Guest Post courtesy of Josh Moore Diaperdads.org
For many parents-to-be, it’s tough to know what to pack in a hospital bag. Bringing home a tiny human is daunting as it is — so what do you really need in your hospital bag and what won’t see the light of day until you’re back home? Consider making these must-haves, courtesy of Tinyfeet & Heartbeats, part of your baby bag!
What to Pack for Mom
An adorable hospital bag is a must, but what should moms put in their new bags to pamper them throughout labor and postpartum?
1. Skincare Essentials
It’s not something most expectant moms think about, but the hospital can be a cold and dry place. Regardless of the season, hospitals are typically a bit chilly, and that crisp air can take a toll. Consider bringing along your favorite moisturizer for the body and face so you can feel comfortable before and after the baby arrives. And if you’re inhaling or exhaling through your mouth while breathing through contractions, lip balm will be a must-have — pack an extra just in case.
2. Comfortable Clothing
Many moms don hospital gowns without thinking about it. But packing a cute delivery gown in your bag, plus some comfy nursing jammies, breastfeeding-friendly bras, warm socks, and even a fuzzy robe can keep you feeling like yourself.
Though most moms agree that the hospital’s mesh undies are a great postpartum solution, you may also want some full coverage briefs to wear on the way home. Grab a handful of extra-large pads, too.
3. Suitable Labor Snacks
Hospitals have varying policies, but as Evidence-Based Birth notes, eating during labor is often encouraged these days. Of course, not every labor leaves time for nothing. Just in case you feel peckish, pack some snacks that are easy to eat. Think apples, bananas, granola bars, and even applesauce pouches (like the kind toddlers love) for a quick energy boost.
Then, ask your labor support team for frequent water refills. Hydration is especially important if you’re skipping an IV and aiming for natural labor and delivery.
4. Nursing Comforts
Ideally, the hospital’s lactation consultant will provide you with nursing essentials like nipple cream and nursing pads. Still, many mamas like to bring a nursing pillow so they can relax while breastfeeding their new addition. Plus, cloth nursing pads might be more comfortable and sustainable than the single-use ones that nurses hand out.
What to Pack for Baby
Though you’ll be the star of the show at first, eventually, the arrival of your baby will rock your world. Add these newborn must-haves to your packing list for those unforgettable moments.
5. Snuggly Hospital Fashions
A going home outfit is important, sure, but cozy newborn clothes are a must. Newborn gowns or sleepers are ideal for these first days since they offer easy diapering access — and sizing is generous enough that if your OB’s guess is off, your little one will still be comfy. Bring a few receiving blankets to keep your baby cocooned on the way home, too.
6. Those Sweet Photo Props
Let’s be honest: Standard hospital photo sessions often leave parents a bit disappointed. Unless you’re hiring a birth photographer to take snapshots of your fresh little one (or even if you are!), some cute photo props can help make your DIY pics memorable. A special prop can also help make a sweet birth announcement, even if you have to ask your doula to snap a quick pic!
7. Your Car Seat Manual
This one might sound silly — and the car seat itself won’t fit in your bag anyhow — but car seat safety is a crucial consideration when you’re bringing home a new baby. Depending on your baby’s length, weight, and proportions, your infant or convertible car seat might need some adjustments.
Consult your user manual to ensure you’ve adjusted your baby’s seat properly — or ask a nurse for help if you’re unsure!
Bringing your new baby into the world is just the start of a long and joyful journey. But to start off on the right foot, it helps to have the right ‘stuff’. Of course, preparing for birth and the postpartum period goes beyond packing your bags. Visit Tinyfeet & Heartbeats for more about getting ready for baby and motherhood!
Photo via Unsplash