Pregnancy Diaries: Packing Your Hospital Bag

Ok straight down to business, this is one we all need, even if you’ve packed your bag already, even if you’ve done it all before, it is nice to have a checklist to work off. With Anabelle Ivy would you believe I wrote and published a blog post on packing your bag THE DAY BEFORE she was born but in reality I had never actually finished my own bag!!! I was 36 weeks, let that be a lesson. I am more prepared this time, as I have mentioned a gazillion times before, due to health issues baby could come any time from now (I am 35 weeks now) but the hope and dream goal for me is to get to 37.5 weeks if possible.

I will be having a c-section birth because of health complications and as a result it is likely I will be in hospital 4/5 nights so keep that in mind with my hospital bag, you may think I have a lot of stuff (which I do) but from the last time, and being kept in so long, I did need a fair bit. Actually I still could do with more baby gros –  can never have enough baby gros!! Some of you may only be in 2/3 nights, all depends. I like to be prepared though.

I have two separate bags – This is important I think, it’s easier to segregate your bits and baby’s bits. They don’t have to be big bags, but spread across two makes life easier. For my bag, I am using a large weekend/ holdall type bag, it is a cloth bag (I can fit more in that way) I bought mine in Mothercare when I was pregnant with Anabelle Ivy and it’s ideal.

You will pick up a good size weekend bag in Dunnes, Penneys, Heatons, ASOS or lots of the high street shops like River Island have gorgeous luggage collections now. Cath Kidson also have some cute options like this one above.

What I’ve Packed in My Bag

  • Nightdresses/ Pyjamas – I have quite a few in, most likely will only wear night dress and not jammies (i.e. pj bottoms) with c-section it is hard, to bend so I think over the head nightie, from memory, was best, I nice to to feel fresh and have nice new jammies plus I won’t be dressing so it’s my nod to trying to feel like ‘me’. I have two sets from Me Mamma Be (nightdress with matching robe – see those here) . Then I have a lovely night dress from Elora Maternity – which I can wear with one of the robes from the above sets. See the selection Elora Maternity have hereOther good places for maternity nightwear is ASOS, New Look, Penneys and Topshop. 
  • Dressing gown/ robe (see above point, have two packed to match nighties I got from Me Mamma Be) 
  • Slippers. I picked up those fluffy slipper socks from Penneys. Any slippers will do – Penneys/ Dunnes have great options 
  • Warm/ fluffy socks (Got in Dunnes – but prob won’t use as I have those slipper socks now) 
  •  Underwear/ briefs x 5 (think giant granny pants – I mean huge…trust me. I got some from H&M and New Look, post-section you need ones that go really high up over the wound. Look out for really soft cotton, proper full size briefs) 
  • Nursing bras (I got from H&M – New Look, ASOS also do them) 
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Mini bottles of shampoo/ conditioner/ body wash
  • Body Moisturiser 
  •  Face wipes & mini cleanser, toner & moisturiser ( I have a spritz toner packed which is really refreshing) 
  • Deodorant (opt for non fragranced roll on preferably) 
  • Maternity pads – Don’t question them, yes they are huge, just TRUST ME you need them and loads of them. I bought the Boots brand ones.
  • Hand cream
  • Lip Balm
  • Breast pads and nipple shields (breast feeding mothers) 
  • Some make up (tinted moisturiser, bronzer, blusher and mascara and clear lip gloss- if I feel up to it) 
  •  Dry shampoo (I use Batiste Brunette)
  • Hairbrush, hair clasp to tie it up totally & hair bobbles
  • Bath/ shower towel (dark colours) 
  • Flip flops (I wished I had these last time. Bought a pair this time in Penneys) 
  •  Snacks – for labour. (For me, for my type one diabetes)
  • Lucozade and sugary sweets – this is for my type one diabetes treatment mainly, in case of hypoglycaemia BUT no harm having a sugar kick on stand by even for non diabetics!!) 
  • Phone charger
  • Ear phones
  • My medical chart – I am with Holles street and they have recently moved to an online patient record system but as this is my second baby and I have a history/ chart with them (And a long term medical condition) I have been asked to bring along to the birth (asK your midwife if you are a patient in Holles street) 
  • Birth plan if you have one 
  • Any medication – For example I have to bring all my own diabetes supplies etc 
  • Separately in a very small bag, which will be left in hubby’s car I have an outfit to wear home – ( I packed a huge hoody, leggings, a maternity t-shirt ad converse. COMFORT IS KEY) 
  • Present for Anabelle from new baby (can live in the car until you know the day your elder child (children) are coming in to see you) 
  • Car seat and car seat base fitted in the car you ill be going home in 

What I’ve Packed for Baby 

Baby’s bag can be much smaller. Their wee bits take up such little space. I found it hard to know this time what size to buy in terms of baby gros – Our baby may be early so he/she may be very small, I ended up getting a mix of ‘up to one month size’ and some ‘0-3 months’ size. Truth is, your hubby/ partner/ mother/ friend can easily nip to the shops and buy you more once baba has arrived so don’t worry too much. You may know the gender and want to buy specific to the gender or you may just want neutral ones.

