How to pack a maternity suitcase

Comment préparer sa valise de maternité ?

Are you nearing the end of your pregnancy and the birth of your baby is just around the corner? If you haven't already done so, you're going to have to take care of the famous maternity suitcase. Clothes for the delivery room, birth trousseau, toiletries for your stay... But how do you prepare your maternity suitcase? Here's everything you need to know so you don't forget anything on D-day!

What is a maternity suitcase?

The term "maternity suitcase" refers not to a single suitcase, but to all the luggage a pregnant woman needs to prepare for her delivery and her stay in the maternity hospital with baby. In most cases, this kit is divided into two: a bag for the birth room and a large suitcase containing the essentials for the post-delivery stay.

Why do I need to pack a suitcase before going to the maternity hospital?

Packing a suitcase before going to the maternity ward is an important step for the mother-to-be. Its main purpose is to organize and anticipate the big day. It is therefore often likened to a "rite of passage", allowing you to :

  • come to terms with the fact that you can give birthat any time;
  • prepare yourself mentally and physically for the arrival of your child;
  • relieve any stress you may be feeling by taking concrete action to embody the changes that are about to take place in your life.

When should I start packing my maternity suitcase?

There's no precise date for starting to pack your maternity suitcase. In fact, every mother is free to organize herself as she wishes. Some choose to gather their future baby's belongings early on. Others take charge during the final weeks of their pregnancy.

For peace of mind on your way to the maternity ward, however, we advise you not to leave it to the last minute. Ideally, you should pack your suitcase at the beginning of the ninth month of pregnancy, at around 37 weeks' amenorrhea. From that point on, baby can be on the way! If you're thinking ahead, you can also start packing your suitcase in the early days of your maternity leave.

As we've seen, packing for the maternity ward is a crucial step if you are to look forward to the birth and your new life as a mother with peace of mind. So take advantage of these moments to refocus on yourself and your baby.

Instructions for use: everything you need to pack!

When you register, your maternity hospital will give you a document listing the essentials for you and your baby's stay. This list may vary from one establishment to another, depending on the products you will be provided with(toiletries, diapers, etc.). To make sure you don't forget anything, we've compiled a list of baby and maternity essentials for the delivery room and your stay in the maternity ward.

For the delivery room: baby and mom essentials

To ensure that your delivery goes as smoothly as possible, here's what you can pack in your bag for the delivery room:

  • a loose-fitting T-shirt or large nightdress;
  • a cardigan ;
  • a pair of socks;
  • a bottle of water;
  • spray bottle;
  • a pack of tissues;
  • a book and music;
  • a cell phone or camera to immortalize your first moments with baby.

You may also want to bring a pareo or a sturdy cloth to hang on to, to ease the contractions. If you're a fan of alternative medicine, don't forget yourhomeopathic prescription. On the day of delivery, certain essential oils can be used to soothe pain. So don't forget to pack your bottle of massage oil for the big day!

To welcome baby in the best possible conditions, put together the following kit:

  • a cotton bodysuit;
  • velvet pyjamas;
  • a warm bra;
  • a bonnet ;
  • a pair of socks;
  • a soft blanket;
  • a sleeping bag ;
  • a cotton diaper (useful for skin-to-skin care);
  • an eco-friendly disposable diaper.

For the maternity ward: the mother and baby bag

After being monitored for around two hours, you and your baby can return to your room. To make the most of your stay, we recommend that you pack these essentials in your maternity suitcase:

  • two pyjamas or nightdresses;
  • five tunics or loose-fitting T-shirts;
  • two leggings or jogging suits;
  • a cardigan ;
  • a robe or bathrobe;
  • two pairs of socks;
  • compression stockings (especially if you wore them during your pregnancy);
  • comfortable slippers;
  • two dark-colored towels;
  • three bras;
  • five pairs of cotton or disposable panties;
  • ultra-absorbent sanitary pads;
  • toiletries (shower gel, shampoo, intimate hygiene soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.);
  • a few beauty products (make-up, moisturizing face cream, stretch mark treatment, make-up remover, etc.);
  • a hair dryer.

Also pack the following items for baby:

  • six to eight front-opening bodysuits;
  • six to eight cozy pyjamas;
  • three wool cardigans;
  • four pairs of socks;
  • slippers;
  • small cotton gloves (to prevent scratching);
  • one or two sleeping bags ;
  • a fleece blanket;
  • two bathing capes;
  • five bibs or diapers;
  • a warm outfit for when you leave the maternity ward (a bonnet, a pretty outfit, a pilot suit or an angel's nest);
  • a soft toy ;
  • a pacifier (if necessary);
  • eco-friendly disposable or washable diapers;
  • diaper and bath products (liniment, wipes, diaper cream, mild soap, saline solution, etc.).

