Packing for a holiday is second nature to me, so I found this rather easy, KIDDING! I have packed, re-packed and re-packed again. At just over 36 weeks, I think (key word: think) I am ready to go. Much like my philosophy on pregnancy, labour and then kid-wrangling is extremely personal. What I have packed may not work for you and vice-versa. I would, however, encourage any positive and wise words if I have missed something. It would also be great to hear about your personal experiences and any last-minute advice you might have for me!


There is no right or wrong answer here, but I would suggest you have your bags packed by 36 weeks at the latest (I think I was ready at 31 – keen much?!). It’s important to remember that all hospitals and maternity wards will vary in their policies about what you are allowed to bring with you. During your birthing classes and maternity ward tour, the midwives will most likely communicate that you can also take a few items from home. This could include: your own pillow, music, iPads (my hubby is banned from bringing his – ha-ha!), all to make the environment more personal and less clinical. To those of you who may not be planning a hospital birth, you still may need to go in unexpectedly. I would strongly suggest to still have a bag packed by the time you are about 36 weeks pregnant. Lastly, don’t forget your cameras and phone charger!


LABOUR BAG: You may want to pack a mini labour bag as well (tote size). This includes: my TENS machine, 2 x heat packs, massage tools for my back, slippers, dressing gown, face towel, hair ties, deodorant, black nightie for birth and a knit/cardigan.

HOSPITAL BAG: Ladies, for once in our life this is NOT a fashion parade! However, if you feel like packing some glam OOTD’s, go for your life. I on the other hand will be comfortable and practical (her famous last words!). To be honest, I did spoil myself and buy some gorgeous new Peter Alexander PJs and maybe a few new pairs of ‘nice’ tracksuit pants. Hello, I will totally be ready for my close-up! It’s all about finding the perfect balance of comfort, practicality and still feeling good. There’s no doubt you will have visitors and be snapping away, so whatever works for you is the right answer. Below is a list of what I have packed – (total number of items based on 4 days in hospital) >

  • Maternity pads (and lots of them!) – the hospital will have these as well, but I preferred to buy my own (TOM Organic)
  • Breast Pads – I haven’t experienced any leakage so far, but I am prepared for anything. I again went with TOM Organic
  • Toiletries bag – Paw Paw (for me and bubs), make-up wipes (quick and easy way to freshen-up), face cloths x 2, Bio Oil & DNA Elements Mummy Tummy Oil and normal moisturiser (often hospital air is dry), lip balm, exfoliating gloves and body wash, soap, eye drops, shower cap, travel shampoo and conditioner
  • Nursing singlets/tops x 4
  • Tracksuit pants (maternity friendly & loose) x 3
  • Dressing gown (a comfy one and a nice silk one)
  • Maternity bras x 3
  • Cardigans/knits x 3
  • Small camera & large pro camera (including: all chargers, and my iPhone charger!)
  • Lap top and charger – just in case I feel like doing a bit of work…
  • Make-up bag – including my hair dryer (I dont want to look totally feral, ha-ha!)
  • Slippers & bed socks
  • Pregnancy recovery shorts (I bought the SRC ones)
  • My own pillow – TBC (I think this will be a last minute grab when we leave in the car)
  • Health insurance info, if required
  • Pregnancy card (from OBGYN visits) – my OBGYN fills in a blue card every time I have an appointment (weight, measurements etc.), you need to bring this with you
  • Any medications you are on (pregnancy vitamins – for me this is also my iron supplements, Vitamin D supplements, Thyroxine)



Each hospital will differ in terms of what they have on-hand and allow. It is important if you have any questions, don’t forget to ask well in advance so you can be super prepared. Birthing classes are an ideal time for these sorts of questions. It’s also great to ask your mummy girlfriends, as they might have some creative suggestions you haven’t thought of. Now regarding my bag, I am positive I have over packed, but I would rather have too much than too little. I have also packed both muslin wraps and swaddle/sleep suits, as I have no idea what she will prefer. PLEASE NOTE: my hospital have advised me not to bring nappies, as these will be provided.

  • Muslin wraps x 3
  • Sleep suits (swaddle) x 2
  • Jumpsuits (size 0000 – newborn) x 4 // jumpsuit (size 000) x 1
  • Singlets x 3 // singlet jumpsuits (legless) x 2
  • Socks x 1
  • Face cloths x 2
  • Beanies (light) x 3 & headband x 1 (for some cute photos of course!)
  • L/S & S/S t-shirts – one each
  • Leggings x 3 (size 0000 – newborn)
  • Bibs x 4
  • Blanket (warmish) x 1
  • Peter Rabbit – of course!

DON’T FORGET! > It is absolutely essential that you get your baby’s car seat fitted well before your due date. If your seat is not fitted you will not be allowed to leave the hospital post-discharge. I had mine professionally installed (including a certificate to show the hospital staff) at 34 weeks. Keep this certificate on you to show the nurses during your discharge. Make sure you have also practiced how to correctly fit bubs before the time comes. Most brands will have a video or instructions on their website or YouTube. Safety comes first!

