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What Was in My Hospital Bag for Having a Baby

Something totally different from me today. I loved reading posts of this type when I was pregnant, I guess it was partly the nosey side of me that wanted to know what people bought to hospital with them for having a baby and partly the practical side of me unsure what to take myself. Anyway, with that in mind I thought I’d give a little insight into what I bought to hospital with me when I had Oscar and what I actually used and what I didn’t.

Firstly I just want to say, we stayed in the hospital for four days and we way over packed. My S and I bought a suitcase each (yes an actual suitcase!) plus an over night bag for baby. The nurses did ask us if we were moving in when we arrived but seeing as I genuinely didn’t know what I’d need, I found it hard to edit. Ever the organised packer, I actually used packing cubes to organise my hospital bag… I divided my stuff into three cubes including labour, post-birth and clothes and things. Regular readers will know that as I had a c-section, I didn’t actually go into labour but as I had the stuff I bought it anyway in case it was handy!

I arrived wearing a t-shirt dress and flip-flops, being a warm day and my wardrobe being very much reduced to literally whatever fit me.

My Hospital Bag 

Clothes and Toiletries 

Clothes to go home in – I bought a reasonably nice dress to go home in. I wanted to feel good leaving the hospital and to get some photos outside the Lindo Wing with my new baby. I was glad I did this and I was happy with the dress I chose, it was one I’d worn throughout my pregnancy so I knew it would fit but as it was maternity I know it would look relatively nice and not frumpy.

Big Pants – People advised me to big lots of big pairs of high-waisted knickers. I duly packed twelve pairs of M & S undies that were two sizes bigger than my normal for added comfort and high at the waist so there was no chance of going near my c-section scar. I end up wearing one pair of these on the day I went home as I wore disposable pants the whole time I was in the hospital. I don’t regret the purchase though as I wore them (and am still wearing them) weeks after giving birth…

Maternity Bras – I think I bought four maternity bras with me. I didn’t really wear them often in hospital as big part of the stay was establishing breast-feeding and a bra was surplus to requirements! I did put one on when we had visitors though just to look a bit better and I wore one to go home,

Toiletries – I bought the usual shampoo and conditioner, make up remover, hair brush, hair ties, contact lenses, glasses, moisturiser, tooth-brush and tooth paste. At the Lindo Wing Elemis products are provided in the room but as I remember I still used my own shampoo and conditioner but used the shower gel provided. Obviously these things were essential. I didn’t have a shower the day after the c-section as I was pretty much bed-bound and I was worried about getting my wound wet but I had a shower the following day and it was the best thing ever.

Pyjamas – Probably the most useful thing I bought with me. I wore a new set of pyjamas each day in the hospital, another way to make myself feel human and clean. I had purchased a few new pairs, partly cos I liked the idea of newness and partly because I wanted some that buttoned up at the front for ease of nursing.

Dressing Gown – Also useful. I had a light cotton one with it being July. I also had a long cardigan with me which was a handy cover up.

Slippers and Cosy Socks – I can’t remember if I used these. I think I did just use the slippers.

Make up – Yes, I bought make up and yes, I used it. I knew I’d want to feel more myself and feel like I looks (reasonably) good in photos and for visitors.

Hair straighteners and Dyson Airwrap – Yes I did bring these and yes I did use them. I know some people might think that’s silly but I wanted to feel nice and good about myself.

Phone and Chargers – Yes, I used these.

Post Birth and Feeding

Disposable Pants – I bought a big pack of disposable pants as well as big pack of ‘adult nappies’ to wear whilst I experienced the lochia or post natal blood loss. I didn’t use either of these as the hospital provided very comfortable disposable undies. I actually never used the ones I bought and they are sitting in my cupboard unopened.

Sanitary Towels – Following from the above, I bought with me a big pack of high absorbency sanitary towels. I again I didn’t need to use these at all as the hospital provided them but I did use them when I got home.

Nipple Cream – I bought Lansinoh nipple cream for sore nips as it was the one most recommended to me. I didn’t use it in the hospital but I did use it after and I’m still using it now. Not that same tube, I’ve been going through that stuff very quickly!

Nursing Pads – Nursing pads are great for absorbing any milk leaking from your nipples, I didn’t use them in the hospital as I didn’t need to but I wear them night and day now… just in case you ever wondered…

Nipple Shields – I didn’t use these and still haven’t

Palms Cocoa Butter for Stretch Marks – I bought this for stretch marks after birth as I thought it would be an easy thing to use. But I never used it and it still remains unopened. I’m pretty lucky that I didn’t get any stretch marks from pregnancy and my skin still looks pretty much the same as before. I also had with me the Bio Oil and Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter I’d been using everyday during my pregnancy but I didn’t use this either. My stomach felt sensitive and with my c-section scar I didn’t want creams and oils near it. I didn’t need to use it anyway but I’m using it periodically now just cos it feels nice.

