Has the due date come around faster than you had thought? Not sure if you have everything you need for the birth during & after? We’ve got you covered, here is the essentials checklist for your hospital bag.

When should you pack your hospital bag?

It is important to have your hospital bag packed early, as the due date is just a guideline and often the baby can come earlier, or later than the due date.

We recommend that you pack the hospital bag during the third trimester (Roughly 36 weeks and onwards). Once packed, it’s best to keep them somewhere easily accessible and convenient, in the car, for example.

What you’ll need for Labour and Birth:


Birthing plan and hospital notes

If they are available to you, taking your birthing plan and notes to the hospital, this makes important information easier to access for your doctors and nurses.


As you may be required to stay in the hospital for a few days, it is best to take multiple sets of clothing with you, this includes underwear and night wear, such as nightgowns & PJ’s.

We also recommend that you take both slippers & flip flops to the hospital, the slippers are good for staying comfortable whilst moving around, and the flip flops can make it easier to shower during your stay.

Important items for the baby

You will need to take some nappies for your baby, it is likely the hospital will provide you with a few to begin with, but oftentimes these are temporary and do not last very long.

Formula or Breast pump

Your baby will be hungry shortly after the birth, it’s important to have some baby formula for you babies needs to hand when they are hungry, if you are going to be breastfeeding, a breast pump can help you stay prepared by having milk available in a bottle.

Heavy duty maternity pads

It is normal for a new mother to bleed heavily following birth, the hospital will likely provide some pads for you, but if you have a preferred brand, or even would like some extra, its best to take some of your own.


Often overlooked when packing the birthing bag, toiletries.

A toothbrush, mouthwash and other essentials will be sorely missed if they are forgotten, especially if you are in the hospital for longer than a day or two.


Labour can be a very long process, so it’s a good idea to take along a book, a tablet, and a phone charger, just in case they are needed.

Baby Clothes

It is best to take a wide variety of baby clothes with you to the hospital.

They should be suitable for all seasons, because it’s hard to predict the temperature in the ward, and the temperatures on the way home!

Because of this, we recommend that you take along some body suits, a thick coat, and accessories, such as mittens, hats, and booties.

What will you need for leaving the hospital?

If you have a thoroughly packed birthing bag, you wont need much for the journey home.

One item is often overlooked, a car seat for the baby.
If you are to be driving home following the birth, you will need a suitable car seat for the baby to take them home safely.

We wish you all the best with the birth! If you have any further questions, please refer to the NHS website for more information.