It’s nearly time to meet your newborn baby

The time is drawing close for you to prepare your hospital bag.  The small holdall or suitcase that will sit by your front door just waiting for the day baby decides to make an appearance.  If you’re anything like me, it’s impossible to pack light for a day out on my own so the pressure of having to pack a hospital bag for myself and a tiny baby is tough one!

I speak to many new mums in my role as a newborn photographer and so I see daily the amount of ‘stuff’ you need to just leave the house with a newborn.  See more of my work as a newborn photographer by clicking here. I thought it would be really useful to pull together a list of essential items for your hospital bag to help you out.

As well as your hospital notes and birth plan you might want to consider the following.


It goes without saying you need to pack your PJ’s.  It’s best to pack at least 2 pairs so that if your new baby decides to vomit on the first pair you can at least get changed.  Pyjama tops that are loose-fitting and front fastening are best if you intend to breastfeed

It’s also a good idea to pack a cheap baggy comfortable nightdress for the actual birth.  Without going into every gory detail, wearing a cheap nightdress saves your modesty over a hospital gown which is open at the back.  It’s likely to end up a little worse for wear so don’t take anything expensive or something you’ll want to wear again!

Don’t forget to pack something loose and comfortable to come home in.  Bear in mind if you have needed a c-section your maternity jeans may not be the most comfortable option.

Dressing gown and slippers.  Choose a thin dressing gown as hospitals are always warm!


You’ll want to take a couple of supportive bras or feeding bras if you intend to breastfeed.  Also, don’t be expecting to get into your small pants anytime soon! Big comfortable pants in dark colours will be your best friend.  Choose a higher waisted style rather than ones that sit across the hips in case you end up requiring a c section. Take 5-6 pairs



Breast pads are a must along with a couple of packets of maternity sanitary pads.

You’ll also need your washbag with toothbrush, hairbrush, hair ties, lip balm, soap, flannel, your skincare and deodorant.

Don’t forget to bring any medication you are taking too.


Comfort / entertainment

A breastfeeding pillow can come in really useful not just for feeding but for getting yourself comfortable too.

A bottle of water with a straw for during labour

Healthy snacks, magazines and books will all come in useful to pass the time and relax. Or if you are anything like me some jelly sweets to keep you going!

Music playlist, if your lucky and in a room like the Birthing Place rather than on the ward they often let you play your choice of music. This could be useful if you have used hypnobirthing and have certain music. Hypnobabino do amazing courses if you are interested check them out here

A camera!  You’ll find it’s really difficult to take good pictures of your baby – the lighting in hospital is often poor and your baby is still recovering from birth but make sure you do use your camera to capture every moment.  Once you are home you can bring your baby to a professional photographer to capture gorgeous portraits like these Newborn Gallery.


For Your Baby

Newborn photo baby girl Strood, Medway. Wrapped in purple in a wooden bed

Bodysuits, vests and sleepsuits.  Newborns aren’t very good at regulating their own temperature so you’ll need to bring layers for your baby.  Bring a few of each – newborns can make a lot of mess!

An outfit for going home in – you’re going to take a special picture of this moment so you might want your baby to wear something special.

A hat and socks.

Plenty of newborn sized nappies and a packet of water wipes.

A shawl or blanket

Muslin squares – these are more useful than you could ever realise so take 2-3

A pram suit if it’s winter.

And that wraps up the essentials of your hospital bag.  Have I forgotten anything? Is there something you wish you had taken when you had your baby?  Let me know here and I’ll add it in.