Hospital Bag Essentials

Packing your hospital bag is such an exciting part of getting ready for your new arrival, however, many first-time parents are unsure of what they actually need.

We asked the mums (and dads) on the MORI team for their hospital bag checklist of the essentials that mums, new babies and birth partners need so you can feel more prepared, organised & relaxed. 


We also suggest packing two bags - one for labour and one for your postnatal stay-this means that when you’re moving from the car to the birthing room (often in a hurry and/or in pain) your partner only needs to grab the labour bag and can collect the other one later when you need it.

Pre-labour must-haves for mums

  • Bags to organise and separate everything inside your hospital bag, you could use a label maker too!

  • An aromatherapy face & body spray to provide hydration and relaxation.

  • A birthing playlist, speaker and headphones. Our head of creative Rachel put hers together over the last few months of pregnancy whilst taking relaxing baths to bring a sense of zen to her labour - and it worked! The mix of headphones (to focus through the pain) and speakers for active labour also helped her a lot.

  • Flip flops and/or slippers for the hospital - useful to have footwear that can be quickly taken off for walking around and toilet breaks. 

  • Eye mask (worth bringing even for a 30-minute nap).

  • Lip balm, as they can often become very dry.

  • Tens machine - lots of our MORI mamas have described this as a ‘lifesaver’ for the pain in the early stages of labour.

  • A water bottle with a straw is helpful for quick and regular drinking.

  • All the snacks - you don’t know how long you’ll be there or what you’ll fancy so a range of cereal bars, chocolate, crisps,  sweets, sugary drinks and if you have time make a sandwich!
Download hospital bag checklist PDF

Post-labour must-haves for mums

  • A fresh bra - it’s so nice to freshen up after with a new bra, especially if breastfeeding. 

  • Disposable pants - these ‘giant adult nappies’ are so comfortable and take away any fear of leaking. 

  • A soft nightdress - hospitals can be very warm so it’s good to have something floaty and soft on in bed. A buttoned one is a bonus to pull it down if you choose to breastfeed. 

  • Extra comfy button-down PJs - treat yourself to a new pair for that extra special touch once you’ve given birth and had your first shower.

  • Phone chargers with extra long cables, often the plug sockets are behind the bed so the longer cable means you can be on your phone while in bed.

  • A hand towel is useful to have with you when you’re in hospital for multiple reasons. Firstly to save you from using hospital towels or paper towels every time (they are not always available at the time you need them). They also serve another purpose like wiping your hands or face after eating and drinking. The towel could also be folded and used for support if you are in pain.

  • Hairbrush & hair ties - you don’t know how good it feels just to brush your hair and tie it up to make you feel better.

  • A pen is handy to have for filling out menu choices if you’re in hospital for a while and also for the baby feeding chart.

Essentials for your baby

  • Different-sized sleepsuits - as you just don't know what the size of your baby will be.

  • An indoor cotton hat

  • A few different sizes of muslins - big and small.

  • A going home outfit. This could be a sleepsuit that you layer up with a blanket.

  • A Cellular Blanket - they are breathable and will keep them cosy in the cot or in the car seat when you leave.

  • Nappies! And cotton wool to avoid using wipes to change baby’s nappy. Cotton wool and water is chemical-free and gentler on a baby’s delicate skin. We think the pads are better than the balls, as the balls often got stuck on their skin.

Must-haves for your birthing partner

  • Their favourite snacks and energy drinks. They are there for a long time as well and will need fuel to keep them going pre, during and after birth. If your partner likes coffee, a cold coffee can is refreshing.

  • A lightweight, comfortable t-shirt. As hospitals are usually very warm, especially in the labour and post-natal wards, the birthing partner may want to consider wearing shorts. 

  • An extra phone charger.

  • A change of clothes and a blanket in case they need to stay overnight.

Extra tips & advice

I took a notepad and loved having that to hand for after labour to write notes such as the baby's birth weight and the song they were born to. I also used it to write down possible names as we were unsure what name we wanted. It's now a keepsake page.
- Rachel, Creative Manager and Mum to two-year-old, Nico

I left my jewellery at home (wedding ring, earrings etc) as I didn’t want to hurt the baby. - Arzu, Sourcing & Production Consultant and Mum to eleven-year-old, Su

Use zip-lock bags and label them so your partner can grab what you need quickly and easily. I had a ‘newborn’ set consisting of a bodysuit, sleepsuit and hat then the same in another bag for ‘0-3’ months in case she was a little bigger than I expected! Also, let your partner pack the hospital bag, they are the ones that will be getting stuff out of it for you and the baby.
- Rachel, Brand Manager and Mum to one-year-old, Ella

A diffuser for a calming atmosphere. Or anything that will help your partner be as calm and relaxed as possible. Even though you’ll probably feel like you're packing for a two-week holiday, and you won’t use half the stuff, it’s better to have more than less!
- Chirag, Finance Director and Dad to two-year-old, Aayana

Pack a zip sleepsuit to help make changing your newborn baby easy and comfortable. Adding a few Clever Zip Sleepsuits with a two-way zip, concealed for safety, to our hospital bag list was absolutely a no-brainer.
- Onos, SEO Specialist and first-time Dad to Ainose Sana

I had a bag for my bits and another for my baby. We also put all the snacks and drinks in a shopper bag so it was easier to find everything.
- Emma, Senior Retention Manager and first-time Mum to Matilda

We hope this has been helpful and you feel more prepared for the arrival of your little one. But still, don’t worry too much if you forget something. Often, the place you give birth isn’t actually that far from home and this is a time when those around you are only too happy to help & can bring along anything you’ve forgotten or decide you want.

For more tips and advice when preparing for your little one’s arrival, join our community on our social channels: Instagram, our MORI Mamas private Facebook group and TikTok.

Download hospital bag checklist PDF
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