with matching booties, mittens and hat for a perfect first outfit and get ready to snap that perfect first picture! Additionally, a cuddle cloth becomes a trusted companion for babies, offering familiarity and reassurance during those early moments of adjustment. A great tip we tried and tested to soothe newborns, was to sleep with the cuddle cloth before the birth of your baby, so your scent is left behind, this will bring comfort to your baby when the cuddle cloth is placed close to them.
While the focus naturally shifts to the new arrival, it's equally important to prioritise the well-being and comfort of the new mummy. The essentials packed for yourself in your hospital bag will support you during the physical and emotional recovery – some little luxuries definitely go along way. We have listed a few items we feel make a big difference when it comes to post-partum recovery.
Photo: House of Pyaar
Artio Skincare’s Stretch Mark Oil is our favourite oil for stretch marks, fragranced with Organic Lavender which keeps skin conditioned, nourished and moisturised. Ideal to use after a shower or it can be added to a warm, relaxing bath once home from the hospital. Packed full of vitamins and skin loving fatty acids, it helps to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, scars and dull looking skin by stimulating skin circulation and elasticity. You never know how long you and baby will have to wait until you can go home so it is better to be prepared and pack a toothbrush, toothpaste and any other overnight essentials you may need. We recommend packing a Wash Bag with some of your favourite items to ensure comfort during labour and after baby is born. Our must haves include a lip balm which is especially helpful if you use gas and air during labour, as this can really dry out your lips during birth. A hand cream which can be used if you opt for a water birth and have spent long periods of time in the birthing pool. Also make sure to pack lots of sanitary towels, some peri spritz, wet toilet wipes to make sure you are well prepared for after your little one arrives.
Relaxation and Comfort
Photo: Made by Coopers
The soothing power of a Pillow Spray aids relaxation, and can offer a moment of calm amidst the bustling hospital setting. If you have used the same pillow spray at home during pregnancy, the smell on your pillow may help remind you of home and help you feel more relaxed during your stay in hospital. An Eye Mask provides respite from light, encouraging quality rest especially at night if you are on a ward with other mums who may have their lights on during the night, an eye mask can be really helpful for blocking out that unwanted light. A handheld fan and cooling mist can be helpful during labour and if you are opting for a hospital birth these can be helpful, as birthing wards tend to be kept really warm for new babies.
Nursing and Attire
Organic Cotton nursing pads are essential for new mums, providing much-needed comfort and convenience. These sets are super soft and kind to the environment, so you can rest easy knowing you're taking care of your baby and the planet. If you are planning to breastfeed, a good nursing bra can make feeding time much easier for new mums, choose one with a comfortable design and organic cotton fabric to provide maximum comfort and ease. You may find you don’t actually use the nursing bra when in hospital as you may be more comfortable just in your dressing gown or a loose button down nightie, but a nursing bra will be essential when travelling home from the hospital. We recommend packing a lightweight dressing gown, Maternity Pyjamas, slippers and not forgetting some big comfortable knickers to ensure you are comfortable when lying in bed and walking around the hospital.
Additional Items to Consider
While the essentials for both baby and mum form the foundation of a well-prepared hospital bag, a few additional items can enhance the overall experience and comfort during your stay.
Snacks and Hydration
Labour and recovery demand sustained energy, nothing will ever taste as good as that first slice of warm buttery toast and hot tea after giving birth. Packing some nutrient-rich snacks to provide you with quick nourishment and slow burning energy will help keep your energy levels up and lots of hydration will help you stay refreshed and focused. Drinks with straws are really helpful and we would recommend packing some cartons of juice. Our favourite labour snack was the Deliciously Ella Cacao & Almond Oat Bars!
Notes and Planning
Don’t forget to pack those all important maternity notes and birthing plan, if you have made one – you may find you don’t use the birthing plan but knowing you have it can help you stay focused. Also, we recommend keeping a list of important phone numbers in your bag and phone including the hospital, labour ward and your midwife or doula. If you plan to keep your placenta for encapsulation, make sure to give your birthing partner and the hospital ward instructions of what to do with your placenta, as you will need to ensure strict instructions are followed to ensure it can be used.
Your hospital bag's contents serve not only your needs but also extend to support your birthing partner. By putting together all your desired essentials in one place, you create an important resource, enabling them to support you. You might find it useful to pack your hospital bag together with your birthing partner, so they can find things quickly when you need them. We also recommend preparing a hospital bag if you are planning a home birth, as this will ensure that everything is packed if you do need to transfer into hospital at any point during or after the delivery of your baby.
For ease, here’s a detailed checklist that you can copy and keep to hand:
The Ultimate Checklist of Baby Essentials for Labour
- Organic Swaddle
- Soft Cotton Baby Blanket
- Eco Nappies
- Biodegradable Wipes
- Organic Baby Sleep Suit
- Cuddle Cloth
- Multi Tasking Baby Bottom Balm
The Ultimate Checklist of Mum Essentials for Labour
- Stretch Mark Oil
- Wash Bag
- Ultra-Soft Maternity & Nursing Loungewear
- Pillow Spray
- Eye Mask
- Essential Oils
- Hand Held Fan
- Cooling Mist
- Snacks and Drinks
- Nursing pads
- Nursing bra
- Soft Toilet Wipes
- Lightweight Dressing Gown
- Comfy Clothes for Going Home
- Birthing notes
We hope this post has been helpful, if you are an expectant mummy or daddy reading this, please do comment below if you have any questions about packing your hospital bag or preparing for a home birth and we will do our best to answer them.
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