Maternity Hospital Bag Must Haves

There are literally millions of lists online detailing hundreds of things you could take with you to the hospital when you have your baby. We're not here for that. What we will do is run you through a few things that may be really useful for moms."

When Should You Pack?

Ideally, your hospital bag should be packed by at least 35-36 weeks, but if you are having a less routine pregnancy, check with your doctor. If you're still working right up until you give birth, make sure you have that bag packed and in the car. The last thing you want is to have to send someone home to fetch it after you've been rushed to hospital.

For Both

There are some things that will help to make the process much easier."

  • Important documents, like your and your partner's IDs, your medical aid card and a black pen.
  • A car seat fitted and checked by a professional before you go to the hospital.
  • Gentle wet wipes are handy for giving yourself a little refresh and cleaning that tiny bum.
  • Natural nipple and bum balm - this is self-explanatory, and if you can get one that does both, that's less to pack.

For Mom

Yes, it's tempting to pack in a ton of tiny onesies, but remember, you're the one giving birth. You need things too. Now, hospitals are noisy, busy places. You'll need to be comfortable, fed and at ease to be the best mom for your little baby. So here it goes:

  • Sleeping mask, earplugs, a pillow and a blanket if you have a favourite.
  • Comfortable clothes or PJs that don't put pressure on your middle and are breastfeeding friendly. A gown and slippers for missioning around in the ward," and comfortable, roomy, breastfeeding-friendly underwear. No underwired bras or sexy panties (you'll want something a bit more Bridget Jones after giving birth).
  • Your own toiletries, including lip balm, hand cream, hair ties, and breast pads.
  • Snacks. Yes, the hospital will feed you, but you'll be awake at all weird hours and waiting until breakfast at 8 am when you've been awake since 3 am isn't fun. Keep snacks on hand so you don't starve!

For Baby

Most hospitals will provide you with a list of things you'll need. Make sure you check the list and have everything, but here are a few extra things you might need.

  • A couple of thin swaddling blankets, a couple of muslins and a few terry cloth nappies (as burp cloths).
  • Bring a couple more outfits than you think you might need - when you're learning to change nappies leaks do happen. And remember, the ward can be really warm, but if you're having a winter baby, make sure you have one extra layer than you're wearing for when you take your baby outside.
  • A whole pack of size 0/newborn nappies. Even if you choose to cloth diaper, disposables are preferable in hospital.

Of course, there are other things you might find you need. But we hope this list provides a few things you might otherwise have forgotten."


  1. A Comprehensive Checklist - Hospital Bag For Mom & Baby:
  2. Hospital Bag Checklist - What To Pack For Mom And Baby:
  3. What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag:"
  4. What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag If You're Having A C-section:


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