10 Things to Bring to the Hospital
Besides my preferences for the actual birth of my babies, I had an atmosphere I had envisioned as well. Music was important to keep me calm and to help me focus. It was also important to me to welcome our daughter with the music she had supposedly heard within the womb during pregnancy. Not to mention that I had to have Eric Clapton’s song “Layla” to play (our daughter’s name).
A list of 10 things to bring to the hospital will probably differ between mothers, but here are a few things to consider when packing for that momentous occasion.
Five things for you, Mommy-to-be:
- Photography: Pack your camera and/or cell phone and have it charged and ready to go! Remember to either clear and/or pack extra memory cards. With smartphones all around us, please make sure to discuss your wishes in taking, sharing and announcing photos of Mother and Baby ahead of time. This is an important moment, and the right people should be announcing the birth and name of Baby.
- Atmosphere: Creating the atmosphere you desire may depend on your delivery provider, but some ideas include choosing music, scents, visuals, etc. Emy Horvath, Lenexa mother of two, adds that she brought a picture of her 2-year-old son with her to deliver her daughter.
- Entertainment: Delivery has an uncertain time frame, so make sure you’re ready with books, magazines, DVDs, electronics, etc.
- Comfort: Those wonderful yoga pants should be brought along with you, as well as tops you feel comfortable nursing in if you choose to do so. I also brought my own pillow and a quilt with me both times.
- Toiletries: As mentioned above, comfort is key, and you will want to look and feel comfortable in the hospital, as well as in the photographs depicting your baby’s birth. Whether this simply means bringing your own shampoo or even the full makeup bag, you want to feel like yourself.
Babies may be provided with diapers, wipes, little shirts, receiving blankets and more, depending on where you deliver, but here are some other things to consider:
- Baby clothes, blankets and any other photo props: These will be Baby’s first moments of life outside the womb, so make sure to bring any special clothing, blankets, etc., with you. Some hospitals offer photography services. If you are planning your own newborn photography session, or if this is not a huge deal for you, simply remember that Baby will need clothes to wear home for the first time. Some families have a tradition to bring each baby home in a specific or the same outfit. Meredith Barreth, Overland Park mother of three, says, “Both of my girls wore the outfit I wore home.” Shannon Otte, Olathe mother of two, comments, “Our nickname is the ‘Squirrel Family,’ so I had a white onesie with a baby squirrel on the front that I had the girls wear home.”
- Baby book: Not everyone chooses to do a traditional baby book, but it was helpful for me to have the book there to get a head start while hanging out at the hospital.
- Car seat: You will obviously need it to bring Baby home in, and the nurses must check to make sure the car seat meets certain standards before Baby can leave.
- Diaper bag: You may not need it for the ride home from the hospital, but you never can tell with babies! You may as well get used to lugging it around, too.
- Gifts: This will vary from family to family, but if Baby has older siblings, you may want to have a gift from them to the new baby. Alicia Pike, Basehor mother of two, gave me the idea of the New Big Sister or Big Brother book that even came with an award from www.ISeeMe.com. I also have heard of “push presents,” if you would like to nudge your husband right now.
A mother’s nesting instinct may cause her to overdo it in the packing arena, as Ashely Cornell, recent mother of two from Olathe, recalls. “I don't think I used half of what I brought to the hospital! But some of the items I was really glad I brought are ChapStick, facial cleansing wipes, my own shampoo/conditioner/body wash and super stretchy yoga pants.”
Trust your instinct, pack as much as you can ahead of time and remember that someone will be able to bring you whatever you have forgotten because of your pregnancy brain.
Stephanie Loux is a stay-at-home mom to Layla, 3, and Mason, 2, and writes from her home in Olathe.