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Hospital bag checklist: stylish pregnancy bags and what to pack


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You might be months or even weeks away from the most exciting time of your life – the arrival of your little one! Either way, it’s never too early to start getting your maternity hospital bag ready. If you’re a First Time Mum (FTM), it can be a bit overwhelming knowing what to take with you. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with these stylish maternity hospital bags. The good thing about hospital bags out there is they can also double as nappy bags.

Now let’s talk what to pack.

My first piece of advice is to pack a bag for you and your support person/partner and one separate one for baby. Separating items in each bag in clearly labelled zipper bags was a lifesaver! I highly recommend this. Another thing to consider is the length of your stay. Depending on whether you plan on being in hospital for 48 hours or a few days, you’ll need to adjust the quantities below. In any case, it’s better to be overprepared than underprepared when it comes to what to pack in your hospital bag.

+ Net Sustain Main Line Duffel Vegan Leather-Trimmed Canvas Weekend Bag Tan

+ Net Sustain Main Line Duffel Vegan Leather-Trimmed Canvas Weekend Bag Tan

Hospital bag essentials

For baby

The below is the minimum requirement for your hospital stay. If you’re staying in hospital for longer, double or even triple this amount for your needs.

  • 3 x zip sleepsuits
  • 3 x singlets
  • 1x beanie
  • 1 x pair of socks
  • 2-3 x swaddles: muslin wraps are great options to swaddle bub
  • 1 x thick blanket
  • 1 x pack of nappies: size 1 (should be at least 15 in here)
  • 1 x pack of wipes: water wipes are a great option for newborns
  • Finally, 1 x dressy outfit for coming home
The Organic Canvas Weekender Cappuccino
Credit: Everlane

The Organic Canvas Weekender Cappuccino

For mum


  • ID such as your drivers license
  • Your birth plan (if applicable)
  • Your personal obstetric record
  • Current x-rays, scans, and pathology results 
  • Any medications you currently use 
  • Medicare card 
  • Private health insurance cards 
  • Blood group card (if you have one) 
  • Cash or card to cover any possible out-of-pocket expenses 
  • Finally, any eligible pharmacy or government entitlement discount cards, e.g. your Medicare safety-net card.

Toiletries bag:

Most items should be travel size.

  • 1x shampoo
  • 1x conditioner
  • 1x body/facewash
  • 1x deodorant
  • 1x toothpaste and toothbrush
  • 1x lip balm
  • 1x nipple balm
  • 1x pack of breast pads: you can take disposable or reusable breast pads.
  • 1x pack of maternity pads: preferably without wings as we don’t want to risk having anything sticky close to our sensitive V zone. You could also get disposable postpartum underwear just for hospital use. We love these Modibody Postpartum Control Briefs with moderate to heavy absorbency from Modibody. Postpartum bleeding or “lochia” is completely normal after a giving birth.
  • 1x massage oil (in case you need a massage during labour)
  • Hair brush and hair tie


  • 2 x sets of comfy clothes, such as pyjamas, sweatpants, oversize t-shirts, a robe or dressing gown. Opt for comfortable, loose fitting casual clothes. We suggest tops and nightwear that open in the front for easy breastfeeding access.
  • 1 x jumper to keep you warm
  • 1 x going home outfit: One of your comfy pregnancy dresses and a pair of sandals or sneakers would do the trick. Otherwise a comfortable pair of trackies and top for max comfort.
  • 4 x postpartum underwear: In case you decide to bring pads, instead of disposable underwear. I wouldn’t recommend to bring pregnancy underwear as they tend to be quite low and it can go right up against your scar.
  • 2 x breastfeeding bras if you plan on breastfeeding
  • 2 x pairs of socks
  • 1 x pair of slippers
  • 1 x laundry bag for dirty clothes


  • Snacks! You will be surprised how hungry you get during your time in hospital. Energy boosting snacks are recommended for labour such as nuts, dried fruit and muesli bars.
  • Chewing gum: hospitals can be a dry environment. Sugared sweets may make you more thirsty so chewing gum is a better option.
  • Water bottle: a straw water bottle is perfect for drinking while laying down or in any position.
  • Phone and charger – you want to be able to capture some photos of your little one. Make sure you ask your partner to get some of you too!
Multipocket Canvas Tote Bag Black
Credit: Arket

Multipocket Canvas Tote Bag Black

For dad/partner

  • Toiletries
  • 1x change of clothes
  • 1x blanket
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Phone and charger

Packing the right items in your hospital bag can greatly impact the comfort and tranquility of both parents during your hospital stay. Whether you’re there for a short time or a longer stretch, it’s essential to plan and prepare well in advance.

Maternity bag Sand
Credit: Mango

Maternity bag Sand

More FAQs about maternity hospital bags

What week is best to pack hospital bag?

The earlier, the better! A good time to start packing your hospital bag is from around 30 weeks so you can buy everything without rushing. I’d recommend having your bag ready at 32 weeks in case your baby comes earlier than expected. I would also recommend leaving the bag right next to the front door when ready.

What kind of bag is best for hospital bag?

A nice overnight bag would be spacious enough and easy to carry for baby’s essentials, however you can also use a small suitcase.

Can I use a suitcase as my hospital bag?

Yes, yes, yes! This is a great idea as you could put baby’s bag on top of the suitcase and wheel it away. We recommend taking a piece of hand luggage on wheels for ease of movement.

How many nappies should you take to hospital?

At least 15 nappies for an overnight stay. In case you need to stay longer, the hospital can provide you with some more, or your partner or a family member can get you some.

How many outfits does a newborn need at the hospital?

Some mamas prefer to keep their babies swaddled throughout their stay. Others may take the opportunity to dress up their little one in cute outfits. If this sounds like you, take up to six growsuits with you.

Should I buy newborn clothes or 0-3 months?

Buy baby items in the 0-3 month size range as newborn sizes can be outgrown quickly. Avoid buying clothes that are too large – particularly sleepwear – as these may pose a suffocation risk. If you do buy newborn clothes, just bear in mind your little one will outgrow these in about 4-6 weeks.

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Maternity Editor and first time mama with lots of experience and tips. Lives life to the fullest! South American by nature, based in Melbourne Australia. Mum to Mila, my life and soul.