My Laptop and Chargers – With four days in the hospital, I expected to need watch a downloads / Netflix on my laptop and maybe even answer the odd email. But I didn’t get my laptop once (I’m actually pleased to say), we were too busy learning to breastfeed, bonding with Oscar and entertaining guests. We did watch the odd TV programme before going to bed but we had a TV in the room. And Love Island was on.

Breast-Feeding Pillow – I bought a huge breast feeding pillow in the hope that it might make me more comfortable when I starting nursing. I think I used it two or three times.


As I mentioned I didn’t go into labour but as I’d spent so much time researching what to bring, I thought I’d have it with me just in case.

Mama Mio Pamper Pack – A little set from this brand that I love which included a flannel, facial mist, massage oil and lip balm. Most of it is still unopened apart from the lip balm.

Electric Tea Lights – One of the most useful books that I read during my pregnancy was The Positive Birth Book which recommended creating a calming atmosphere. So I duly bought tealights to put around the room in the hope that they might alleviate the excruciating pain of labour (ahem!). Of course, I never went into labour so I won’t know if this works (lol)… but I bought the tea lights with me in order to create said calming atmosphere in our room after the c-section. Needless to say, I never used them…

Lavender Room Scent – See above.

A Fan – Someone told me it’s very hot going into labour so it’s a good idea to bring fan. I never went into labour and after the c-section I was very cold. Our room at the hospital had air conditioning. I never used the fan.

I left at home the birthing ball and the Tens machine that I’d bought for labour

Mr S’s Hospital Bag

Clothes, shoes, underwear,toiletries – He packed all of these and definitely used them at one time or another.

Our Camera – We bought our big camera to capture Oscar’s first moments, we used this a lot though I still wish we’d used it more! The anaesthetic man took photos with it during the birth and then we used it after to get first pictures of Oscar and meeting new family members. We bought the charger too though I don’t remember needing to charge it.

His Phone and Charger – Obviously he bought his phone but more specifically he had on his phone a playlist that we’d put together to have on during the operation and to play to Oscar after. It included significant songs such as the first dance at our wedding but was generally a mixture of songs I like and things that seemed right for Oscar’s first minutes in the world. The list included such classics as Greatest Day by Take That, Never Grow Up by Taylor Swift, Here Comes the Sun, Better Together, Circle of Life, All of Me… you get the idea. I still play these to Oscar.

Snacks – Vital. Well the hospital provided us with breakfast, lunch and dinner and we could order tea, coffee and biscuits whenever we wanted but it was also very useful to have a stash of snacks especially with so many people visiting.

Oscar’s Hospital Bag

Clothes – In general you’re advised to take a selection of clothes for the baby in size new-born and size 0 – 3 but with Oscar being three weeks early we made the wise decision to forget about the bigger sizes and stick with ‘tiny baby’ and new-born size. With Oscar being six pounds and six ounces he was mostly in the tiny baby clothes while in the hospital. FYI this size isn’t the easiest to get hold of and we bought most of the tiny things for the hospital from John Lewis. Next also do tiny baby clothes. We bought the following:

5 x White onesies (Tiny baby and Newborn but only used the tiny baby)
5 x Vests (Tiny baby and Newborn but only used the tiny baby)
3 x socks – we didn’t use
3 x scratch mitts – we didn’t use, they were huge on him! We just folded down the sleeves of the onesies so he didn’t scratch himself
3 x hats – we did use these. We were told to bring a little hat into the operating theatre which was put on Oscar as soon as he was born. I’ll treasure this little hat forever. He also wore one occasionally during the hospital and one for the journey home.

A few ‘fancy’ things as well as the plain white onesies and vests, I bought a few fancy onesies partly for visiting guest and partly because I loved dressing my very own living doll. We bought a special going home outfit to put him for leaving the hospital and the first time in the real world.

Muslins – I bought a couple of these, I don’t think we used them.

‘Receiving blanket’ – I bought a special cashmere blanket to take him him in. It was the same one that baby Archie was wrapped up in for Harry and Meghan’s press conference. We did use this. 

Toys – I bought one or two little toys with us, we shook these at Oscar a bit but as it was so early on, he was pretty oblivious.

I actually probably bought far too much for myself and not enough for Oscar as we really did use up all the clothes that we bought for the four night stay.

We didn’t bring nappies, wipes, cotton wool etc as the hospital provides all of this. We also didn’t bring milk as the hospital provides formula if you need it which we didn’t.

Car seat – Hospitals require you to bring your baby home in a car seat, we didn’t bring this with us when we arrived as we already had enough stuff! Mr S popped home on the day that we left to pick it up. 

So there we have it… the very extensive list of what we bought to the hospital with us. I’d love to know if you have anything to add!