5 Must-Haves for Every New Parent’s Hospital Bag


Part of preparing for your baby is familiarizing yourself with the place you’ll be giving birth. But one thing that all your prenatal visits won’t cover is
what to pack in your bag. 

What do you need to bring, and what is best left at home? Cleveland West Side Moms offers the following advice about the items you should bring for comfort, convenience, and your new baby.

All Your Devices (and Chargers)

While you might not have time to scroll through Facebook or answer well-meaning texts, having your devices on hand means plenty of opportunities for pictures of your newborn. Since getting to the hospital in time can involve frayed nerves and frantic packing, think ahead and put extra chargers and even battery packs into your bag. If you’re going the old-school route with a digital camera, bring spare batteries as well.

Your Favorite (Convenient) Snacks

Since more and more practitioners are encouraging moms to eat and drink during labor, packing snacks is a smart idea. What to Expect notes that not every facility permits laboring moms to eat, but applesauce, Jello, and juice are ideal packable snacks to help you maintain energy. However, you should aim to stay away from heavier foods. Pack treats for postpartum, too, like dates, oatmeal packets, crackers, beef jerky, and apples, to help restore your energy.

Personal Care Products from Home

Though the hospital where you give birth may offer basic toiletries, having items from home can be reassuring for both you and your little one. Most new moms are exhausted, but you may not get another opportunity to bathe thoroughly for months, if not longer. Let your partner or nurse cuddle the baby while you bathe. Every baby is born with the ability to recognize their mom’s smell, too. So even after you freshen up, the smell of your milk (and basic biology) will help bond your baby to you.

Comfortable Clothes for Mom

Giving birth is hard work, and postpartum moms deserve to be comfortable. Now isn’t the time for underwire bras and your pre-pregnancy jeans. Think about packing comfortable clothes like tops for breastfeeding and pumping, stretchy leggings that cradle your tummy, and warm socks. And while most hospitals offer new moms mesh panties directly postpartum, bringing a few breathable or disposable undies (and plenty of pads) is a good idea, too. Finally, a robe and slippers can help you feel cozy while also warding off the cold.

Functional Clothing for Baby

Though you probably have a favorite outfit picked for your baby to wear home (and for photos), think about functionality for your hospital stay. Plenty of parenting sites suggest footed onesies and pajamas but think about convenience first. In addition to access for diaper changes, you’ll also need to remove your baby’s clothes for hospital staff to check their ID bracelet, take blood samples, and check vitals, among other procedures. While fuzzy socks are a must, you might find that infant gowns are the most convenient and snuggly clothing item for newborns – at least until it’s time for photos.

Packing for the hospital takes a bit of planning. And while there are plenty of essentials you need to bring, a brief hospital stay may not require as many comforts from home as you’d expect. In no time at all, you’ll be headed home to make memories with your new bundle.

Photo via Unsplash

Blog post by Josh Moore, diaperdads.org

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