Hospital bag essentials: Real mums pick their ‘must have’ items


Hospital bag essentials are a hot topic among expectant mums- in fact, ‘what to pack in a hospital bag?’ is one of our most common questions in our Facebook group. So to help you out, we’ve collected helpful advice from other mums to put together a list o true must-haves for delivery day.

Hospital bag essentials: ‘Must have’ items

Remember to check with your hospital if they provide nappies, wipes, maternity pads, onesies or other essentials; it will vary depending on your hospital.

  • Body moisturiser and lip balm (dry shampoo if you’re a fan): Nasty hospital air-conditioning can wreak havoc on your skin and having a good moisturiser and lip balm will help you feel just a little more human in those first few challenging days.
  • Comfy clothes and PJs, maternity undies and a sleep bra: Use this opportunity to really spoil yourself and purchase one or two sets of really comfy pyjamas. You’ll need PJ’s that give ‘easy access’ to your boobs if you’re planning on breastfeeding. A sleep bra can support engorged breasts and of course a big, comfy pair of undies (some mums take a dozen!) are a necessity.
  • Large water bottle and snacks: Hospital cups are small. The last thing you’ll feel like doing is constantly getting up and down for a refill, especially if you’ve had a c-section. Pack a decent sized water bottle and you can thank me later! It’ll also come in handy at home when you’re breastfeeding, as you can get quite dehydrated.
  • Baby clothes: It’s time to make use of those gorgeous little outfits! Take a collection of your fave onesies to the ward.
  • Swaddle: While a nurse will help you wrap your baby, a swaddles can save you wrestling with a muslin at 3am and helps your bub get into a routine that you’ll continue at home. Some popular brands are Love to Dream, Halo Sleepsack Swaddles or Miracle Blankets, all appropriate choices for hospital bag essentials
  • General travel items: Slides, socks or thongs for the ward, phone charger and phone, hairbrush and toiletries
  • Nappies and wipes: If your hospital provides them, you still may want your own stash for those emergency moments!

Hospital bag essentials: Extra things that are nice to have

  • Pillows: For a better sleep, your own pillow from home; plus a breastfeeding pillow to feed ‘football style’ more easily
  • Cables: An extension cord will stop you hopping in and out of bed to charge your phone; and bring a cable and Bluetooth speakers to connect a laptop to the TV so you can watch movies or shows on the TV.
  • Extra underwear: Buy some black underwear a few sizes bigger than normal. Go for something high-waisted so it’s super comfy to wear with a pad in and if you had a C-section, they won’t dig in or irritate your scar.
  • Your own supply of tea bags and coffee, plus cup: You’ll have your relaxing cuppas on demand!
  • Book: Reading material for those long nights or when you can’t stare at a screen for one more moment (or the light of it is keeping bub awake!)
  • White noise machine: A white noise machine, app on your phone or portable radio to drown out hospital voices and buzzers!

And some more tips from North Shore Mums on things to take or do:

  • Right Aid gel pads for your boobs! Keep them in the fridge and then pop them on for instant relief!
  • Squeezy sauce bottle to fill with warm water and squeeze onto sore bits while urinating. It prevents the burn and cleans!
  • Use your phone or a notebook to write down things the midwife tells you – you’ll forget everything the second they leave
  • Incontinence underwear!! Best tip I ever got was to use the discreet or slim Tena lady underwear (or similar brand) instead of maternity pads the first couple of days. It just made it so much easier than dealing with big bulky pads. Very glam!
  • Dates/ prunes/ chia puddings/ anything that gets your bowel flowing
  • Disposable pull up “nappies” for yourself- seriously one of the most useful things suggested to me!
  • Get a big glass cup with a metal straw and lid for cold water to sip around the clock. Especially if you’re breastfeeding or holding bub skin to skin, you’ll be super thirsty and will want to be able to drink hands free.

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