Thoroughly Modern Mammy Maria outlines the essentials you should bring when going to hospital to deliver your little one.

The Hospital Bag.

The one thing that is a complete nightmare for first time expectant Mums…and every expectant Mum regardless of how many times they’ve packed one!


By the time you go in to have Baby #2 or #6, you’ve learned to leave out the 387 items that the baby shop or list told you you “must have”.

Now, having been through the packing of the bag twice, I feel I must impart my knowledge and experience of what is ACTUALLY essential, before it disappears from my gammy mammy brain forever.

Here is my list of the things you MUST pack.

  1. Flip flops: When you get into the shower, you will understand why these are essential. You can buy them for a euro in the “Penneysbest”.  Do not spend more than that. They will be binned.
  2. Towels:  Bring black towels.  NO OTHER COLOUR.  And make sure they are big and fluffy and cozy.  You deserve a nice towel after your showers.
  3. Moisturiser:  There is nowhere in the world where the moisture is zapped from your skin and lips faster. Bring your favourite and lather it on as often as you wish throughout the day (and night). I was advised to bring my favourite shower gel for my first shower, but having had a section, I ended up using the baby’s no scent, no colour stuff. Oh and Lip Balm.  Essential.
  4. Makeup?  This for me was not a priority, but I did bring concealer and mascara and a powder. I didn’t have the energy to think about putting on a face. It would have slid off with the heat anyway! (But this is a personal choice really.)
  5. Pillow cases:  This was one of the BEST tips I got.  Pillow cases fit around the little mattress in the cot perfectly.  Bring 4.  You can whip them off easily in the case of a puke/poonami and all the dirty clothes can go straight into the case to be popped in a plastic bag for the lucky divil who takes home your washing.
  6. Plastic bags: See above.  Bring a roll of small binbags.  You will find use for them.
  7. Disposable knickers:  This is my FAVOURITE thing on the list.  Do you know who wants you to wear disposable knickers? The MAKERS of disposable knickers.  After what you will go through, you do NOT need to wear paper cacks. No.  Save those bad boys for the spa…  Buy 10 pairs of the CHEAPEST BIGGEST BLACK “Granny Knickers” you can find.  And I mean BIG in every sense. And when you are changing or showering or have a ladymess, dump them along with the sanitary nappies.  Dump, dump, dump.  NO. Your ladybits do not need any more indignity.  Cloth knickers only.
  8. 2 packs of sanitary towels”:  Em.  How do I put this?  NO.  See how I said “get Big black knickers”? Go BIG for the towels too.  I’m talking huge and massive… almost nappies.  You know the ones you would NEVER buy normally and you’ve often wondered WHO buys them? Those.  And yes 2 packs in your bag, but throw 2 packs in the car bag too.
  9. Notebook and pen:  Both times, my brain went to absolute mush. I was so tired that by night 2 when a nurse asked how much she’d drank, I hadn’t a clue and so spent 10 minutes bawling at my utter uselessness.  She handed me a pen and paper and I started writing down time, ounces, wet/poo/puke etc.  I did this for the first 3 weeks with both kids so when the PHN or any other person asked questions, I had the answers right there in my magic book. #mammywin
  10. Gift for siblings:  Now not everyone does this, but we did both times.  When Mini-Me was born, the bloke got a top saying “I’m the Big Brother”.  He wore it for 3 days solid.  When Princess came along, she gave Mini-Me a similar jumper and a little “Sisters” charm bracelet.

You don’t need a full box of steriswabs ( I obviously didn’t ever buy a full box!)  You don’t need a CD player with classical music.  You don’t need half of the crap that the baby shops have on the list.  This list from is short and sweet.

Another handy trick is to have more than ONE bag.  Have a large handbag with the essentials for labour and the first day.  Then have the other stuff in a small case.  AND, have an extra bag in the boot of the car with spare clothes, going home outfits, extra towel, extra pads/nappies etc so when your partner or pal comes to visit, they can easily bring more of whatever it is you need.

Also, every day, send dirty clothes and any gifts home with family so that when you finally hear the magic words “You can go home”, you have much less to pack.

If you’re packing, Good luck Ladybelle.