Packed hospital bag

What to put into your hospital bag when expecting

Influencer, and mum-to-be, Hannah Gilbert tells us her labour bag checklist...

What to put into your hospital bag when expecting

Packing your hospital bag can be quite a daunting task, and there’s no guarantee as to when your baby will arrive. That’s why we’ve teamed up with mum-to-be and influencer Hannah Gilbert to talk through your labour bag checklist.

Hannah tells us: I know when I had my first baby, I was pretty clueless about what I would need or actually use. The panic about if I had enough vests or big knickers was definitely real. That was paired with the anxiety that I had overpacked and actually looked like I was going away for a two week holiday!

There’s no winning. So my first tip is to take as much or as little as you feel comfortable with. There is no right or wrong.

This second time round, I feel a bit more experienced and thought I would share with you what I’m packing in my hospital bag. So, let’s start with what I’m packing for the baby. We don’t know what gender we’re having, so I’ve opted for everything in neutral colours.

Essentials for baby


  • Vests: I packed a selection of vests. About four short-sleeved and two long-sleeved. It’s nice to have a little variation in size, especially if it’s your first baby and you don’t know how big they are going to be. I’ve packed a mixture of first size and 0-3months.

  • Sleepsuits: I've packed 4 of these in the first size. If you know you’re having a smaller baby George do an up to 6lbs size range.

  • Muslins x 2: muslins have so many uses, which I’m sure you’ll soon discover. They are perfect for burping, swaddling or even as a cover-up when feeding.

  • A blanket is a must! 

  • little hat and scratch mitts will come in handy.

  • A cardigan to keep them warm and snug.

  • A car seat, of course!

  • Nappies: I would take one pack, you never know how long you’re going to be in there for and one thing I learnt very quickly is not to underestimate how many nappies a newborn can get through.

  • Wipes and cotton wool: baby's bums are really delicate and my midwife recommended using cotton wool and water rather than wipes at first. I will be packing some Water Wipes too though as they are really practical.

Now onto what’s in my hospital bag…

Firstly, you'll need a bag that will fit everything in. Here’s what I will be taking in mine:


  • Your maternity notes!

  • What you’ll wear during labour and to the hospital. I’ve gone for a vest top and leggings. Don't forget a bikini top if you’re having a water birth. 

  • Pyjamas: you’re going to want to be comfortable after giving birth. I would recommend bringing a backup pair of pyjamas too – maybe a nightie – because giving birth can be quite messy. Nighties are great if you’ve had a C-section as there is no trouser band.

  • Socks or slippers: just so you don’t have to walk around in bare feet.

  • Nursing bras: these are fab because they don’t have an underwire and you can easily unclip the strap for easy and quick access to your breast.

  • Breast pads: normally my milk doesn’t come out until about day three so hopefully you’ll be home from the hospital by then, but it’s just handy to have just in case!

  • Nipple cream

  • Big knickers (preferably dark): I say big because a) you want to be comfy and b) have you seen the size of maternity pads?

  • Maternity pads 

  • Going home outfit: something comfy and loose. You’ll still look and feel 7 months pregnant.

  • Water bottle with a straw: labour is thirsty work and if you have a straw it means someone can hold the bottle for you whilst you sip.

  • Toiletries: I recommend buying the mini travel-size toiletries.

  • Toothpaste and toothbrush

  • Body wash, shampoo and conditioner: if you’re in for a couple of days you’re probably going to want to have a shower.

  • Dry shampoo

  • Hairbrush and hairbands

  • Lip balm

  • Make-up wipes

  • Moisturiser

  • Make-up (if you want): I normally bring some tinted moisturiser and concealer and a bit of blush.

Few extras, but not essentials:

  • Phone charger

  • Headphones

  • Camera 

  • Snacks and drink: preferably an energy drink like Lucozade Sport to keep your energy levels up. I munched my way through a lot of snacks last time too.

  • A laundry bag for all your dirty clothing

Like I said before, everyone classes different things essential. So if you want to take that lavender pillow spray or even better, your own pillow, do it! Whatever makes you feel more relaxed and comfortable. 

Wishing you all the best for the birth of your baby, 

All my love, 

Hannah x


Need to stock up on some essentials for your labour bag? Head over to George now!