A big thank you to my readers who suggested I put together this post! You’ve made me feel even more confident that I am ready to go… I think! Obviously I am a newbie when it comes to labour and everyone has their own method and style. I hope you found this useful. 

Thanks, SJ x

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  1. Siobhan
    April 10, 2015

    Nipple cream!!!! Lanisoh is wonderful… So oily and will stain and tops/bras but is heaven on earth when starting breast feeding (if this is what you choose to do!) im also packing nipple shields this time, I needed them with my first but the hospital wouldn’t give them to me until day 3 and I almost had a breakdown with my son not attaching. They were the only reason I was able to breastfeed. Goodluck! X

  2. Helena Wallis
    April 10, 2015

    Goodluck and all the best with the birth! Im no where near having babies but was an interesting read!!

  3. Vanessa
    April 10, 2015

    Thanks Sarah Jane- this is great information. Could you please share what you think are the required basics for a newborn (at least for the first 3 months)? Would love to hear your thoughts as I’m not sure how many bibs, jumpsuits, singlets etc to buy and in particular, the sizes!

    Vanessa xx

  4. Sarah Jane Young
    April 10, 2015

    Hmmmm, keep in mind this is my first time – but I will let you know my thoughts and hopefully yours are somewhere close-by 😉 I haven’t gone too crazy RE clothes to be honest, as she could be a big or little baby. I obviously have some 0000 (newborn) size jumpsuits, tops, leggings etc. but not a lot else. The really cute clothes I have bought are bigger sizes for at least 3/4 months down the track. I figure once she’s born we will have a better idea and can always shop for what she needs and fits her. In those first few weeks, they grow SO fast, so no point spending a crazy amount of money on outfits. I bought some onsie singlets (so buttons under the nappy), as I’ve heard normal singlets roll-up. Having said that, I still bought a few. We are coming into winter now too, so layering is essential. For birth, I would get 0000 and 000. Good luck and I hope this helped xxx

  5. Sarah Jane Young
    April 10, 2015

    Thanks Helena! One can never be too prepared 😉 xxx

  6. Sarah Jane Young
    April 10, 2015

    Ohhh Siobhan, that’s a good one! THANK YOU! Wow, breastfeeding is like another language to me! More nervous about that than the actual birth itself. I will definitely add some, thank you x

  7. Melissa Byrne
    April 10, 2015

    I remember having a bag packed for labour and using none of it. All modesty goes out the window and you end up going naked, haha. Not sure if your hospital will be providing them but baby wipes are a must for those dirty nappies coming your way.
    I’ve loved following your pregnancy on instagram, gooodluck with the birth of your little girl x

  8. Vanessa
    April 10, 2015

    Thanks so much for responding! Yes, definitely helps!! 🙂

  9. Sarah Jane
    April 10, 2015

    Hi Sarah Jane

    Thanks for your lovely post, it was so nice to read and brought back so many memories! (My son is now 8 and my daughter 6 so my days of packing a hospital bag are well and truly behind me!)

    I have a suggestion of something you might want to get to take with you. It’s a bit gross though, but my sister in law suggested it to me 8 years ago and it was a great idea! Buy some cheap undies to wear for the first few days after the birth, so that you can just bin the lot if everything gets a bit messy! Sorry, but I had no idea what would happen and it was a bit gross so that was a bit of a relief not to have to deal with it!

    Take care and I look forward to reading what happens next xxx

  10. Sarah Jane Young
    April 10, 2015

    Not at all! I have packed several pairs of Bridget Jones undies that I bought especially for it, haha! I hope to never see them again afterwards! Thanks for the tip! Positive feedback and great advice are always welcome xxx

  11. Sarah Jane Young
    April 10, 2015

    Haha yes… Well! Hopefully some of my clothes stay on, I am considering birth photography so… Hmmm haha! I think once the pain and fatigue kicks in I won’t give a flying *you know what*!!! Thanks for the feedback xxx

  12. Caitlyn
    April 10, 2015

    Thank you…such a great post!! Have saved this for when I need it 🙂
    One other thing that girlfriends have told me to take are flushable moist toilet wipes…apparently so much more ‘soothing’ to use than normal toilet paper after birth.
    Good luck with everything…can’t wait to read your next post x

  13. Caroline Bendall
    April 10, 2015

    I had the best pregnancy ever but ended up having a bit of a drawn out labour which resulted in me having to stay in for a week. I was prepared but certainly not for a seven night stay! My husband was brilliant but I had to keep relying on him to remember to bring things in. So all I can say is take everything you have suggested but maybe have a pile at home just in case your husband has to pick up a few things. I’m in the UK though and so things might be different for you guys in Oz? Good Luck though xxx

  14. SimmI
    April 10, 2015

    maternity feeding tops are good but all my nurses suggested feeding Bub topless!! ( as you said – dignity out the window) just so you don’t get a shock if they suggest this to you. Take Waterproof mascara. There was lots of hormonal / tired tears in those first few days and at least a knew I wouldn’t be panda eyes in photos( I am pale and look sickly without any mascara on). As totally agree on the knickers to throw away comment. Get them a size bigger if you can because those maternity pads are not slimline.

