Arrival of your baby: Packing for the hospital
Packing for the hospital can be a daunting task. It is best to get some things ready before your due date just in case you go into labor a little earlier. This is a guide about things that many new moms have found useful during their labour and deliveries.
Essentials For Mum
- Hospital card
- Pre-registration forms from the hospital
- Nursing bra(s) – This supports swollen, tender breasts, and helps keep breast pads in place.
- Sports bra – They are good for suppressing lactation if you are not planning on breast feeding.
- Breast pads – You will need these whether or not you are breast feeding because they stop leaks by absorbing milk.
- Nursing pillows – These can be used if you are breast feeding or bottle feeding; either way they reduce the strain on your arms, neck, and back when feeding your baby.
- Nightgown and robe – Make sure they open in the front if you are planning on breast feeding.
- Slippers – During early labor it is always recommended to walk around. These will also come in handy as you make trips to the nursery to check on your new baby.
- Socks – Many women complain of their feet being cold during the delivery, so have a couple of pairs in case one pair becomes soiled.
- Going-home outfit – Choose one that fit when you were around 6 months pregnant.
- Toiletries – To be more comfortable, take a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, lip balms, makeup, hairbrush, shampoo, soap, lotion
- Sanitary pads – The hospital can provide you with these, but many women feel more comfortable when they bring their favorite brand with them. Remember, you are going to need a pad designed for a heavier flow e.g Comfit
- Hair clip or band if you have long hair – Women with long hair like to have it pulled out of their faces during labor and delivery.
- Pillow from home – This makes you more comfortable; just make sure you have a different colored pillow case on it to distinguish it from hospital pillows.
- Extra wash cloths – These also need to be colored to distinguish them from the hospital’s wash cloths.
- Magazines or books to read– You will not have a lot of free time, but there could be a few minutes here and there when you could read.
- Mints or breath strips – Many women experience nausea during labor and delivery; these will help freshen your mouth or the mouths of your support people. These can alleviate dry mouth.
- Breast feeding book – Take along any reference books that would be helpful.
- Large envelope/file folder- This may be used to store any paperwork.
Essentials For Baby
- Infant car seat and infant head support – You might not be allowed to leave the hospital without one; make sure you bring the instructions.
- Going-home outfit
- Hat – Babies lose the vast majority of their body heat through their heads.
- Receiving blankets – Newborns love to be swaddled, and these blankets are perfect for swaddling.
- Newborn diapers – If they do not have the umbilical cord area cut out, make sure you fold them down.
- Wipes – Begin with the wipes that are designed for newborns or sensitive skin.
- Mittens – Many newborns will have longer nails, so they can easily scratch their face and other parts of their bodies.
Essentials For Partner
- Change of clothes
- Snacks – Labor can be a long process, so you want to be prepared.
- Cooler filled with drinks and snacks – This keeps the partner close by and can help avoid multiple trips to the hospital cafeteria
- Video/Camera – Make sure you have extra tapes, film, batteries, chargers, etc.
- Massage oils – Many labor classes discuss the use of massage oils during class because they can help alleviate back labor.
- Music player – Soothing music may help you and your partner relax both during and after labour.
Essentials For Siblings
- Crayons, markers, paper, coloring books, toys,etc.
- Gift from big brother/sister to the baby – This can be something that was picked out prior to delivery by the older sibling.
- Gift from Mom and baby to the big brother/sister– Many times older siblings tend to get jealous around the birth of the baby. A special gift can help alleviate this problem and allow the big brother/sister to know that they are still important.
It is very important to pack properly before the arrival of your baby. It’s better to pack at least 3 weeks before your due date just in case your baby comes a little early.