Newborn Hospital Bag Checklist: Your Go-to Guide

Your belly is big, your little babe is full of energy, and you’re starting to feel those half-nervous, half-excited flutters that ‘this is all really about to happen’. In other words, you’re in your third trimester of pregnancy, and it’s time to pack your hospital bag!

This can be an exciting time for many, but it can also be quite scary, confusing, and overwhelming. At Coco & Bundle, we understand the importance of feeling prepared and supported during this special time. 

That's why we’ve put together a comprehensive newborn hospital bag checklist to help you pack with confidence and peace of mind.


What’s inside?

  • Why a hospital bag checklist is essential
  • Download your FREE hospital bag checklist
  • What should I pack in my hospital bag?
  • Organisation 101: How to pack your labour bag
  • Tips for labour and post-birth comfort
  • Resources and support for expecting parents

Before you read:

Before diving into our guide and using our hospital bag checklist download, it's important to check with your midwife or obstetrician to see what supplies your hospital provides. 

This way, you can avoid doubling up on items and ensure you have everything you need without overpacking. By coordinating with your healthcare provider and support team, you can streamline your packing process and focus on the essentials.

 

Pregnant woman sitting down with a hospital bag checklist print-out

Why a hospital bag checklist is essential

A hospital bag checklist serves as your roadmap for packing all the necessary items for you, your little babe, and your partner during labour, delivery, and the postpartum period. 

An effective newborn hospital bag checklist helps alleviate stress and ensures you don't forget any must-haves. It streamlines your packing by providing a structured system that’s simple, straightforward, and fun!

With a well-organised checklist like our downloadable template, you can feel confident and prepared for whatever comes your way. 

Ultimately, we want you to focus on the joy of welcoming your newborn into the world without getting frazzled over worries like ‘what should I pack in my hospital bag?’. Take a breath – we’ve got you covered.

At Coco & Bundle, we’ve got experience in packing hospital bags for birth. Our founder, Zoe, has two gorgeous little ones, and she’s learned a thing or two about what is and isn’t needed.

Our hospital bag checklist download includes every must-have for mums, partners, and bubs. Plus, you can personalise your list based on your preferences and needs with the additional notes sections.

We hope that with our downloadable checklist, you can feel more empowered and in control as you prepare for your baby’s arrival.

 

Download your FREE Hospital Bag Checklist

 

What should I pack in my hospital bag?

To categorise things clearly, our Coco & Bundle newborn hospital bag checklist has a separate birth bag and hospital bag list. How you pack these and what kind of bag (or bags) you use, however, is totally up to you.


Birth Bag

In your birth bag is everything that you require for – you guessed it – your actual labour and birth. While it’s important to customise this list based on your individual birth plan and needs, some go-to items you’ll likely need include:


Hospital Bag

This section is dedicated to you, Mama. Think comfort items, toiletries, and things you’ll need before and after birth. Some of these essentials include:

 

Newborn essentials packed in a hospital bag

 

For your Little Babe

Now for the fun part! It’s time to pack all the little things your lovely babe will need when he or she enters the world, including:


For your Partner

We can’t forget your incredible birth partner. It’s just as important for him or her to have their own items packed, as both of you will need lots of TLC along with your newborn. 

Your partner may want to pack things like:

  • Change of clothes
  • Socks or slippers
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Phone charger
  • Deodorant (roll-on is perfect for hospital use)

Extras

Now for those items that you might not have thought about – all the extras that just might come in handy during your days-long stay in the hospital:

  • Driver’s license for both you and your partner
  • Medicare card and private healthcare card if applicable
  • Your iPad or laptop
  • Your own pillow
  • A nursing pillow
  • Laundry bag for dirty clothes
  • A portable power bank
  • Extra-long charging cable

 

Pregnant woman packing her labour hospital bags

 

Organisation 101: How to pack your birth bag

As we mentioned above, how you pack your hospital bag is your choice. Some women may like to bring a few bags with them: one with birth items, one with Mama’s essentials, and another reserved for baby’s needs. 

Other parents, however, might prefer one larger bag with separate compartments for all their essentials.

To help you organise and streamline your packing, give these tried-and-true tips a go:

  • Research your bag choice: With so many hospital bags on the market, it can be difficult to know which is best for you. Put some time into researching bags within your price range, considering  things like compartments, zippers, straps, pockets, and size.

Feeling overwhelmed with the internet’s plethora of options? Try asking a friend who’s recently given birth, or a local Facebook support group, for recommendations on good hospital bags to buy.

