The Minimal Hospital Bag Checklist
Focusing on only what's absolutely necessary when it comes to your hospital bag, baby & you.
Simplicity is the key to a stressless birth. We’ve thought of everything you will need for the welcoming of your little one, but taken out anything that isn’t an absolute essential. With only the necessities in mind, you’ll feel prepared, organised and relaxed.
Although you have a given due date, your little one could arrive between one to two weeks before then, so it’s ideal to have everything you need prepared around 37 weeks. Being organised beforehand will mean that any unexpected arrivals will be welcomed into the world without any last minute stress.
Packing your hospital bag can result in an overload of items that once you’re there, you will find that they’re unneeded. So what do you actually need?
Just take the essentials with you; a couple of outfits for little one, a few for yourself and your everyday personal belongings. Your partner will most likely want to bring some items too, but they will be able to visit home again to pick up some other necessities.
It’s exceptionally easy to take too much with the worry you won’t have something, but hospitals provide a plethora of newborn necessities. It’s better to pack minimally and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
- Two sleepsuits: front and back opening sleepsuits give you some a little variety
- Hat: always choose a soft hat as baby’s head will be very delicate
- Two cardigans: they create an outfit & keep little one warm
- Blanket: always opt for something natural and breathable
- Muslin: perfect for feeding or swaddling a newborn
- Car seat: we love the Cybex one, which you can read reviews on Mumsnet
- Thick wintersuit: incase you have a winter baby
- Open front nightdress or pyjamas: easy for breastfeeding
- Cool clothes: it can be surprisingly warm in hospital
- Throw away pants
- Nursing bra (two)
- Going home outfit: you’ll want comfort
- Breast pads: made from bamboo & washable, these Mama Designs pads are perfect
- Maternity pads
- Dressing gown
- Lip balm
- Lotion: Neal’s Yard Remedies have a relaxing massage lotion
Mum’s top tip: “Bring a water bottle with you. They do give you water & there’s a water fountain, but the cups are like shots and the fountain isn’t in the room. You’ll be very thirsty the whole time, so a big 2litre one is perfect!” – Pippa, mum of 3month old Olivia
- Some other items (a few which are quite obvious): snacks, tennis ball (for back pain), music / book, emergency numbers & I.D. to book in.
The hospital will provide you with the following: nappies, babywipes, tissues, wet wipes, nursing pads, cotton wool, pain relievers & sponge.
Generally you’ll spend one, maybe two, days in the hospital before coming home, so you need need too many clothes. If for any reason you have to stay longer, your birth partner won’t mind picking up more supplies. Minimal is always best, and will mean less stress so you can focus on getting ready to meet your beautiful new arrival.
Oh, and one last thing we might have forgotten: a bag to put everything in!
Our baby hospital bag has only the essentials you’ll need to greet little one: