Pregnant woman stands in a field with a hand on her bump during a Maternity shoot on a farm in Suffolk

Preparing for your Babies Arrival: What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

May 16, 2024 | maternity, Newborn


a New Mum and Dad hold their newborn baby boy during a Newborn Photoshoot with Alison mckenny Photography in front of a bright white backdground


Welcoming a new addition to your family is an exciting journey filled with anticipation and endless preparation. One essential aspect of this preparation is packing your hospital bag and it’s always worth having this ready to go a few weeks before your due date, just in case Baby decides to make an early appearance. As a Mum of 2, and 13 years experience talking to new Mums during their Maternity and Newborn Shoots at my studio in Stoke By Clare, Suffolk, I’ve put together a helpful list to ensure you have everything you need for the big day:

  1. Essentials for Labour and Delivery:
    • Photo ID, insurance information, and hospital paperwork
    • Birth plan, if you have one
    • Music if you have a set playlist for labour
    • Comfortable clothing for labour (think loose-fitting items cotton nighties)
    • Tens Machine to help with early contractions
    • Snacks and drinks to keep your energy up
    • Swim wear (if having a water birth)
    • Massage oil
    • Extra Long Phone charger x2  and entertainment to pass the time in case it takes a while for things to get started

  2. Clothing and Comfort for Mom:
    • Comfortable pyjamas or nightgowns, with buttons down the front for easy breastfeeding.
    • Nursing bras, breast pads and nipple cream for cracked nipples.
    • Postpartum or Disposable underwear
    • Extra large sanitary towels (sorry to be grim but you are going to need a lot of these and high absorbency is important)
    • Arnica Gel or Cream to soothe your bits postpartum
    • Flipflop and towel and toiletries for after-birth shower
    • Warm sleeping socks and sleeping eye mask
    • Slip-on slippers or socks with grips
    • Toiletries, hairbrush  and makeup
    • Going-home outfit (choose something loose and comfortable)
  3. Care for Baby:
    • Newborn nappies, wipes and nappy bags
    • Soothers just in case, muslins / Burping cloths
    • Teddy / Comforter
    • Baby Bottles and formula just in case
    • Nursing Pillow
    • Newborn Outfits – bring different sizes as if you are like me, you might be surprised how big or little your newborn is when they arrive.  My eldest barely fit in his newborn clothes and was in 0-3 months as soon as we got home.
    • Baby socks, hat and mittens
    • Infant car seat, hat and blanket for the trip home
    • Baby toiletries (gentle soap, nappy / Sudocrem if needed)
  4. Extras to Consider:
    • Camera or smartphone for capturing those precious first moments
    • Snacks and drinks for your partner or support person
    • Medication
    • Any comfort items that help you relax
    • Books or Magazines
    • Cash for vending machines in case they don’t have the option to pay by card
    • Neck support cushion for your partner in case he ends up sleeping in a hospital chair if things take a while to get going.
    • Toiletries for Dad so he can freshen up if ends up staying overnight

Remember, every family’s needs are unique, so feel free to customise your hospital bag based on your preferences and any specific requirements your healthcare provider may suggest.


As you prepare for the arrival of your little one, consider capturing this special time with a maternity or newborn photoshoot. The perfect time for a maternity shoot is typically around 28-32 weeks when your bump is beautifully rounded but you’re still comfortable. And for newborns, the ideal window is within the first two weeks of birth when they’re still sleepy and curl up into those adorable poses.

Why book a photographer for these special moments?

  1. Professional Quality: A photographer can capture the beauty and emotion of pregnancy and newbornhood with skill and expertise.
  2. Timeless Memories: These photos serve as treasured keepsakes that you and your family will cherish for years to come.
  3. Stress-Free Experience: Leave the photography to the professionals and focus on enjoying these precious moments with your growing family.

If you are local to my studio in Stoke By Clare, Suffolk, I would be delighted to capture these special moments for you so all you need do is contact me and I will be very happy to help.

As you embark on this incredible journey into parenthood, may your hospital bag be packed with essentials and your hearts filled with joy and anticipation for the arrival of your little bundle of joy.

Best wishes,

Alison xx




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