  • Babygros x 5 (I bought some from Marks & Spencer and some from Jojo Maman Bebe and a pack from Penneys)
  • Vests x 5 (short sleeved) I got from Next and Penneys
  • Cardigan/ Jacket (I got from Next)
  • Mittens (I got a 3 pack in Marks and Spencer, but actually most babygros have little fold down mittens on them now)
  • Hats x 2
  • Socks (I just packed two pairs, not necessarily needed if babygros have feet in)
  • Cellular blankets x 2 (Can never have enough of these, small size are good for newborn)
  • Fluffy/ soft blanket x 1
  • Swaddling sheets
  • Organic cotton balls (and water wipes, but usually they advise you to use water and a cotton ball in those early few days)
  • First size nappies (I got pampers)
  • Baby towel
  • Muslin clothes x 2 (again, can never have enough of these)
  • Bibs
  • Teddy (I have bought a tiny one for baba)
  • ‘Going home’ outfit. Some people are big into this. Me, not so much, babygro and a cardigan is perfect. But if you want to get a ‘special outfit’ for leaving day then thats a nice idea too.
  • It is a great idea to pack baby’S 1st outfit into little freezer bag or a zip lock bag – and mark it “Day 1′ (or delivery outfit) – I was rushed in with Anabelle and was in recovery for hours and hours alone afterwards without Anabelle, so poor Cormac was left to fend for himself with her and off course, he just put on the first babygro he could find on her, I have one earmarked for new baba so I have put that aside in a bag and marked for Cormac’s attention 🙂

I think that’s it, I know I have most likely left something of this list so I will keep updating it as I think of things. Feel free to leave comments below on what you have packed and found invaluable –  let’s help each other out 🙂

I hope you have found this useful. If you are due soon, like me, all my love and best wishes. YOU WILL BE GREAT.



Naomi xxx

Naomi Clarke is the owner and creator of The Style Fairy. Naomi, a qualified fashion stylist and personal shopper has over 12 years experience in fashion, personal shopping, blogging, styling and PR both in Ireland and abroad. Having spent 2 years working in the fashion industry in Sydney and then in Singapore, Naomi relocated back to Dublin to set up her own business in 2013 and so began The Style Fairy.

  • Rose


    Great list, thanks Naomi. I’m 32 weeks now so time for me to get packing! My hubby even wants his own bag for the hospital

    15th May 2018
  • Andrea


    This is great as I am also having an elective c-section due to health complications. I have packed a hair turban , bought in boots brand was Soap & Glory to save space on an additional towel and I’ve got an Evian facial Spritzer too for the heat of the rooms I’m Holles Street. I’ve also packed the hand sanitizer- no germs for this baba!

    15th May 2018
  • Maire Collins


    Sounds like you’ve thought of everything! I loved packing my hospital bag, so exciting x

    16th May 2018
  • Suzanne


    Hi , great post it’s just what I needed I’m just wondering a lot of people have told me to take arnica tablets a few weeks before I give birth to help with bruising and to help recovery quicker after a section. Do you have any recommendations on this? Thanks

    16th May 2018
  • Cathriona


    I brought in a breast feeding pillow when i was booked for section 14 wks ago now. So handy for feeding and also makes sleeping alot more comfy!

    16th May 2018
  • Joanne mcguinness


    Best of luck Naomi. I hope all goes well and not too soon. Ps your new house looks fabulous xx

    16th May 2018
  • Patricia


    31 weeks, second baby, and have to have another section so this is hugely helpful…must start getting organised!! Best of luck

    16th May 2018
  • Yvonne O'Neill


    Hi Naomi. I also have vit D drops packed for babs.

    16th May 2018
  • Kiera Ross


    This is a great help, thank you. I’m 21 weeks on 1st baby & have just started picking up some of those ‘hospital bag’ bits.

    16th May 2018
  • Louise


    Nipple cream, arnica & an eye mask just in case you manage to get some kip

    16th May 2018
  • Aine


    Thanks for the post-going to pack my bag soon. I used Arnica tablets from the health shop the last time and will use again. Great for healing. Best of luck to you

    16th May 2018
  • I agree with PP sounds like you have it all sorted. Make sure it’s slip on slippers , as you don’t want to bend down ouch! I got big pants from primark lol. Make sure you many get a couple sizes up due to the fluid you hold with the section. I would maybe have more baby gros, and vests on standby maybe for . My section babies had a lot of mucus and was sick a lot!! Make sure you have your hospital bed and bubs cot at a comfortable height for you to lift out. Also your hospital bag easy to reach from your bed so you don’t have to stretch and move much especially day 2. Hope this helps Good Luck xx

    17th May 2018
  • Laura


    Great article, Naomi! Actually, there’s a brilliant Irish business called Ulluv ( where I bought a really lovely set of pretty matching bags, and split my stuff across both bags as you suggest :-). They were perfect size, all the midwives commented on them and I have used them a couple of times since for weekends away. And it’s nice to support an Irish business too!!

    19th May 2018