A Guide for New Parents: Essential Items for Your Hospital Bag
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Bringing a baby from the hospital is incredibly exciting. That said, it’s perfectly understandable to be nervous. Many parents panic and doubt that they’re ready for what’s to come. Relax — you can do this! Even after reading this guide you need additional advice as to what to bring to the hospital come delivery day and what to leave behind, you can always reach out to your doula, who can provide some suggestions.
The more you prepare before bringing your little one home, the better off you’ll be. One thing you can do in advance is to make sure your hospital bag is properly packed with all the essentials for mom and baby. Compassionate Care Doulaoffers some pro tips to help you cover all the bases.
Get a bag just for the hospital.
Don’t just grab any old duffle bag or oversized purse for your baby’s hospital bag. Go ahead and invest in a dedicated diaper bag. This will have special pockets for diapers, bottles, and even your cell phone. It will help keep you organized on the immediate trip home from the hospital and after. Pampers has a quick guide on how to choose a fitting bag, covering the pros and cons of various styles from messenger bags to backpacks.
Pack comfy clothes for mom and baby.
Odds are that you will be at the hospital for a few days, and your stay will be made easier with the right birth team. You also want to equip your hospital bag for comfort, with some basic personal hygiene items, like a toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm hairbrush, and deodorant. Then, add the clothing mom and baby will need after birth.
Stores like Kindred Bravely offer a selection of postpartumrobes, nursing bras, and gowns made of cozy materials for maximum comfort. If you have opted for surrogacy or adoption, these also make a great gift for the surrogate or birth mother. What about the baby? Check out this list from The Bump, which highlights must-haves like a onesie, hat, socks, and blanket.
Include an extra cellphone charger.
You’ll likely be spending a few days at the hospital. Make sure to pack your cellphone charger. Opt for an extra-long cablethat can reach from any outlet in the room to the hospital bed. You can also get a power bank, giving you a portable charger that isn’t reliant on socket location. Given that you’re sure to want to take loads of pictures of your new baby, you don’t want your phone battery to give out.
Include bottles, formula, and diapers.
Usually, the hospital will send you off with a starter pack of baby basics like diapers. It’s good to go ahead and pack extras just in case, however. You may also want to pack bottles and a breast pump. The nurses at the hospital can show you how to use this device. Some hospitals even have lactation specialists. If you decide against breastfeeding, you’ll need to pack formula.
Don’t forget the car seat.
A car seat certainly won’t fit inside your diaper bag, but it’s essential to bringing your baby home from the hospital safely, so it’s worth a mention! Make sure to invest in a new, high-quality car seat that is suitable for a newborn. Install it in your vehicle beforehand so you don’t have to deal with this added stress on the day you bring your baby home.
Taking these steps to prepare and pack your hospital bag in advance will ensure you’re ready to bring your new baby home safely. This will also alleviate nerves and give you confidence, allowing you to truly enjoy this magical moment.
Dawn Oliver CDI (TDMA) of Compassionate Care Doula is committed to telling women the truth about childbirth, their bodies, and their options. Connect to find out more! 631-268-4119
Written by Gwen Payne firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you Gwen