What to pack for hospital when having a baby

The list is completely flexible but here are some ideas.  You may want to have a smaller bag packed with essentials and other items set aside at home so your partner or family can bring it in if needed. And if you take nothing because things happen slightly differently to planned, then that is ok, the hospital will have what you need until the rest can be brought in to you from home, and really, the main agenda is to give birth!


  • You
  • Medicare card, private health insurance card (if you have private insurance) and any hospital paperwork you need such as the hospital/midwife card/book

Good to have (but ok if brought in later)

  • Your birth plan (and yes, you may not follow it, but still bring it along)
  • Non-slip socks
  • Big t-shirt or night-gown, including one that you don’t mind if it doesn’t come home with you
  • Dressing gown
  • 2 wireless maternity bras
  • Nursing pads
  • Lip balm (air conditioning is drying)
  • Toiletries and personal items — hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face wash, shampoo & conditioner, moisturiser, contact lens case and solution (remember, travel-sized products are your friends)
  • Eyeglasses or contacts
  • Headband, hair elastics, scrunchies; avoid bobby pins and clips
  • Food – easy to eat or drink snacks (finger food, smoothies, labour-aide)
  • Water bottle
  • Pen and paper or notebook (you may have questions and it is good to write them down so you don’t forget and you may want to jot down a few thoughts)
  • Ear plugs, especially in shared wards
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Phone numbers of people you may want to call or text after the birth
  • Camera, extra memory card, battery or charger
  • Approved car seat
  • Clothes to wear home
  • Baby clothes and nappies; singlets, sleepsuit, socks, wraps/blanket
  • Comfortable going-home clothes and flat shoes
  • A few pairs of loose-ish maternity underwear (hospital has disposable undies which may be enough; be aware that your own may get pretty soiled)
  • Slippers or slip-on sneakers, thongs
  • MP3 with a mix of relaxation music and visualisations and your favourite music
  • Cardi or zipped sweatshirt or hoodie or bed jacket
  • Baby wipes


  • Favourite pillow (knowing it may get soiled)
  • Hairdryer
  • Maternity sanitary pads (or use the hospital’s)
  • Very light reading (think mags and newspapers, not War and Peace)


  • Expensive, fancy silk nightwear and underwear
  • Jewellery (except a plain ring – leave diamonds and extras at home)
  • Wads of cash

Your partner or support person may want a bag with a change of clothes and toiletries as well


Categories: Holistic health, Women's health & fertility

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