Hospital Bag Checklist | Emma's Diary India

Pregnancy By Weeks



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What to put in your hospital bag

Hospital Bag Checklist

A useful checklist of items to pack for yourself and your newborn baby

There’s no telling when your baby will arrive' it could be any time from up to a week or two before your due date, to over a week after it. Having your bags packed at 37 weeks will mean that you’ll be ready whenever your baby does decide to put in an appearance.

Ideally you should have a labour bag containing items you’ll need during labour and birth, along with a bag for after the birth with your baby’s things and your going-home clothes in it.

Your birth partner may want some personal items as well, in which case he or she may want their own holdall.

If you are having a home birth it’s still a good idea to have your bags prepared so that everything is ready and in one place. It also means that should you have to go into hospital at the last minute, no one will need to rush around trying to gather together the things you want to take with you.

It is also worth remembering that any bags you take into the maternity unit will need to be carried, so having your things divided into separate bags means that your birth partner doesn't have to carry everything at the same time.

The things you’ll need after the birth can be brought in later, or if you are driving to the hospital, left in the car until it is needed.

If you are having a hospital birth, you may be able to take in some items from home such as pillows and your duvet, which will make you more comfortable and help to make the environment more familiar.

However, do check the hospital’s policy about this first as space may be a problem and there could be limits on what they allow you to bring from home.

Your labour bag checklist


  • Birth preferences plan and maternity notes
  • Several nightdresses or t-shirts – choose old ones as they are likely to get messy during labour
  • Slippers – for when you are walking around
  • Socks – to keep your feet warm during labour
  • A lightweight dressing gown – a dark colour will hide any stains
  • Lip balm – to soothe your lips, which are likely to become dry
  • Water spray or sponge – to help keep you cool
  • Snacks and isotonic drinks – to keep your energy levels up
  • Maternity pads – useful for when your waters break

You may also want:

  • Oil or lotion - if you want to be massaged
  • Birth ball – this can be a useful aid during labour
  • TENS machine – if you are using one for pain relief
  • Music – some favourite tunes can be soothing
  • Hair clips and a brush – to tie your hair back
  • Book, magazine or a tablet – to help pass the time
  • Tissues or wet wipes
  • Your mobile
  • A list of important phone numbers in case the phone runs out of battery

Birth partner’s bag checklist

  • Clothes – to change into once the baby is born
  • Mobile phone – useful for timing contractions as well as for letting people know the baby has arrived. Make sure it’s fully charged – you may not be allowed to charge it in the hospital
  • Camera – fully charged so none of those special moments are missed
  • Snacks and drinks - so there's no need to leave yourwife if refreshment is required
  • Cash and credit card, for hospital payments or for any other purchases

After the birth bag checklist

For you:

  • Going-home clothes ­– a loose, comfortable outfit, remembering that your tummy won’t have gone down yet.
  • A dupatta, scarf or shawl to cover yourself during breastfeeding
  • Nursing bras –two or three
  • Breast pads – to mop up any leaks
  • Maternity pads – at least two packs
  • Disposable pants – or old cotton ones that you’re happy to throw away later
  • Open-fronted nightie – suitable for breastfeeding
  • Toiletries – wash things, toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant
  • Plastic bags – to put dirty clothes into

For your baby:

  • Baby clothes – vests, sleep suits, cardigans – at least three of each – and a hat and mittens plus an all-in-one snow suit if it’s cold
  • Muslins or bibs – useful for mopping up
  • Nappies, baby toiletries and cotton wool
  • Baby blanket or shawl – for when you go home
  • Baby car seat – if you are driving home after the birth. Practise putting a teddy into the seat and fitting it in the car before you have your baby

Now that you know what you need, why not check out our buyers guide section to help you decide what to buy ahead of the baby's arrival.

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