Every soon to be mommy needs a maternity bag packed for the three long days and nights spent in the hospital. It is best to pack the maternity bag in advance and not during the last month of pregnancy where anxiety is sky rocketing, having a bag that is packed and ready to go will alleviate some of the stress. Remember to put the bag in a memorable place, because you will need to be able to quickly grab it at any time. Packing the maternity bag can be an overwhelming task if you do not know what to put inside of the bag , so the following is a checklist of things that mommy and baby will need.
Baby Clothes- a cute going home out fit, if you have a winter baby, it will be best to pack a nice warm winter outfit, such as some newborn sweat pants, a t-shirt, sweater, and some socks, or booties. (Be sure to pack a newborn hat in the bag,) although the hospital may give your newborn a little hat. If your baby is born in warmer weather like summer or spring, then you could pack a light ,cotton ,long sleeve shirt such as the Gerber long sleeve onesies, a pair of cotton pants, (Gerber makes cute little cotton pants for newborns,) and a little sweater, and some comfortable booties.
Snow Suit- Your baby will definitely need this if it is winter. The Children’s Place, Baby Gap and Macy’s have very great selections in not only cute, but warm snowsuits.
Spring Jacket- Spring days can be a little chilly, so if you have a spring baby, pack a light jacket. Wal-mart and Target are great stores to shop in for a variety of spring jackets for baby.
Diaper Bag- Fill this bag with some newborn diapers, (at least 12) and a container of soft, non- fragrant wipes. (Some hospitals provide diapers and wipes but it is a good idea to bring some of your own just in case) You may find that you’ll leave the hospital with various baby items such as hospital blankets, nasal syringe, pacifiers, and pamphlets and papers on how to further take care of your baby, and most hospitals will tell you to take what ever toiletries you want from the room ,so the baby bag can also be convenient to put this stuff in.
Receiving Blankets- Although the hospital may send you off with all those baby blankets you may want to wrap your baby in the cute little baby blanket that you purchased yourself, but you’ll need extra blankets, especially if the weather is cold or if it is too sunny (to help block the sun).
Burp Cloths- all babies spit up, and throw up so bring a few of these cloths. Wal-mart is a great place to shop for these cloths.
Wash Cloths- you may want to wipe your babies’ face, (don’t have to worry about giving your baby a bath, the nurses usually do that for you in the nursery.)
Car Seat and Instruction Manual- You have to purchase a car seat, your baby will not be able to leave the hospital without a car seat because it is illegal to place a baby in the car without a car seat. So invest in a very sturdy and reliable rear- facing car seat, that is appropriate for newborns. (Wal-mart is a great store to purchase car seats) It is a good idea to set up the car seat in your car ahead of time, so that departure won’t be such a hassle. Be sure to take the instruction manual with you to refer to it if you have problems with the car seat, or to refer to if you are going to wait to install the car seat.
Baby Book- You may want to purchase a baby book, to write down your babies’ date of birth, weight, name and all significant information, the Carter’s baby book, has a whole section dedicated to the birth of the child in which the doctors can sign their names. There is even a section for babies’ first foot and hand prints. The doctor’s will be more than glad to get the baby’s foot prints for you, so don’t forget to ask. So, invest in a nice baby book, so you can jot down all the memories of your child’s birth. The Carter’s baby book goes from birth to age 6.This book can be purchased at Wal-mart, or Marshalls stores.
Baby Oil or Lotion- They say that newborn’s don’t need moisturizer for their skin but my daughter was born with very chapped skin around her ankles and wrists which caused her skin to crack, so it is a good idea to bring some type of skin moisturizer for your baby’s skin.
Great brands for Baby Items
Diapers- Pampers “Swaddlers” comfortable diapers made specifically for the newborn
Carter’s Receiving blankets, burp cloths, and wash cloths
Graco and Century car seats
Carter’s Baby book
Gerber’s long sleeve onesies and newborn pants
Pampers and Huggies wipes- the Pamper’s brand wipes are thinner very soft and silk like, the Huggie’s brand wipes are soft but more thick
Wallet with money- You may need it to purchase food, or gas, (always have some change on you.)