  • Label, label, label: This will be your saving grace! Invest in a labelling machine from Kmart or Officeworks, or simply write things on coloured sticky notes to categorise each section of your hospital bag. 

This way, you or your partner can simply look for ‘swaddles’ or ‘nursing pads’ rather than sifting through an entire bag’s worth of gear.

  • Bags within your hospital bag: To assist with categorisation, you might like to place several items within a smaller bag (like a toiletries or zip-lock bag) which can then be labelled and packed efficiently.

Baby’s onesies, beanies, and booties might go in their own little bag, for instance; spare clothes for parents could go in another, and so forth.

  • Space efficiency hacks: Space is a luxury when it comes to hospital bag packing, so roll up clothes and soft items to fit in as much as possible. 

Slot smaller items into leftover gaps or pockets, and use hair ties or wire ties to bind things like phone charger cords.

  • Pack in order of need: Depending on the style and features of your hospital bag, it might be a good idea to place post-birth items at the bottom and labour essentials at the top.

 

woman-in-labour-rolling-on-clary-sage-essential-oil

 

Tips for labour and post-birth comfort

With all the focus on your labour and birthing experience, it can be easy to skip post-birth essentials when packing your hospital bag. Think about how you can create a supportive and nurturing environment for yourself during labour and postpartum recovery.

Here are some ideas for what to pack to help you feel soothed, nurtured, and as comfortable as possible.

 

Create a calming environment

  • Essential oils: Consider packing a few of your favourite essential oils, particularly clary sage oil, to help create a calming atmosphere in your hospital room during labour
      Clary sage oil is extracted from the clary sage plant and aids in labour by calming stress and promoting oxytocin release. This hormone stimulates uterine contractions for smoother delivery and supports postpartum breastfeeding by enhancing milk flow.
      Hot tip: Check out our clary sage candle and clary sage roller for the ultimate calming duo!
      • Soothing music: Prepare a playlist of soothing music or guided meditation tracks to help you stay calm and focused during labour.
        Choose music that resonates with you and brings you comfort, whether it's classical melodies, nature sounds, or your favourite relaxing tunes. Hey, it might even be pop songs or your favorite country music tracks – whatever works for you, Mama!

        Enlist the support of your birth partner or midwife to guide you through these techniques and provide encouragement along the way.

         


        Post-birth recovery essentials

        • Comfortable clothing: Pack loose-fitting, comfortable clothes to wear during the postpartum period, including nursing-friendly tops, stretchy bottoms, and cosy pyjamas. 

          Choose fabrics that are soft and breathable like cotton to promote comfort and allow your skin to breathe as you recover.

          • Postpartum pads and underwear: After giving birth, your body goes through changes (that's stating the obvious, but it's true!) These changes can include vaginal bleeding called lochia, which is totally normal and to be expected.

            It's important to pack specially designed postpartum pads to soak up this bleeding, keeping you comfortable and protected. Paired with supportive postpartum underwear, pads provide the security and comfort you need during this sensitive time. 

            *This is one item your hospital may provide for you, so it’s a good idea to check this before packing*

            • Nursing pads: Bring along disposable or reusable nursing pads to absorb any leaking breast milk and keep your clothing dry and comfortable. 

              Nursing pads are essential for preventing leaks and protecting your clothing from stains during breastfeeding.

              • Nipple cream: Invest in a high-quality nipple cream or lanolin ointment to soothe and moisturise sore nipples during the early days of breastfeeding.

                Apply nipple cream after each feeding to help prevent dryness, cracking, and discomfort, allowing you to focus on bonding with your baby without pain or irritation.

                Your nurse or midwife can guide you through this process, along with navigating breastfeeding for the first time.

                 

                Pregnant woman holding her stomach

                Resources and support for expecting parents

                As you embark on this new journey of parenthood, remember that support is available every step of the way. After you’ve downloaded your hospital bag labour delivery checklist, you might want some extra help or advice to navigate and prepare for the big day.

                Reach out to healthcare providers, lactation consultants, your nurse or midwife, or support groups with any questions or hiccups you might have along the way.

                We know it can be easier said than done to simply ‘ask for help’, so if you’re feeling anxious or have questions about your upcoming labour and birth, check out these helpful resources:


                Coco & Bundle resources


                PANDA online resources

                Bare Mum

                is on a mission to better prepare women for the unfiltered realities of motherhood and support new mums throughout their postpartum journeys. Created for women by women, these postpartum essentials combine thoughtful design and the best that nature has to offer.

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