Baby Hints & Tips

What should I pack in my hospital bag?

One question that I’ve seen asked more than seemingly any other is What should I pack in my hospital bag? Get ready, girls, because I am about to give you the definitive breakdown.What should I pack in my hospital bag?


Stop interrupting your obstetrician to ask, “Backpack or duffel bag?”. Let me, a completely unqualified and ridiculous person, tell you everything I know so that you may enter the hospital glowing with a smug sense of calm and peace. Like a big fat Buddha about to scream obscenities as you fart out a human.


Snacks are essential. Not only to labour, but to life itself. Most of my daily thought process centres around snacks. What am I eating? What am I about to eat? What’s for dinner? Are we going past the fish and chip shop and is there time for me to get a pineapple fritter? Snacks never held more importance for me than when I was in hospital with my kid.

You’re going to be starving. A ravenous, sweating, straining animal rolling around in your own filth. There will be times when you’re not allowed to eat but, like a beautiful packet of Smith’s Salt and Vinegar Crinkle Cut at the end of the tunnel, when the green light is given you are going to want to chow down like a whale devouring krill. Open your mouth wide, relax the hinge on your lower jaw and devour everything in the room like the beautiful black hole that you have become. Concepts like time and space will become completely abstract as you engulf the entire world down your starving gullet. Eat, baby, eat! Just tell your partner to handcuff themselves to something sturdy otherwise they may well lose an arm.


I have a really, really smart and cool friend who epitomises the idea of effortless chic that a dweeb like me can only aspire to. The lady has got her shit together. This friend and I were talking about what we took in our hospital bag. Similar sensible choices bounced back and forth until she uttered the most perfect sentence I have ever heard in my life.

“I took juggling balls to the hospital.”

She tried to instantly clarify this by making some lame excuse like they were to squeeze for stress relief or some nonsense, but my imaginings of this capable creature suddenly sitting up after a contraction and busting out a few circus moves was far superior. You don’t have to lie about stress balls, Lauren. I know you’re secretly into clowning.

Whatever you’re into, whatever will pass the time and take your focus off the “How much tearing are we talking about?” question is super important. Books, games, cross-stitch, sewing, swearing loudly, watching movies. If it feels good, do it. Bounce those balls, baby!


You will be nude for some of the time but at other times you will be clothed. Much like life. I’d advise bringing clothes that you’re comfy in.

Loose, comfortable, black. Imagine yourself like a floating goth cloud of comfort. I’ve suggested black because it hides the snack stains that will inevitably appear. See? I told you I knew what I was talking about. Leggings, big shirts, comfortable breast-feeding crop tops, low necks. Think American tourist goes to Byron Bay and you’re pretty much there.

If you’re like me (materialistic and set in your ways) having your stuff around you will help ease some of the difficult parts of the process. And ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what you take or don’t take when you get to bring home a cool little kid at the end.

Good luck, ladies! I’ll just be here thinking about snacks until you need me. Mmmmm. Snacks.

Please share your hospital bag hacks below.

Read other what other mums packed in their hospital bag

About the Author:

Louise Lavery is a writer, a renegade, a mother and a ridiculous human. She's an online editor, print editor, writer for small business, young adult novelist, social media manager, academic and completely terrified of balloons. It just always feels like they're about to pop and give you a little fright, you know? You can find her all over the internet just doing her thing and at Families Magazine.

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