Nursing Pads- these help prevent breast milk from leaking onto your shirt, these pads catch the milk. Lanolin Nursing Pads work the best, they can bought at Wal-mart.
Nursing Bra- These bras are amazing if you are going to nurse your baby, the bras are equipped with flaps with clips at the ends that unclick, the flaps pull down, to expose the breast, you then lift the fold and click it back to cover the breast, this makes the breast easier and quicker to access for the nursing newborn, and this way you won’t have to take off your whole bra just to nurse. These bras can be purchased at Wal-mart in the maternity section.
Underwear- the hospital will provide you with underwear but just pack a few pairs just incase you want to wear your own underwear. These underwear should be old underwear that you would not mine getting messy,( because you will be bleeding.)
Pajamas- Some hospitals require you to wear the gowns, but if they don’t pack at least four pairs of pajamas, and if you are nursing be sure to wear pajama shirts that button down so that the breast can be reached quickly, without the hassle of taking the whole shirt off, (you wouldn’t want to have to take your shirt off each time your baby is hungry which is countless if your breast feeding on demand.) Bring pajamas that you do not mind getting dirty because chances are you will be bleeding.
Pads (Sanitary Napkins)- Be sure to pack plenty that absorb well, the hospital will most likely have an endless supply of very thick and long sanitary napkins. Always, extra overnight protection work well.
Slippers- Bring your favorite pair of slippers along with some warm socks, just in case you decide to go for a walk.
Bathrobe- Some Woman don’t feel comfortable roaming the halls with just heir hospital gown, not to mention the halls are pretty cold, so invest in a nice cozy bathrobe to walk around in.
Pillow or stuffed animal (the hospital will provide pillows but you may not find them not to be too comfortable so bring one from home, and bring a teddy bear if you’re into stuffed animals.
Toiletries- The hospital will provide unscented, undesirable soap, that is rather tough on skin and does not lather well, the same for the tooth paste and all other hospital products so it is best to pack your own stuff. You’ll need;
Shampoo and Conditioner
Soap and washcloth
Hair brush and comb
Hair Scruncii and or elastics
Hair products, (moisturizer)
Make-up-(if you wear it)
The Departure Outfit- This is the outfit you are going to wear to come home in, make sure that this outfit is comfortable and appropriate apparel for the type of weather. Remember you just gave birth, so where some loose fitting clothes like sweat pants, you may not be able to get back into your normal size pants or shirts, so purchase an outfit that is a little loose like sweat shirts, and pants with an elastic waist.
Music – bring your favorite cd’s, to help you relax, you may even need to bring a portable cd player or radio.
Notebook, magazines, books- Use a notebook to write down any thing about your experience and the birth of your child. Your child will appreciate this. You may not get to do too much reading in labor but hey you never know.
Your favorite anything- Bring things that help you relax.
(You may want your partner to have a watch with a second hand if you want him/her to keep track of your contractions.)
Food- Bring something to eat for yourself (after labor)and your guests in store it in a mini cooler, the patient is usually the only one that gets to eat the hospital food, and you may end up paying a pretty penny if you have a ravenous appetite, or your hospital bill might be waived by your insurance, either way it is a very smart idea to bring some snacks, sandwiches, juice, water , there is usually a microwave and refrigerator in the birth center, you want to make sure that your guests get to eat as well, because over priced snacks in vending machines won’t do the job.
Hard Candy- why not?
Don’t Forget the camera- You have to pictures of your newborn and all others who will share this special event with you,( you don’t have to bring a camera, but it will be such a beautiful thing to be able to look back on the day of your child’s birth. )Purchase a disposable camera, if you don’t have a digital camera, or bring your video camera if you have one, just be sure to catch those moments. Be sure to bring that adapter or batteries!
Bring a list of phone numbers of the people you want to contact after the birth of your baby. You may wish to purchase a phone card just incase you run out of change and the hospital charges you for phone use.
Congratulations and Good luck to all you soon to be mommies, and daddies!