Your labour bag should be packed and waiting by the front door by 36 weeks to ensure you are ready for anything.
Here are some suggestions for what you should pack in your bag. The list is by no means exhaustive and if you think there is something we have missed please mention it in the comments below. Remember though that the hospital is not a hotel room so pack as light as possible, one large suitcase is much better than multiple holdalls.
Change for the car park (easy to forget in the rush) or register card by phone.
Maternity Notes...Important to remember!
Socks – in case you get cold feet in labour!
T-Shirt / something comfortable to wear for the birth
Snacks/Drinks – some for you and some for birth partner
Camera / video recorder
Books/Mags/Music/download movies – to pass the time before/after active labour (include your headphones)
Toiletries (inc. toothbrush and toothpaste, shower gel, hair wash)
Water Spray Bottle/wipes - cool yourself down
Playlist and means to play it – favourite tunes make labour more bearable
Flannel - get your birth partner to mop your brow!
Hair Brush / hair bands / hair clips
Water bottle – small bottles with a spout are easier to drink from or bring a straw
Bach Rescue Remedy – for times of crisis
Lip balm (dry lips are annoying)
Change of clothes for birth partner
Going home outfit, something baggy and comfy
Knickers – disposable or cheap cotton 'big pants' (always go a size bigger than you need)
Nursing Bra / vest top
Maternity Pads – bigger the better – at least 2-3 packs
Nightdress / PJs that are suitable for breastfeeding
Dressing Gown, lightweight - hospitals are hot!
Slippers / flip flops (size larger, your feet will swell)
Deodorant - hospitals are hot!
Towels – ones that don’t matter, dark colours are good!
Nipple cream – well worth packing!
Cosmetics (if you can't bear the thought of being seen 'au natural').
Ear plugs – in case you find yourself with the only sleeping baby on a noisy ward!
Car Seat – can leave it in the car until ready to go home
Babygros / sleepsuits (at least 3)
Baby vests (at least 3)
Nappies (1 pack)
2 Hats - one for immediately following birth (which you don’t mind getting dirty) and one for trip home
Cotton Wool balls....you'll be surprised how many you get through
If not breastfeeding ready made hospital pack of artificial number 1, infant first milk (whichever brand you choose)