Some maternity hospitals supply baby care and hygiene products. But be sure to ask before the birth to make sure you have everything you'll need during your stay.

Administrative documents to take with you

Before you leave for the maternity hospital, don't forget to take along a folder containing essential administrative documents:

  • your identity card and that of your father ;
  • your carte vitale;
  • your health insurance card;
  • your maternity record;
  • your test results;
  • your ultrasound scans;
  • your blood group card;
  • your birth plan (if you have drawn one up);
  • your family record book (livret de famille ) or early acknowledgement of birth (if you have already done so).

Breast-feeding essentials

If you've decided to breastfeed your baby, here's what you also need to pack in your maternity suitcase:

  • clothes compatible with breastfeeding (that open easily on the sides or front) ;
  • three nursing bras;
  • washable nursing pads (to absorb leaking milk);
  • mother-of-pearl or silver nursing shells;
  • lanolin or sterilized honey cream (for cracked nipples).

Baby has spent 9 months in a warm, physiological position in his mother's womb, grouped in the fetal position. Carrying your baby against you in a sling prolongs this softness and eases the transition between this reassuring cocoon and the outside world. With a baby sling, your child feels secure, snuggled up against you, his limbs contained and grouped together, without having to fight against gravity. This closeness fosters a strong, reassuring emotional bond for both baby and parents. What's more, you'll be able to pick up your coffee and breakfast with baby at the maternity ward, do some skin-to-skin for daddy and let him take his place when mommy's resting, all while gaining confidence in you and baby. Love Radius slings and baby carriers are designed for perfect ergonomics, respecting baby's natural position and ensuring balanced weight distribution for the wearer. Sober, uncluttered designs blend into your everyday life, allowing you to keep your hands free while being close to your baby. Solutions designed by parents for parents and their babies, perfect for confidently leaving the maternity ward in style, without the childcare label.

Our tips for packing your maternity suitcase with peace of mind

When a pregnant woman is organizing her maternity suitcase, it's easy to get carried away and pack too much for fear of running out. To help you stay calm during this important stage, we invite you to follow these three tips.

1. Choose the essentials for you and your baby

Your maternity bag and suitcase aren't expandable (unfortunately!). So we recommend that yougo straight to the essentialsand pack according to your needs and those of baby. Pack clothes, hygiene and toilet ries, and whatever you feel is most comfortable for you.

What may seem necessary to you may not be so to other mothers. But be careful not to pack too many bulky or expensive items that you're unlikely to use. Once you've finished packing your maternity suitcase, check that everything you've put in it will prove useful during your stay.

2. Have fun packing for motherhood

Organizing your maternity suitcase is the last step before you meet your baby. By the time you read this, you may already have finished decorating your baby's room, and all that's left to do is pack for the big day.

So make the most of this moment that heralds the end of your pregnancy and the beginning of your new life as a mother. Enjoy these final preparations and connect with your baby. Explain to him, for example, that you're gathering everything you need to welcome him at birth. Imagine him in the pretty layette you and dad have chosen for the occasion, and enjoy this unique moment!

3. Don't be afraid of forgetting something

Once you've packed your maternity suitcase, relax and enjoy the last few weeks of your pregnancy. Don't be afraid of forgetting something! If it turns out that you're missing a bodysuit or your favorite shower gel, ask Dad to collect it from home or buy it in a store. If you need something to make labor easier, ask your midwife to lend you a balloon or find an alternative solution.

Where can I find all the items in my maternity suitcase?

To buy all the items in your maternity suitcase, you can go to a specialist nursery store. You can also buy online from French e-commerce sites.

We advise you to opt for natural hygiene products and items made from organic materials. A baby's skin is very sensitive, so it's essential to take care of it right from birth!

Maternity suitcase FAQs

When should I pack my maternity suitcase?

There's no exact answer to this question! The most important thing is to plan a few weeks in advance, so that you can leave for the maternity ward on the day of the birth with peace of mind.

What size suitcase should I choose for the maternity ward?

In general, mothers-to-be opt for a medium or large maternity suitcase. In the case of a first pregnancy, we recommend that you choose a large suitcase to hold all the things you'll need.

What should I wear to the delivery room?

For the delivery room, pack a small bag into which you'll slip a comfortable outfit: a large T-shirt or nightdress, a cardigan and a pair of socks.

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The information contained in the articles on is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.