Hospital Bag Checklist For New Mums

Blog Image for article Hospital Bag Checklist For New Mums

The countdown is officially on until your little bundle of joy joins you earthside. As you approach your due date, you’ve probably started to wonder what you should pack in your maternity hospital bag. Your hospital bag can make all the difference when it comes to making sure your hospital stay is as comfortable as can be for you, your partner and your new bub.

If you’re keen to get started with your packing we’ve put together a hospital bag checklist so you can make sure you’ve got all your hospital bag essentials covered. 

When to pack your maternity hospital bag

As a new mum, it can be tricky to know when you should have your hospital bag packed and ready to go. Even if you’re scheduled for a caesarean section, it’s often better to err on the side of caution and start to get organised early in your third trimester. 

As your pregnancy progresses, there’s a good chance you’ll be too tired or distracted to focus on packing your hospital bag essentials, so it’s best to get started sooner rather than later. By 35 to 36 weeks, you should have your hospital bag packed and ready to go in case your baby decides to make their entrance to the world slightly ahead of schedule. 

Even if you’re planning on having a home birth, it can be worth having a hospital bag packed and ready just in case your plans change at the last minute. That way, you should have everything on hand to hit the road at a moment's notice.

In addition to packing your hospital bag, you should also organise:

  • A full tank of petrol in your car to get to the hospital,
  • Standby plans for your pet/s or other children,
  • A predetermined route you plan on taking to the hospital,
  • A professionally installed baby capsule for the drive home,
  • A safe and comfortable space for your baby to sleep at home,
  • Some basic supplies, like toilet paper, nappies and paracetamol, for when you come home from the hospital, and
  • A collection of frozen pre-cooked meals that you can use when you come home.

Understanding your hospital policy

Each hospital tends to have its own policies when it comes to what they provide and what you can pack in your hospital bag. For example, some hospitals will provide blankets and nappies for your new bub, as well as maternity pads for yourself post-birth. With this in mind, it’s important to familiarise yourself with their policy before you start packing your hospital bag essentials. That way you don’t risk leaving anything you need at home or getting caught out with items you can’t bring into the delivery room. 

Hospital bag essentials

When it comes to packing your maternity hospital bag, it can often help to break down your packing into three separate sections:

  • A labour bag that has everything you need for the birth suite,
  • A post-delivery, and
  • A dedicated baby bag.

From here, you can use packing cubes to separate the different items in your hospital bag. For example, you can pack all of your clothes into one packing cube and another for all your baby’s clothes and supplies.

By splitting your packing into three separate sections, you’ll be able to keep everything organised so you know exactly where to find what you need.

Use the following checklists to make sure you’ve got your maternity bag essentials covered.


Birth suite checklist

Essential documents

  • ID, Medicare card and private health insurance details
  • Hospital paperwork
  • Antenatal card
  • Your obstetrician’s details
  • Birth plan (if you have one)

For mum

  • Loose, comfortable clothes for labour, like an old oversized t-shirt or nighty that you don’t mind getting messy
  • A lightweight dressing gown (for early labour if you’d like to wander around the hospital corridors)
  • Swimmers (if you decide to labour in the bath or shower)
  • A pillow in a bright colour (so it doesn’t accidentally get left at the hospital)
  • Socks and/or open-back slippers that are easy to slide on and off
  • Eye mask and ear plugs if you’re in a noisy ward
  • A book, magazines, games or something else to help pass the time during early labour
  • Phone charger
  • Headphones or earphones
  • Glasses or contact lenses, if you wear them (it’s worth noting that your glasses may fog up during labour and you won’t be able to wear contacts during a caesarean)
  • Snacks (EG. carb-heavy food like lollies, nuts, dried fruit, muesli bars and popcorn are great for a pick-me-up and long-lasting energy)
  • A water bottle and sports drinks or effervescent power (to help replenish your electrolytes)
  • Chewing gum or mints (to keep your breath fresh)
  • Spare change for the vending machine
  • Spare bag for dirty clothes


  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush and hair ties or hair clips
  • Shampoo and conditioner (travel size)
  • Body wash or soap
  • Deodorant
  • Face wash and moisturiser
  • Lip balm (hospitals can be very dry)
  • Tissues

For partner or support person

  • Change of clothes and extra layers in case the hospital gets cold
  • Phone charger
  • Toiletries, including toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, face wash, moisturiser, etc.
  • Personal entertainment, like books, magazines and games to pass the time during early labour
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Swimmers and a towel (if your partner plans on having a water birth)
  • Spare change for the vending machine

Optional items

  • Massage oil or lotion if you’d like to be massaged during labour
  • Any labour-helping devices, such as a birthing ball, heat pack or TENS pain relief machine 
  • A notepad and pen or journal if you’d like to write down anything during or after labour
  • Birthing affirmation cards
  • Essential oil diffuser
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Extra pillows
  • Thank you gifts or cards for the staff

Baby bag checklist

  • Onesies (a few in different sizes: newborn and 0-3 months)
  • Socks or booties
  • A hat or beanie
  • Going-home outfit
  • Baby blankets, swaddles or muslin wraps
  • Burping cloth
  • Baby mittens (to prevent scratching)
  • Newborn nappies (8-10 per day - the hospital may provide these)
  • Baby wipes
  • Nappy cream
  • Spare bag for dirty and soiled clothes
  • Announcement sign

Post-delivery bag

  • Loose, comfortable outfits for after birth and going home (think nursing tops and stretchy pants)
  • Breast-feeding friendly pyjamas (button-up PJs are often best)
  • Several pairs of large, comfortable, cotton underwear (preferably high-waisted and large enough to accommodate pads)
  • Maternity pads or disposable adult nappies 
  • Peri bottle (the hospital may supply one, but it never hurts to have a backup)
  • 2-3 maternity bras
  • Nursing pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Breastfeeding pillow

While it’s important to pack the essentials, it’s also worth remembering that you can only fit so much in a hospital room, so try not to go too overboard. Ideally, you should be able to fit everything into a small suitcase or duffle bag. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your hospital or midwife. 

You may also like

6m read
Car-birth is a thing but I was having none of it!
Labour & Birth

Labour and birth are different for everyone. Georga shares how she avoided a car birth and...

Read more
6m read
Multiples really matter | The highs and lows of raising multiples
Real Life

It's multiple births awareness week and we speak to Natasha, mother of identical twins, Mi...

Read more
6m read
Nutritional information for breastfeeding mums

Accredited Practising Dietitian at Nutrition Australia ACT Leanne Elliston, explains the i...

Read more
6m read
Tips To Get Your Child Into Your Preferred Childcare Centre
Preparing for baby

These days, childcare vacancies are few and far between, but with these tips, you could ha...

Read more