by: Sinead

I decided I better start getting a few essential items in, as I haven’t even thought about my hospital bag and I realise time is ticking!

So I found myself in the baby aisle the other evening and when I was looking at the cotton wool – I realised I couldn’t remember for that split second how you clean a newborn’s bum, I was doubting myself – I’m sure it was just cotton wool, water and some Vaseline?? I then looked up and the breastpads caught my eye – oh no….breastpads, I need them too! It’s all coming back to me!! I put a few things into the basket and headed home.

Reality is finally hitting and I need to get sorted, ha ha! So I looked up my hospital list from the last time, which a couple of friends had sent on to me (which included some tips from their experiences) so I’ll share them and a few more of my own from last time!

Hospital bag essentials:

Advice from friend A:

Two bags needed – the hospital stay one you can just leave in the car until you are in your room after the birth.


2  x Nightdress (one and one back up – I agree they’re totally gross but if you’re going the natural route you’ll need one and preferably one with buttons or something down the front to feed the baby straight after the birth, as this will be easier).

I also had 2 x pyjamas with me…(but I ended up staying in the tracksuit I was in for most of the time until I had the epidural as it was comfortable but handy to have these as a backup too).

Something to keep you busy…a book, magazines something like that.

Maybe something to snack on (seriously if you end up like me and are there for a while you may be glad you brought something you like!).

Bottle of water


Flip flops (for shower)

Dressing gown

A couple of pairs of underwear that you don’t mind just getting rid of after (just don’t think about why!).

A nursing bra

Face cloth





2 x towels (I’d recommend dark ones just in case!).

Maternity Sanitary pads –I don’t have the name of them but I’m pretty sure they sell them in most chemists – they’re in a green pack and are the ones they use in Holles street. I guess why I would recommend them (even though they are quite big) is they are better if you do have stiches or anything as they don’t stick to you like maybe a normal pad would ( I know we’re really getting into the detail here now!).

One outfit for baby, vest, babygro, hat.

Music if you want to go there, ha ha!!

Hospital stay for you (some things you’ll already have in labour bag)

Pyjamas/tracksuit whatever you’re most comfortable in after the birth.


Toiletries and make up

Breast pads

Nipple cream (again if you’re thinking of breast feeding it can be painful at first and this helps (you can get it in Mothercare or in any chemist).

Maybe another towel


Mobile charger

Outfit to go home in

Hospital stay for baby

Nappies (size 1) – I’d just bring one pack to start with, someone can bring more for you if needs be.

Nappy bags (for the dirty nappies!)

Cotton wool


Olive oil (I know it sounds weird but you can buy a bottle of this in the chemist and they’ll recommend it in the hospital if baby has dry skin).

Baby wipes (I find the pampers sensitive are the best)

A towel for baby

I would suggest having two full outfits for baby for each day (vest, babygro, hat, scratch mittens)

And a blanket and an outfit to go home in.

Maybe one or two bibs too…not needed if you’re breastfeeding but handy if you do end up bottle feeding at all.

Extra tips from friend B:

Buy the babygro’s that have the little sleeves that pull over the baby’s hand – to avoid having to buy mittens as they fall off all the time. Newborn babies scratch their little faces all the time, that’s why it’s best to have the sleeves with the extra material that fold over their hands. You can get them in Mothercare and Next.

Buy the baby bath towels that have the little corner to go over their heads, they sell them everywhere. They’re softer than regular towels.

Bring amazing shower gel for your first shower (as you want to feel nice).

Bring one of those eye covers that you use on the plane in case you’re in a ward at any stage as they leave the lights on!

When buying vests make sure they are the ones that button under their bums, forget the cross over ones etc. all too complicated!

Bottle of Water for your labour bag.


Why not download our handy hospital bag checklist

My few extra tips

You will still need breast pads regardless of how you choose to feed your baby.

Your breasts get really sore (my sister had bought me breast gel pads as a joke when I was pregnant – they were a life-saver in the end! You put them in the fridge to make them cold and are a lovely relief for those days.

Ikea have night-lights that are brilliant and cheap I think €10-14ish, I was given one as part of a present and I used it for months, as baby will be in your room when you go home, so if crib is beside  your bed, you don’t want to turn on the light to check baby or feed baby, you just use the night-light and the ikea ones can be charged up so you can carry it around with you if you need to move to a different room etc. (They are small white night-lights with little ears and light up in a range of colours or you can get it to stop on one colour). Also handy to give if baby is staying in a relative’s house.

For pram/moses basket you will need to change sheets all the time with them spitting up etc. and a pillow case fits perfectly, no need to buy a load of expensive sheets, I just bought a few and then used pillow cases in between the washing.

Tips if you end up having a c-section: (hopefully not!)

You will still need a good stock of the maternity pads (I for some reason thought because I didn’t have a natural delivery I wouldn’t bleed as much as those that did – you do!)

You can get a c-section belt that is brilliant it has a cushion layer against scar and hard case on outside to protect you from seat belt, waistbands etc.

Send someone to get you the over the bump pants in mothercare – last thing you want is rubbing against your scar line.

Good luck ladies,