You are anxiously and nervously packing for that trip to the hospital. All you can think about is finally seeing your baby’s face and meeting the person who has been kicking you. As you pack you wonder what to pack for the hospital and why?
Most obstetrician staff will provide you with a list of things to pack and of course all the pregnancy books you have been reading also provide you with a list of things to pack for you and for the baby but many fail to tell you why you need to pack these things for your trip to the hospital.
Unlike other trips this trip will be a special one because you will be bringing back an extra family member that will need to be packed for as well as packing for what you will need during your stay.
You and baby will need clothing items’ so packing these requires some thought to your comfort. You will also have a mental picture of how baby will look as you bring him/her home from the hospital.
You will want clothing that will be comfortable, allow you to look better than you feel and not get in the way of nursing if you decide to nurse your baby.
Basic clothing items for mom include:
Loose fitting gown or top and bottom PJ set that opens easily in front because you will feel all thumbs as it is and you don’t want your clothing to prevent your hands from doing what you want them to do.
Light-weight robe because during and after labor you won’t want to feel much at all on your skin but may feel a little chilly with all the fluctuations in your hormone levels.
Slippers because the hospital ones look hideous
Non-skid socks because well you won’t want to wear the hospital provided ones and you won’t want to fall on those freshly waxed floors.
Nursing bras if you intend to breastfeed and 1 to 2 regular bras if not nursing because no one wants to see your ‘girls’ hanging out.
4 to 6 pair of underpants and sanitary napkins because guess what returns right after you give birth?
Comfortable and loose-fitting clothes for going home (sorry you won’t be in your pre-pregnancy size quite yet)
Basic Clothing items for baby include:
Cloth diapers or your choice of disposable diapers because as I found out some 14+ years ago a baby CAN break out in a rash from the diapers hospitals provide.
Fantastic looking going home outfit because you will want your baby to be the best looking baby going home that day.
Baby Blanket (receiving and heavier one for colder weather or a bunting) because baby will need to feel secure, warm and comfy. Some hospitals give you a baby receiving blanket upon discharge but don’t count on it.
Booties because you would not want those cute little feet to be bare and cold!
Cap protects baby from loosing heat especially if your baby is small in size (below 7 pounds)
Toiletries and Accessories for Mom
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Hairbrush and comb because no one looks good while in labor but every mom feels like a hundred bucks and wants to look like that too after giving birth.
Hairclips or ponytail holders or hair scrunchie to hold back hair during labor and delivery
Lotion (hand and face moisturizers) so your partner can use when giving you a massage or to prevent or treat dry skin
Hand soap because who knows what kind of soap the hospital bathroom will contain?
Shampoo and hair conditioner because who wants to use an unknown brand?
Deodorant that is also an anti-perspirant because you will be sweating
Lip balm is always a good idea to pack because lips can become dry when you are having a baby.
Your focal point object or photograph
Hard candy or gum to prevent dry mouth
Makeup because what new mom wants to be without her favorite makeup when she wants to look her best?
Scented baby powder or cornstarch to pamper the skin that just did the toughest job of all (nurturing and growing another human being for month after month)
Eyeglasses for reading if you wear them
Watch so you know when to expect visitors and your next meal/snack
Address book so you and dad/partner can notify every one of the birth and statistics
Camera or video recorder or camera cellphone to take pictures of your new special little person and send the pictures out to the entire world to see
Something to do when there isn’t anything else to do like a book, magazine, crossword puzzle or birth announcement cards to fill out.
Music downloaded to your iPod or MP3 player or other music recorder
Long-distance calling card if needed especially for long distance or international calls
Toiletries and Accessories for Baby
Gifts if you will be giving these to your nurses and delivery doctor
A gift from baby to any siblings that he/she may have at home
Pacifier if you will be using one
Baby nail clippers
Burp cloth because we all know what happens after the baby finishes feeding right?
Baby lotion because baby may have dry skin or irritated skin
Diaper cream to prevent or treat diaper rash
Cord blood collection kit because you want to protect your precious child now and in the future
Car seat for ‘infants’ already installed in car (hospitals won’t let you take baby home without it)
Packing for Dad or other partner
You and baby are not the only ones that will need to have something packed and ready for the trip to the hospital. Dad or other partner especially if they are to be there during labor and delivery will need to have a few items packed for them too.
Snacks like gum, candy, and other bagged snacks
Address book (may already be in mom’s things) of course nowadays cell phones are pre-programmed with all of these important phone numbers anyways but you may have people that you want to call that are not already in your cell phone’s address page so bring your physical address book just in case you need it.
Small notebook to write down any questions for the staff or to write instructions given verbally that is not written down in the discharge papers
Any items that you were taught to bring in Lamaze or labor preparation class
Watch because there will be times when time seems to stand still or drag so slowly that you will feel the need to make sure time really is moving along.
Work phone number in your pocket because you know you won’t remember it if you have to call in that you won’t be coming in today because you are going to be a dad (or parent or significant person in baby’s life)
Extra money to purchase a gift for mom from the gift shop (Flowers are essential after all she just gave you the gift of life in the form of a human being)