Scenario: I read all of the books, listened to all of the advice, and consequently, over-prepared for the day my baby was born. I had a bag already in the trunk of my car. The bag had a clock alarm, several changes of clothes, a pair of pajamas, several panties and socks, a toothbrush, floss, my favorite pillow, magazines, my iPod, my iPod and phone chargers, laptop, a camera, clothes for my newborn baby, diapers, and a plush toy. I’m ready for my hospital stay and my birth. Right?
Wrong. You actually need very few things in the hospital with you. This is the Packing List for the Hospital from the Baby Center. I will cross out every irrelevant item.
- A picture ID (driver’s license or other ID),
your insurance card, and any hospital paperwork you need– Yes, you need to pay, but you will probably give birth at a hospital that you’ve been visiting your entire pregnancy. They will have your insurance information. Most important thing to bring is your picture ID. Your birth plan, if you have one– What the hell is a birth plan?
- Eyeglasses, if you wear them. Even if you usually wear contact lenses, you may not want to deal with them while you’re in the hospital. – If you need glasses, then make sure they are in your purse.
- A bathrobe check out an Ugg spa robe right here, a nightgown or two, slippers, and socks. Hospitals provide gowns and socks for you to use during labor and afterward, but some women prefer to wear their own. Choose a loose, comfortable gown that you don’t mind getting dirty. It should be either sleeveless or have short, loose sleeves so your blood pressure can be checked easily. Slippers and a robe may come in handy if you want to walk the halls during labor. – The slippers are a good idea, but don’t worry about the rest.
Whatever will help you relax. Here are some possibilities: your own pillow (use a patterned or colorful pillowcase so it doesn’t get mixed up with the hospital pillows), music and something to play it on, a picture of someone or something you love, anything else you find reassuring. If you’re going to be induced, think about bringing something to read or watch because it may be a while before labor is underway.You’re too consumed with labor and tending to your newborn to worry about relaxing.
For your partner/labor coach
- A camera or video camera with batteries, charger, and memory card. Someone has to document the big event! Some hospitals don’t allow videotaping of the birth itself, but there’s usually no rule against filming during labor or after the birth. If you plan on using your phone to take photos or video, make sure it’s fully charged and pack your charger. Note: Not all hospitals let you use plugs in the delivery room, so you might want to bring a battery-powered charger or another way to charge your devices that doesn’t require a plug.
- Toiletries – If you have special hair care products or skin allergies, pack your own toiletries. If not skip this as well, the hospital can provide most of these things.
Comfortable shoesand a few changes of comfortable clothes – Comfortable shoes for what? You’re not going to leave the room.
- Snacks and
something to read or watch
- Money (or a credit card) for parking and change for vending machines
A bathing suit. If you want to take a bath or shower during labor, you may want your partner to get in with you to support you or rub your back.
After you deliver
A fresh nightgown, if you prefer to wear your own
- Your cell phone and charger or, if you’ll be using the hospital phone, a prepaid phone card. After your baby’s born, you or your partner may want to call family and friends to let them know the good news. Bring a list of everyone you’ll want to contact so you don’t forget someone important when you’re exhausted after delivery.
- Snacks! After many hours of labor, you’re likely to be pretty hungry, and you may not want to rely solely on hospital food. So bring your own – crackers, fresh or dried fruit, nuts, granola bars, or whatever you think you’ll enjoy. A bottle of nonalcoholic champagne might be fun for celebrating, too.
- Toiletries: Pack a few personal items, such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, deodorant, a brush and comb, makeup, and a hair band or barrettes. Hospitals usually provide soap, shampoo, and lotion, but you might prefer your own.
- Comfortable nursing bras or regular bras. Whether or not you choose to breastfeed , your breasts are likely to be tender and swollen when your milk comes in, which can happen anytime during the first several days after delivery. A good bra can provide some comfort, and breast pads can be added to help absorb leaks.
- Several pairs of maternity underpants. Some women love the mesh underwear usually provided by the hospital, but others don’t. You can’t go wrong with your own roomy cotton underpants. The hospital will provide sanitary pads because you’ll bleed after delivery. Make sure you have a supply of heavy-duty pads waiting at home!
A book on newborn care. The hospital will probably provide you with a book, but you may prefer your own. Of course, the postpartum nurses will be there to answer questions and show you how to change, hold, nurse, and bathe your newborn if you need guidance.– Nurses, family and friends will offer you guidance and counsel whether you want it or not. You don’t need the books. Photos of your other children. When they come to visit, they’ll see that you haven’t forgotten them.– Your newborn is not going to pay any attention to pictures of his siblings. Don’t bother. Gifts for older siblings. Some parents bring gifts for the new baby to “give” to big brothers and sisters.– It’s time for siblings to learn to give a little now that there is a new baby. The baby’s birth is not the time to indulge older siblings. Skip the gifts.
- A notepad or journal and pen or pencil. Track your baby’s feeding sessions, write down questions you have for the nurse, note what the pediatrician tells you, jot down memories of your baby’s first day, and so on. Some people bring a baby book so they can record the birth details right away.
- A going-home outfit. Bring something roomy and easy to get into (believe it or not, you’ll probably still look 5 or 6 months pregnant) and a pair of flat, comfortable shoes.
You really don’t need any of these things except one change of clothes for yourself, underwear, diapers, and a 2 or 3 changes of clothes for your baby. If in the hospital for only a day or two, you will remain in the gown they give you. Trust me, it is the most comfortable attire. The hospital will give your baby a small T-shirt and blanket, but it’s always fun to dress him up in his first outfit. He will not play with a plush toy, and you will not read a single magazine. The hospital will provide you with necessities like a toothbrush, and I’m sure the room will have a clock. You can access the phone in your room, but of course if you prefer your smartphone then bring it. You will not find time to listen to music, and won’t feel like turning on a laptop. The only real necessity is a camera, you definitely want to capture the moment.