Packing your Hospital Bag with Aoife Walsh
Thursday, June 24, 2021

One of our fantastic BabyClub ambassadors, influencer Aoife Walsh, wrote this brilliant article about what she has packed in her hospital bag as she expects her first baby in the coming weeks.

A friend told me many months ago when she was expecting her baby, that it's never too early to pack your hospital bag. She ended up having a short stay in hospital at 30 weeks and sent her frantic husband home to root through the drawers for her essentials.

I believe the secret to success in having a baby and parenting is organisation, and this is something I'm actively trying to improve my skills on in preparation for becoming a new mum.

With that said, I wanted to share my own hospital bag and the essentials I'm bringing with me for the most important and exciting day of my life. From chatting to other mums who have gone before and doing extensive research online, here are the items I've decided to include:

What I packed for myself:

  • Maternity pads - normally come with 10 in a pack which should work depending on how long you stay
  • 1 maternity bra
  • 1 nursing bra for breastfeeding
  • 3 maternity nightdresses
  • Dressing gown (I went for a light cotton one as I'm giving birth in July so it shouldn't be too chilly)
  • Fluffy socks as your feet will get cold
  • Slippers
  • 2 large pairs of black cotton underwear per day, depending on length of stay. Disposable ones will also work
  • Flip flops for showering
  • Little bag for personal items 
  • Hair ties and clips for labour and breastfeeding
  • 2 dark towels
  • Toiletries: lip balm is a must (the last thing you want is dry lips when you're trying to push a baby out), toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, dry shampoo, cotton wool, face wash and some small make-up items if you choose to wear it
  • Breast pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Snacks
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Phone charger with long cable
  • Eye mask & earplugs
  • Handheld fan
  • Own pillow (with coloured pillow-case so the hospital doesn't think its theirs)
  • Going home outfit
  • Birthing equipment like a birthing ball or TENS machine if you plan on using it
  • Notepad & pen to take down any important information or tips from midwives
  • A folder for keeping certain documents safe, such as the birth registration
  • Sandwich bags (these can be used to separate out baby's outfits)

Hospital Bag for Baby Girl

I like to divide it into:

  • Baby's labour ward bag for when she is first born and the midwives or your birth partner will dress her. It's handy to have this separate and easy to put your hand on
  • Baby’s hospital bag for the duration of the stay in hospital

Baby labour ward bag:

  • Newborn nappy
  • Vest
  • Baby grow
  • Hat & mittens as they get cold

Baby hospital bag:

  • 6 vests
  • 6 baby grows
  • Muslin cloths
  • 2 hats
  • Cardigan
  • 1 pre-washed baby towel
  • 3 cellular blankets (one for underneath baby to lay her down on, one to swaddle her in and one draped over)
  • 2 cot sheets
  • A dummy/soother
  • 1 pack of newborn nappies
  • Cotton balls
  • Nappy cream
  • Baby wipes
  • Going home outfit
  • Car seat

Having your items and baby's items in two separate bags is a good idea and will save time spent looking for a specific item.

There's no cut and paste list - you won't necessarily need everything on this list or I might be missing things that are important to your birthing style. There are of course also going to be things that are personal to you that you just can't live without!

I hope you have found the tips I have learnt along the journey of my own preparation useful. I'm feeling pretty confident I've got everything I need so far, so fingers crossed! Best of luck to all the mummies-to-be on your exciting journey. It’s such a special time.