  15. Melissa Chrysis
    April 10, 2015

    Hi Sarah,
    I am two weeks behind you with our third baby so preparing myself ATM too.
    I would suggest plenty more baby clothes. In general your in hospital for 4 days and from my experience with two babies, they can go through many outfits in one day. Mine both are very well and also tended too vomit a tiny bit which meant changing everything often. Would love to know where your found nice baggy track pants too. I have bought some new nighties and dressing gowns to cover as I find there is nothing worse then pants on when you have to be wearing a pad

  16. Robyn Dannatt
    April 11, 2015

    Have to agree, I have 4 little cherubs and as much as it’s a beautiful/amazing event it is also unfortunately very messy. Especially for the first few days afterwards! You will definitely need some nice big comfy undies that will be so useful, as your tummy feels really weird/empty/floppy, and then you can happily throw them out when you have finished with them! All the best, take in as much advice from the midwives, relax with breastfeeding and enjoy every moment.

  17. Victoria Jackson
    April 12, 2015

    congratulations and love your blog! I just had my baby girl 2 weeks ago and Learnt a lot about what to pack. My little girl spilt a lot so I would pack a few more onesies unless you have someone who can pop home and do washing for you. I was surprised how many baby clothes we went through while in hospital. Also completely agree on the advice with nipple cream. The early stage of expressing colostrum can be quite sore. Good luck xx

  18. Cindy
    April 15, 2015

    Nipple cream is a must! I used Lansinoh too. I found it quite sticky, but would either stick it between my legs or in a cup of warm water to “melt” it which made it easier to apply! Also, I highly recommend Rite Aid Hydrogel Breast discs – but them in the fridge & apply to help soothe cracked nipples. Absolute heaven!!
    Good luck with the remainder of your pregnancy!

  19. Kirsty
    April 15, 2015

    If you are keen on trying breastfeeding then I can not recommend nipple shields enough. They were the only reason I was able to breastfeed. I bought the medela ones and they were a godsend.

    Also those ‘love to dream’ swaddles that you have are awesome. My daughter hated being wrapped but loves these

    All the best – such an exciting time x

  20. Erin Hardwick
    April 20, 2015

    Sarah your list is fantastic!
    My daughter is now 2 but when she was born at 37 weeks she was tiny and in 00000s. She stayed in them for the first 7-8 weeks. I could be handy to have one tiny one just in case. I had just the one and then sent everyone out for more over the following weeks.
    Also a breastfeeding must (if you do)
    HydroGel disks. Keep them in the fridge. Wow just wow. Day 3 is the hardest but I promise it does get easier and is the most rewarding experience ever.
    One last thing. Hospitals have cheap tissues. They all buy them in bulk.
    I highly recommend taking your favourite in. Especially for day 2/3.. they are know as the baby blues days. Your emotions are in overdrive and you tear up over everything and anything.

    Good luck with your birth!

  21. Tahnee
    April 20, 2015

    SRC shorts are great, I also wrapped a Velcro belly band on top and my stomach was back to flat in no time, I actually lost quite a bit of fluid post birth so my shorts ended up a bit loose so keep that in mind! Do whatever you need to do to get through the labour (I had the epidural and it was the BEST THING EVER!!) good luck babe

  22. Sarah Jane Young
    April 20, 2015

    Thank you! Too big? You are spreading my language haha! I’m hoping that too, I feel like a lot of my weight is water. I would really like my knees, ankles and chin back! Haha. Thanks for your feedback xxx

  23. Sarah Jane Young
    April 20, 2015

    Perfect! Thanks so much for your feedback. Yes, I’ve got both ready to go and hoping she likes the dream suits so it’s easier for us haha, shhhh 😉 thanks for your feedback x

  24. Kristen
    April 23, 2015

    Hi Sarah.
    I would love to send you some of our 100% organic baby skin care for your little one. Please shoot me through an email if you’d like me to send some on.

    Oh, and to add to your list, I recommend packing a couple of 000 onesies, just in case. My first son was very average in size (3.4kg) and was in 0000s for a few weeks, so I just expected that my second would be the same and when he arrived we were shocked that he was 4.3kg! None of my 0000s fitted! 🙂

  25. Maddie Gauci
    July 15, 2016

    Hey SJ – revisiting sites for maternity bag related posts, (#2 due 15/08/2016) and came across your blog. Awesome 🙂 thanks.. but no to packing a towel? Would hospital supply this? I can’t remember what I did/had when I went into public for my first.. contemplating getting some ‘nice’ trackies for mosying around. I’m already recycling all my old maternity clothes from the first time, much to my stomach’s delight. Any who, just wanted to say, you’re a great advice-giver/mummy blogger and little miss mia is getting cuter by the day. 🙂

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