Preparing for Birth: What to pack in your hospital bag

Usually around the beginning of your third trimester, you will need to start thinking about packing your bag for baby's birth. While it may feel a little early to be worrying about this now, it is better to be prepared rather than suffer from a mad panic while in labour! Also, in your final weeks of baby's gestation, you may not feel like heading out to the shops to get the last minute things you may need for yourself and your baby.

While we are talking about packing one bag, you will actually need to pack for two - yourself and your baby! And if your partner is planning to stay at the hospital too, they will need some essentials too. Whether you choose to pack everything in one suitcase or two smaller bags, it doesn't hurt to take a nappy bag as well so that you have a small bag for theatre if required. If you know in advance that you're having a caesarean, this usually means an extra night or two in hospital so make sure you've packed enough for an extended stay.

Baby Clothes

Packing for Mum


    • An old shirt or nightgown for labour
    • Comfy undies (think big and loose and pack a few extra)
    • Warm socks
    • Maternity/nursing bras (grab a nice stretchy one, as once your milk comes in, you will need one that has a bit of room to grow!)
    • Pyjamas or a nightgown (ensure these can open at the front if you plan to breastfeed)
    • A dressing gown and slippers
    • Casual clothes (choose tops that make it easy to breastfeed). Most people are not able to wear their pre-pregnancy clothes for a while so take maternity or loose fitting clothes.
    • Clothing for the trip home—make sure you select items that are roomy and comfortable.


    • Maternity Pads
    • Breast pads and nipple cream
    • Hair ties if you have long hair
    • Lip Balm as the hospital often dries out your skin
    • A toiletry bag including your usual skin care and light makeup. Also include a Hand cream (you will need this after all the hand washing).
    • Glasses or contact lenses if required

    Documents and Paperwork

    • Hospital Paperwork
    • Medicare Card
    • Private Health Insurance details (if you're using a private hospital)
    • Your Birth Plan (if you have one)

    Other necessities

    • Camera and charger
    • Phone charger
    • Snacks and drinks for the labour
    • Things to help you relax including books or magazines, music, essential oils
    • Plastic bag to put all your dirty clothes in
    • Tens machine
    • Your own pillow or Big Flopsy to help you stay comfortable

    Nappy Bag San Francisco

    Packing for Baby


    • All in one growsuits (pack at least two per day). Consider the size you pack - while most babies wear newborn size (0000), if you know your baby is going to be small, they may need preemie size (00000) or alternatively, if your baby is tracking on the larger size, they may wear 0-3 month (000) size from when they are born. 
    • Singlets (pack at least two per day) for wearing underneath their grow suit.
    • Socks or booties
    • Mittens
    • A hat
    • A jacket or cardigan for the trip home

    Other things

    • An infant car seat. (Many hospitals won't let you leave by car without checking you have one)
    • A baby blanket
    • Nappies, wipes and bags for solied nappies. (Check if your hospital will supply these while you are there or not). Allow for 10 nappies per day that you will be in hospital.
    • Muslin squares for
    • Some parents choose to bring gifts for older siblings.
    • Of course you should also pack your Cocoonababy nest for the hospital if you are planning to use it from birth.

    Sydney Nappy Bag

    It is a good idea to check with your hospital if there is anything in particular they recommend that you bring as well. Is there anything different that you packed in your hospital bag? 

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