You have spent the past few months preparing for your new arrival. You have logged countless hours at the baby stores, read all the blogs on baby proofing, and (frantically) prepared for the bundle of joy that is due any time now. You may think (or hope) that you have it all covered, but be sure not to overlook the essentials that you will want with you when you make your way out the door for the hospital. Check out the list below and start preparing early.
Toiletries: Although most hospitals would provide soap, shampoo, and tissues, you may want to consider bringing some toiletries from home. Lotion, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, conditioner and deodorant will come in handy.
IDs, cards and any document to process hospital discharge: Without any further explanation; you’ll need these when you have to settle the bills. If you wear glasses, be sure to bring them as you might have to read and sign some papers.
Maternity Notes: Specifically, this would refer to one’s birth plan. A plan will state every wish made by the mother before, during and after delivery. It will also state the accountable person who will be asked questions in case something arises.
Pillows: During the contractions, you’ll want to have all the comfort in the world and having familiar pillows by your side will help you cope with the pain of labor. If you are having a C-section you will be staying at the hospital for a night or two . . . having a familiar pillow should help you settle in and get some sleep.
Clothes: While the hospital gowns are standard issue right before and after delivery, having some comfy clothes to change into after all is said and done is a nice idea. Make sure to choose loose fitting clothes with sleeves loose enough for nurses to be able to check your blood pressure and your temperature. Pack socks and slippers. Be sure to pack a going home outfit. I suggest going for comfort above all else; comfortable pants or jeans with a loose, comfortable top.
Nursing bras and breast pads: It does not matter whether you are breastfeeding or bottlefeeding; your breasts will surely swell and be tender so packing a supportive nursing bra is a good bet. Additionally, breast pads are great in helping absorb leaks, which can be slightly embarrassing when receiving visitors.
A Full Set of Baby Clothes: While the hospital may provide for the sheets for swaddling your baby, you’ll also have to prepare for a complete set of clothes for the baby especially for when you are heading home. Consider packing newborn diapers as well. The hospital should provide all that you will need, but in the event you need them you will have a few on hand.
Camera or Video: Anything that will be used to record this amazing moment will be very useful. Please do not forget to bring extra batteries.
Infant Car Seat: You can’t bring home your baby without installing this safety feature in your car. Parents are not permitted to take home their baby without the properly installed car seat. In case you have trouble installing the car seat, you can register for a car seat installation workshop. If not, ask help from hospitals or local fire stations.
Your Partner’s Clothes: Be sure to bring the daddy-to-be some comfy clothes (or a change of clothes should he not fare too well while watching the birth). Consider his going home clothes as well.
Snacks: Labor can be very exhausting so you might want to bring something you could eat aside from what is served in the hospital. Crackers, granola bars, and your favorite fruit juice or whatever food and beverage you prefer should also be packed.Journal: A lot of women these days find that chronicling the first few days and milestones of their babies very gratifying and exciting. With the journal, you could even ask the nurses to get the first footprints of your baby.