Hospital Bag Essentials template test

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 mums, new babies and their birth partner needs 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 later when you need it.
  • Already have a list in mind? Explore our comprehensive collection of Hospital bag Essentials.

Pre-labour must-haves for mums

Cool it Mama spray

I used this as a face spray to relax leading up to the labour and then it was amazing to have as I went into labour. The smell reminded me of all the breathing practices I had done and fully relaxed me.

My birthing playlist, speaker and headphones! I created this playlist over the last few months of pregnancy when I would take relaxing baths. As you can see I was quite into the idea of being zen for labour and I truly believe it worked. The songs really relaxed me and I remember the song my little one was born to which is also so special to me. I used a mixture of headphones (for me to close my eyes and focus through the pain before it was time to push) and then the speaker when I was in active labour.

Flip flops and/or slippers for the hospital - was great to have footwear I could quickly take off but also use for toilet breaks, walking around like a mad woman etc! Eye mask (worth bringing even for a 30-minute nap).

Tens machine! This was a total lifesaver for the pain in the first stages of labour, I didn’t realise how much it was helping until I took it off momentarily!

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! We had a whole rucksack dedicated to snacks so I could decide what I fancied at the moment.

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Post-labour must-haves for mums

A fresh bra - I birthed in just a bra and it was so nice to freshen up with a new bra which was perfect for breastfeeding.

Tena lady pants - I loved this so much more than I ever thought I would and had all the options with me from disposable pants and pads to nice cotton knickers too as the advice had been so different on what people preferred but I just found the giant adult nappies so comfy and I just loved that you felt really refreshed every time you changed and had no leak problems.

Big black cotton pants! Ones that cover your entire tummy and feel comfy. M&S are great for these as they are 100% cotton.

Extra comfy button-down pjs - I treated myself to some new ones as I wanted that feel-good moment for after birth and I loved putting them on after my shower.

Or depending on the time of year, a soft nightdress - it was Summer and it was nice to have something floaty and soft on in bed that you could just pull down for breastfeeding.

Maternity Dressing Gown for an extra layer.

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

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.

bbhugme Biofoam® Pregnancy Pillow

Maternity & Nursing Pyjamas

Essentials for your baby

Different-sized sleepsuits - ours were too big and we needed premature size. You just don't know what the size of your baby will be.

An indoor cotton hat.

Short Sleeve Kimono Bodysuit and/or Long Sleeve Kimono Bodysuit (depending on the time of year) - my little one was so small I was scared of moving her so being able to lay her in this bodysuit and wrap it around her rather than pull one over her head made me feel more comfortable dressing her.

A few different sizes of muslins - big and small.

A going home outfit. This could be a sleepsuit with a blanket in the winter, or a short-sleeved sleepsuit during the summer.

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


Newborn Swaddle Bag

Starter Set

Must-haves for your birthing partner

Their favourite snacks - they are there for a long time also 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.

An extra phone charger.

A change of clothes 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 needed clarification on what name we wanted. It's now a keepsake page. 

Rachel, Creative Manager

I left my jewellery at home (wedding ring, earrings etc) as I didn’t want to hurt the baby.

Arzu, Sourcing & Production Consultant

Use zip lock bags and label them so your partner can grab a set quickly and easily. 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

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 won’t use half the stuff, it’s better to have more than less!

Chirag, Head of Finance

Pack a zip sleepsuit for your D-day. This will help to change your newborn baby easily and comfortably. Adding a few Clever-zip sleepsuits with a two-way zip concealed for safety to our hospital bag list was a no-brainer.

Onos, first-time Dad

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 a time when those around you are only too happy to help & can bring along anything you’ve forgotten or decide you want.

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