How to Pack a Compact Hospital Bag

When it comes to packing your bags for the labour ward and your hospital stay, it’s fairly easy to become overwhelmed. Having a baby in itself is a pretty big thing, so planning what you will need in the weeks before the big event has become a right of passage. Every list you find will tell you that you need something different. Before you know it, you’re hiring a moving van to transport everything bar the kitchen sink to the maternity hospital. So I’ve written a no nonsense guide to packing your hospital bag which entails packing what you actually need. It’s good to remember that you will be in hospital for a relatively short period of time. Be mindful that people will visit you. People can pick you up things at home if you need them. Also good to note you will actually return home at some point so you don’t need to bring the contents of your house with you! The more things your have stuffed into your bag, the harder it is for your partner or you to find what you actually need in the heat of the moment! So less is definitely more.

First things first, it’s good to differentiate – when arriving to the hospital you will in fact have two separate bags:

  1. Labour Ward Bag
  2. Hospital Stay Bag

There is some overlap, but it’s good to keep as few things as possible in your labour bag. I say this, because it makes it a lot easier for your partner on the day to find things for you.

Labour Ward Bag

  • 2 x night dresses (button down)
  • Flip flops (or slippers if you prefer)
  • Socks (if you get cold feet!)
  • Micro-fibre towel (dark colour)
  • 5 pack of cheap black underwear
  • Deodorant
  • Maternity pads (green coloured ones – no plastic back lining)
  • Outfit for baby to change into- vest, sleep suit, hat & cardigan (Put into freezer bag and label for handiness)
  • 2 newborn baby nappies & wipes
  • Maternity/Nursing bra
  • Hairbrush/Hair ties
  • Shower gel
  • Toiletries (make-up, perfume, toothbrush/toothpaste, facewipes or whatever else makes you feel human!)
  • Phone charger

Hospital Stay Bag

  • Baby grows x 5
  • Sleep suits x 5
  • Bibs x 5
  • Baby towel/baby wash & sponge or wash cloth
  • Breastpads (I prefer washable ones)
  • Nappies & baby wipes (I’ve opted for Kit & Kin biodegradable nappies this time around).
  • Multimam compresses (for sore nipples)
  • Lanolin Ointment (Nipple cream)
  • Arnica tablets (for bruising and healing)
  • 2-3 pairs of clean pyjamas
  • 2 x cellular blankets for baby
  • Plastic bag for sending laundry home
  • Going home outfit for baby (put into freezer bag and label)
  • Loose fitting outfit for you to go home in

Needless to say everyone is different, and you will invariably want to bring in a few different things to make yourself feel more comfortable. One thing I did bring with me on both occasions was my exercise ball, which distracted me during labour and was of some comfort. I did feel like an eejit arriving to the door with it, but I wasn’t alone! So if you think it will help, bring it along.

If you have any queries or questions, leave me a comment or suggestion below. You can also contact me via Instagram or email.

Other posts which may be of interest

8 Things I Wish I’d Known When Having My First Baby

5 Things To Support a Successful Breastfeeding Journey



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