Preparing for your little one to arrive can seem like an endless list of things to buy or organise. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming and as a first time mum you might have no idea what to pack for your labour and birth bag.

A lot of mums overpack certain items which they don’t really need and scrimp on the items that they do need. Just remember that babies make a lot of mess and really like to soil and vomit all over their lovely new clothes, especially when you have just changed them.

As a new mum after you have had baby you will bleed for around 10 days. At first it will feel like a heavy period so make sure you have plenty of changes of clothes and underwear.

I have compiled a list of helpful items that I have personally used for both of my babies which I know you will find helpful.

For Mum:

Night dress - easy access for breastfeeding Slippers Black knickers x 8 Feeding tops x 2 Nursing bra x 2 Pyjamas x 2-3 Loose fitting clothes x4 Breast pads Sanitary pads - maternity ones Nipple cream Hospital notes Pillow Deodorant Toothbrush & toothpaste Face & body cream Lip balm Clothes to go home in Hairbrush, clips, hair tie Shampoo, conditioner & body wash Warm socks Cardigan or dressing gown for night time.

For Baby:

Nappies - 2 packs Swaddle wrap or cloths - large ones x4 Woollen Blanket x 2 Woollen Hats x 2 Socks x 5 Baby grow x 8-10 Woollen Singlets x 8-10 Water Wipes x2 Hand mittens Dirty bag for soiled clothes Nappy cream Outfit to go home in Car seat Set of 0-3 month clothes, in case you have a big baby Milestone card for photos

For Dad:

Change of clothes x 3 Camera Warm socks Clean undies x3 Change for parking Phone & charger Snacks Pillow Sleeping clothes Deodorant & toiletries Rescue remedy

Around 48 hours your milk will be coming in, which can be very uncomfortable. Make sure that you have loose fitting tops that don’t dig into your breasts as it may cause mastitis. Another tip that I have learned along the way is the use of raw cabbage leaves.

Get your partner to go out and get you a whole raw cabbage, have it cold and in the fridge waiting to go. It’s a bit of an old wives tale but it really works, place a cabbage leaf inside your bra when your breasts feel sore and overflowing with milk. You will feel like you have gone to heaven as the cabbage leaves cool your breasts and take off any excess milk. Once the cabbage leaves are warm and wilting you can change them. Just ask a health professional on the ward if you are unsure.


Muesli bars, nuts, crackers, fruit (lots of it apart from grapes as they can cause baby to get diarrhoea). Powerade for energy in labour, especially if you are struggling to eat.

When you are in labour you may not feel very hungry so get yourself plenty of energy boosting snacks. Once baby is born you will probably find that your hungry has come back ten fold as your body is recovering and working hard to produce milk.

I hope that you find the checklist helpful.