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Preparing for Your Hospital Stay: What to Pack for Yourself and Your New Family!

January 20, 2012

Crib? Check. Diapers? Check. More brightly colored onesies than you’ll actually need? Check!

It’s easy to get excited about decorating your baby’s room, shopping for little clothes, and preparing your home for its newest addition. But don’t let the task of packing your hospital bag slip your mind! Packing during contractions is a recipe for error (as I must admit I did with my first pregnancy), so get your bag together by week 36. And while it’s true that you can show up with only the clothes you’re wearing, when the time comes, you’ll appreciate the comforts of some of your favorite things.

Loose, comfortable pajamas are a must, but remember that just after birth, anything you are wearing may become soiled, so hospital gowns are also a great option. While you may feel compelled to buy nursing bras be aware they are expensive and you may not know your true size until after your baby is born. Nursing tank tops are a great alternative and can adjust easily to fit variable sizes. Swelling after delivery is normal, so flip-flops or slippers (and in my case, both) are helpful when it comes to keeping your swollen ankles and feet comfy. Again, the hospital has all the basic toiletries you will need, but your own shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothbrush, and toothpaste can help you feel right a home.

After an emergency admission to the hospital with my first pregnancy I quickly realized there are few must haves that do not fit the normal “hospital bag” list. Your lips and mouth can become dry during labor, so lip balm and hard candy or lollipops are helpful. Extra hair ties and headbands are essential, as they are easily misplaced. Your favorite snacks can be a comfort, as can a pillow from home. And of course, your camera and phone, with chargers, will be important in keeping family and friends in the loop.

Don’t forget to pack for your partner or support person. He or she may need Motrin or Tylenol to combat headaches from lack of sleep, and will likely need a few changes of clothes, pajamas, socks, and underwear. And you’ll also want to pack your baby’s going home outfit and hat for the ride home. Taking care of these essentials is just the beginning of the juggling act you’re about to perform as a new mom!

P.S. Don’t stress too much about packing baby supplies. The hospital will stock everything you need from diapers to breast pumps and formula. In fact, it’s a great place to ask questions and get used to the types of products you’ll need in the coming months.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 20, 2012 1:44 pm

    Wish I had read this before I had Liliana –it would have been amazingly helpful!

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