what goes in a maternity hospital bag

Tilbea Hospital Bag Edit

So you’re about to have a baby, actually have a baby!!

We’re guessing that by now you’ve probably perfected your pregnancy wardrobe, (care of us hopefully), nailed the nursery design (thanks Pinterest), spent a small fortune on cute clothes and exhausted yourself from all of the relentless nesting. It’s almost time to put your feet up and relax until baby arrives…there’s just one last job & I promise you…it’s the one that EVERYONE puts off to the last minute – the Hospital Bag!

The hospital bag can feel like such a huge, daunting task – it’s a necessity, but an unknown quantity.  Everyone has one, but what goes in it? What do you need?  What does baby need? We had absolutely no idea when we were in your shoes either.  It was the one job that felt like a huge practical step towards labour, and brought reality crashing towards us! Motherhood was really happening. 

The good news is we’re old hands at this now & we’re here to share our wisdom.  After four labours between us, and all the hints and tips we have picked up from fellow mummas, we think we’ve got this hospital bag business down. So…

Personally we always packed early..ish, as we wanted our hospital bags ready to go just in case.  Wishful thinking perhaps but it’s a good idea to be packed and ready to go by around 35 weeks, that way if you do go into labour, or ever have to head to hospital overnight, you can feel mentally prepared for it and ready to go.

 What’s in your bag we hear you cry!  Well…below we’ve included our list of all the things we needed or found really helpful. We hope this gives you a good guideline for packing your bag for the big day.  Click the links to shop the essentials…

 The Tilbea Hospital Bag Edit 


  • Happy Planet WipesWe found these easier than cotton wool, but cotton wool is also a great alternative for those very messy meconium nappies.  These are completely biodegradable and you know us we love a sustainable options.

Happy Planet Water Wipes

  • NappiesSize 0 or 1 of a brand of your choice.
  • Sleep SuitsSize – Newborn or up to 1 month, best to have options in case baby is smaller or larger than expected. Suits with the fold down mittens are great to stop baby scratching themselves.  I’ve heard the Tilbea leopard print baby grow is a very good one for maximising cuteness on the journey home 😉.
  • BlanketCellular ones can be really great as they ensure there’s always an airflow. Check out Mamma Designs & the White Company

Cellular Baby Blanket

  • MuslinsBig ones! We discovered this recently, they are great for using as blankets, swaddles, nursing covers…the list goes on!  We particularly like the brands Pattie & Co & Etta Loves.

Muslins for Baby

  • Car SeatObvious essential as they won’t let you leave the hospital without it, we both opted for iso fix options that then clipped onto our buggies. But if you are going to be in and out of your car a lot then an option like the Doona Car seat is great.

  • Baby Hat A few hats might be good, they all come up differently and we have to maximise the cuteness factor.



  • A Hospital outfit – Our Eve dressing gown is perfect for birthing if you don’t want to be in your birthday suit.  Clearly we would recommend our gorgeous collection but really, you can give birth in it or wear it post labour to look fabulous for that first pic.  But as long as your selection is loose, lightweight & comfortable you will be on to a winner.

Eve Leopard Print Kimono


  • Leaving the hospital outfit – Wear something comfortable that makes you feel like the superhero you are after Baby has arrived. Claire wore the blue Matilda home and I wore the blue Joy – Blue for the two boys, don’t forget we have pink dresses too!  Or if you want comfort all the way then our Emma Jumpsuit is just the ticket.

Maternity & Nursing Dress

  • 2 Nursing Bras  – We would recommend a soft non underwired bra, we stock the Maya bra by Mumba bra but any brand would work or a stretch crop top, it just needs to be soft and comfy.


  • Nipple Gear – Nursing Pads and Nipple cream.  We are a big fan of Lansinoh

  • Slippers – Everyone needs a pair of pick me up slippers
  • Eye Mask – Space Masks – They are self heating and AMAZING or if you want to be matching with you dressing gown then our Tilbea eye masks are great.

Pink Leopard print Eye Mask

  • Hospital Notes and birth plan – An obvious essential, but often forgotten!  Nicky had dropped us at the hospital only to have to come straight back as I had left my notes at home! Also, make sure your other half has been briefed on your birth plan for D day. 
  • Lip BalmGas and Air dries you out! Lip balm is a god send – we recommend 8 Hour Cream – smells great and works wonders

Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream

  • Wash Bag – Make up, Make Up wipes, paracetamol, shower gel, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, Barroca, hairbrush, hair bands for during labour.
  • Disposable Pads & Pants – We would recommend Tenna Lady disposable pants, they eliminate the need for pads and knickers & are a god send immediately after baby.  Pads – take your pick…just make sure they’re thick!

Expert Midwife Spritz For Bitz

  • Flip Flops These are essential for the communal shower areas. Water friendly Havaianas are a good style to go for
  • A small bottle of bubbles –  a no brainer – this is to celebrate the baby’s arrival post labour, & how awesome you are! You’ll absolutely deserve this treat.  
  • SnacksBecause everyone needs snacks, labour can be long and in current times, your partner cant just come and go… so we suggest energy bars, crisps and fruit and a few bottles of water.



  • Contractions App or Tens Machine – The Apps are really useful for timing between contractions, if you’re not using a tens machine.  We both used the Elle Tens Machine.

Elle Tens Machine

  • Hypno-birthing App or Music – Make sure your hypno-birthing playlist is easily accessed, and your birth partner knows how to get to it
  • Phone Charger/ portable charging bank – You will need your phone for so many reasons so don’t forget the charger!
  • iPad kindle loaded with chick flicks – Top tip – read something lighthearted that makes you laugh – giggling and releasing oxytocin helps labour progress!

Baby Feed Timer App

 Good luck mama’s. Remember a hospital bag is a good shout even if you’re planning a home birth, as everything will be on hand instantly in one place. One last tip – give a friend/family member keys to your house, and give your birth partner their number.  That way, when you forget something you can call them to go back to get anything you need! 

What were your labour essentials? We’d love to hear them.

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