What’s in My Hospital Bag? Summer Baby Edition, 2020

Thursday, 20 February 2020
I spent the last few weeks of my pregnancy compiling my maternity bag checklist and then refining it and changing it again. Now that our baby girl has arrived I have also added a section of things I wish I had packed in my hospital bag and my most used items which I am so glad I had on hand. Packing my hospital bag was both so exciting and surreal, it felt like I was packing for the best holiday of my life (except I was taking maternity pads rather than bikinis!). If you are a mama or packing your bags, you will know what I mean.

This hospital bag checklist can be used by anyone but has been specifically tweaked for having a baby in the summer, as well as having a baby at Parklands Hospital, South Africa where I gave birth as I couldn’t find a list online outlining what was provided in the South African private hospitals and what wasn’t. I have made notes where applicable so you can either ignore these or use them as needed. My hospital said for a natural birth I could expect to spend two nights in hospital and for a c-section, three nights. So, although I was hoping for a natural birth, I packed for an extra day in case of unforeseen circumstances.  

I ended up packing a total of four bags. It sounds excessive but hear me out! These are the four bags I packed: A small cabin size suitcase for myself that can be locked and kept in the ward while I am in the labour suite, a tote bag with items I might need / want to reach for during labour and that I can easily access, a bag for the baby and a bag for my husband. 


If this is something you have signed up for, make sure you notify your Dr beforehand.
  • Netcells Box


Take the below if your baby’s birth can be registered in hospital.
  • Both parent’s ID books
  • Medical aid card
  • Black pen



  • Car seat installed and ready in your car. You cannot leave the hospital without a car seat so fit this a few days before. 


I packed a few different sizes of baby clothes between newborn and 0-3 months as I wasn’t sure how big this baby would be on their arrival. This is an area I thought it better to have too much than too little being a first time mom.

  • 2x Baby beanie (Provided by Parklands Hospital)
  • 3x Baby grow long sleeve - better if wrap style and not over head
  • 3x Baby grow short sleeve - better if wrap style and not over head
  • 1x Baby mittens
  • 2x Blanket - light muslin / receiving blanket (Provided by Parklands Hospital)
  • 1x Blanket - warm (Provided by Parklands Hospital)
  • 1x Going home outfit
  • 3x Sleepsuits (with feet preferably)
  • 2x Socks


Your hospital might supply some of these products, so it is always best to ask them what they provide first. Although I am planning on using cloth nappies, I thought the logistics of trying to figure out how to store dirty nappies to be washed later was too much for me as a first time mom so I plan on using disposables in the hospital. I also wanted to use the water wipes and a natural nipple balm so opted to bring my own rather than use a brand I didn’t want on my baby’s skin or in their mouth.

  • A natural / organic nipple balm, even coconut oil
  • Cotton wool to clean umbilical cord area (Provided by Parklands)
  • Gentle baby wash, I used Pure Beginnings, this gift set was really nice to take
  • Nail file / baby nail clippers
  • Small bag of newborn / Size 0 nappies (Provided by Parklands)
  • Wetwipes (Provided by Parklands)
  • NOTE - Surgical spirits are no longer recommended to clean the umbilical cord area so you will use water and cotton wool only


Comfort is key. You will be in a lot of pain and discomfort regardless of how you give birth, you won’t want anything tight fitting. I found I couldn't even put on undies after my c-section, never mind high waist leggings. Instead I opted for easy access breastfeeding clothes and soft fabrics. As my baby is being born in peak summer, loose dresses were the most comfortable and they also made me feel put together with minimum effort when we had visitors pop around. The maternity ward is quite hot as they seem to keep it warm for the babies so make sure you don’t only pack longs, regardless of the season. 


  • 1x Going home outfit / lose fitting dress easy to breastfeed in
  • 2x Light comfy dress for during day/ lose fitting dress easy to breastfeed in
  • 1x Light weight gown (although I preferred using the hospital gowns as there was blood that leaked and they were baggy and comfy)
  • 3x Nursing bras
  • 1x Nightie (you can just use the hospital gowns too if you need to save space)
  • 1x Pair of sandals / slip on shoes
  • 1x Pair of slops for shared shower areas
  • 1x Pair of slippers
  • 3x High waist undies (Parklands give you really comfy disposable undies, I only ended up using these)
*in winter you can swap the dresses for comfy joggers and loose tops.


