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What to pack in your hospital bag - and what not to pack!

For the birth of my twins we set off across the South Downs shrouded in fog at 3 o'clock in the morning super excited and completely unaware of the carnage that the little pink and blue bundles of joy were about to wreak!

My hospital bag was packed and contained a 4 pack of 0-3 month sleepsuits, 6 size 1 nappies and NO SNACKS or drinks! We ended up with a hospital stay of over a week!

Who knew 'newborn' was a smaller size and who knew that at a month early and being squashed by your 'big sister' meant even that would be too big! My husband had a baptism of fire that weekend rushing about finding preemie clothes, setting up cots, buying breast pumps and rocking in a corner!

Roll forwards 6 years, lessons learned, off we went in thick snow a week before Christmas for the 'this is going to be SOOOOOO easy' singleton. Who knew I wouldn't want to watch the portable DVD player we had taken, who knew babies could be so BIG that newborn clothes would be too small!!!

We were as woefully unprepared the second (well technically third) time round.

Ultimate checklist of what to pack in your hospital bag (and what to leave at home!)

"Excellent period pants.Actually used this in the very late stage of pregnancy as fluids discharge increased and very comfortable to wear. Hoping to use it for first bleed after birth too!" Rachel Dec '19 trustpilot

What should you NOT pack in your hospital bag?

We asked our followers on Instagram to help you have a stress free and useful hospital bag that has as little impact on the environment as possible.

Here's a quick list of what you should not pack in your hospital bag:

  1. Essential oil diffuser
  2. Size 8 pre-pregnancy jeans
  3. Candles
  4. Kids bubbles
  5. Light period pads
  6. Face creams and make up
  7. White towels
  8. Embroidery set
  9. Baby nail nippers
  10. Fairy lights and Batteries
  11. Disposable knickers
  12. Playlist!
  13. Water Spray
  14. Front Opening Dressing Gown
  15. Book or Magazine to pass the time

There were quite a few crossovers which made it onto both the 'do need' and 'don't need' lists.

Many needed books and snacks, other found these pointless and just got eaten by their other half. All this proves is that every birth experience is different. Some are in for a few hours, others for a week, and some have their baby on the bathroom floor at home and the bag never leaves the hallway! 

What should I take with me in my hospital bag?

  1. Big black pants that avoid the potential c-section area
  2. Coconut oil so that first baby poo of meconium doesn't stick
  3. Snacks such as energy tablets, boiled sweets, protein bars
  4. Warm flannel is a good idea to hold on yourself as your baby's head crowns
  5. Super absorbent maternity pads (not sanitary definitely need the heavy duty maternity pads)
  6. Charging leads
  7. Drinks and straws
  8. A towel (not white!)
  9. Lip balm
  10. Chocolate buttons to melt in your mouth, no chewing required!
  11. Birth plan - don't forget it's always best to view this as flexible as labour and birth doesn't always go to plan
  12. Breast pads - whether you're planning to breastfeed or not, your milk WILL come in
  13. Nursing Bras - so you can get used to feeding your little one
  14. A comfy outfit to wear home
  15. Toothbrush & toothpaste (for you or your birth partner)
  16. Car Seat - often your hospital or birth centre won't let you leave without one
  17. Coins for hospital vending machines or car parks

We can provide some great additions to your hospital bag that you can use before, during and after the birth and for the rest of your menstrual journey.

Reusable Maternity Pants - Feeling Confident

Ultimate checklist of what to pack in your hospital bag (and what to leave at home!)

Our Feeling Confident pants are perfect for postpartum as they're supportive to those weakened muscles. Plus super absorbent for that heavy flow!

"Happy with the service and advice I received from the questionnaire I had taken to help me decide on the products I needed for my new born. I purchased the all in one kit, 25 trial wipe set and the Maternity & Postpartum High-waisted Control Pants for a great deal :) Joanna, Trustpilot.

Ultimate checklist of what to pack in your hospital bag (and what to leave at home!)

How many Maternity pads should I take to hospital?

You should take 3 or 4 of our reusable maternity / night time pads to hospital instead of disposable pads. They're longer and thicker than our normal reusable sanitary pads for extra protection, so perfect for after birth. They're also eco friendly too!

Because they're reusable, our maternity pads are a great addition to your hospital bag, they can be rinsed in the sink and stored in a wetbag (or even a plastic bag) until you are home, simply unzip the bag, add your normal detergent and press go on a 30 degree wash.

Hang to dry - much quicker than a midnight dash for more giant plastic pads! Pop them in the fridge or freezer wet with water, witch hazel or chamomile tea to soothe your stitches!

"After the success with the reusable baby wipe system, I decided to try their maternity pads after the birth of our third child- they have yet to let me down! And it feels great to keep yet another plastic filled pad out of a landfill.

The patterns are cute and cleaning and maintenance is as easy as the wipe system! I would recommend any of these cheeky wipes products!" Oleary, Nov '20 trustpilot

How many weeks pregnant should I pack my hospital bag?

It's always a good idea to have hospital bag packed by 36 weeks pregnant, well before your due date. That's because sometimes you go into labour early - like I did!

Recommended Postpartum Products

We hope you've enjoyed our Cheeky guide to hospital bags and we'd love to read what to pack / what not to pack in the comments below.


As always, if you're unsure of what you need to make the switch, please do drop the team a line or use the online chat function. The team all use the products themselves and just LOVE to chat pee poo and periods, all day long, nothing is TMI and we all love to overshare based on our own experiences...

If you enjoyed this we think you would like this blog on Expecting a baby? Easy sustainable swaps that will save £££




About the Author:  Kirstin Scriven is part of the Customer Experience team at Cheeky Wipes, which since 2008 has been selling the original reusable wipes kit. She is mum to 3 and loves the forest, the sea and the hills!

Along with the rest of our crack team, she spends most days talking about poo, pee and periods and loves a chance to overshare. The business was recognised with a Queens Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development in 2021, celebrating their hard work over the last 13 years.