  • 1x Dark face cloth (towels are provided by the hospital, but you might want your own face cloth).
  • Deodorant
  • Perfume
  • Ear plugs (if you have a shared room these will help block out extra noise)
  • Eye mask for sleeping (I didn't end up using one but if I had a shared room I might  have)
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair dryer (I didn't end up using this but if I had had a natural birth and sweated a lot during labour I would have wanted to wash and dry my hair)
  • Hair band
  • Lip balm
  • Make up – I kept it simple with BB cream, blush, eyebrow gel & lip tint
  • 6x Maternity disposable hospital panties (Provided by Parklands)
  • 1x pack Maternity pads (with wings so they stay in place) (Provided by Parklands)
  • Reusable breast pads 
  • Shampoo and Conditioner (in small bottles)
  • Shower gel / soap
  • Skincare - face wash, eye cream, moisturiser and face spray
  • Small hand / body lotion
  • Spay/ Squirt bottle to help wee if you have natural birth
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Witch hazel & Aloe gel to put on maternity pads if you have a natural birth


  • Bag for dirty clothes
  • Book
  • Cash – R100
  • Gum or mints
  • Healthy snacks (Mrs Milk bars, nuts, dried fruit, Arbonne energy fizz stix)
  • Towel to sit on in the car (in case water breaks)
  • A large bottle with a straw. I didn’t have space for one but I heard a lot of mamas liked having this to easily sip on in between contractions. Kauai and Woolworths both have really nice bottle options with a straw.


  • Battery fairy lights OR touch night light (hospital room can be too bright in middle of the night for feeds)
  • Camera
  • Camera batteries
  • Camera charger
  • Cell phone
  • Cell phone charger
  • Double Adaptor
  • Downloaded hypnobirthing / calm music playlists for labour
  • Headphones
  • Power bank – fully charged

*A breast pump is something you might want to take as well. Mine is too bulky and I don’t plan on pumping straight away. However if I do have issues breastfeeding I can always send a family member home to bring it to the hospital.


Your husband / partner may be able to stay with you in hospital depending on the country / what type of room you get. At Parklands Hospital dads cannot stay over, even if you have a private room so we didn't end up using the bag I had packed for Brett. However this is what was in his bag:


  • 1x pair of shoes
  • 1x jersey
  • 1x joggers / comfy lounge pants
  • 3x shirts
  • 2x shorts
  • 3x undies


  • Cologne
  • Deodorant
  • Hair gel
  • Toothbrush


  • Blanket - leave in the car but take in case hospital’s is thin and cold
  • Pillow - leave in car but just in case hospital’s is thin and horrible
  • Book - there is a lot of time to kill in hospital 


  • The battery powered, plastic fairy lights I had bought from Woolworths. These were so nice to have on hand. I wrapped them around the rail of the hospital bed so I could easily turn them on and off and these made night time feeds so calming without a bright, glaring hospital light being switched on
  • Mrs Milk Bars
  • Book - you have so much time in between feeds and even during feeds that it was nice to have something to do. The TV in my room was small, blurry and at an awkward angle so I didn't end up watching this and read instead
  • Baby's own blankets. Although the hospital provides baby blankets, I like having her own so she could get used to these 
  • Power bank. There were no spare plug points close to the bed and as you cannot move, being bale to charge your phone without getting up was so handy
  • Baby grows with mittens. A new born baby has such sharp nails and tend to scratch their face all the time. loose mittens seem too big and don't stay on


  • A Hakka. When your milk starts to comes in on the 3rd / 4th day your breasts can feel so full and I had a lot of leaking. I wish I had had a Hakka to help with the let down and engorgement
  • A teeny newborn dummy. Our baby girl battled to settle in hospital and I had only packed a 0-6 months BIBS dummy. It turns out these are huge for a newborn so she couldn't suck on it
  • Another two or three sets of reusable breast pads as I had a lot of milk come in and was going through these quickly
5 comments on "What’s in My Hospital Bag? Summer Baby Edition, 2020"
  1. This is so helpful! Thank you for sharing.
    Do you remember where you got your wrap style baby grows from by any chance?

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