09 Jun What to Pack for the Hospital
The baby is almost here! After months and months of waiting, the due date is creeping up, and it’s time to start planning for your trip to the hospital. About a month before your due date is a great time to get things in order so that you’re not doing any last-minute packing. Trust me—when it’s time to go, the last thing you’ll be thinking about is whether or not your deodorant is packed.
Here are some things you can do to make your life easier:
Pack Your Bags
There are a few things you’ll absolutely need with you. Having these items packed beforehand can make the process exponentially smoother when the time comes, but if you can’t have everything packed, then make sure you have a list somewhere prominent:
- Driver’s license or ID
- Insurance card
- Clothes (see the next section for specific recommendations)
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hairbrush, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, hair elastics)
Other items that some people might want to include are:
- Hospital paperwork
- Birth plan
- Cell phone and charger
- Snacks (or change for the vending machines)
- Activities to keep you occupied
Figure Out What Clothes You Want to Bring
You might want to bring a bathrobe and slippers or socks. You’ll also want to pack a nursing bra or two. Pack some extra underwear and pads.
Hospitals will provide a gown you can wear during delivery, but you’re also welcome to bring your own for after delivery. If you do choose to wear your own, make sure it has short sleeves (or no sleeves) so that the staff can easily check your blood pressure. Looser gowns are generally more comfortable. Also, there’s a 99.9% chance it’s going to get dirty, so make sure you’re okay with that.
You’ll also need clothes for you and the baby after the delivery. When deciding on what clothes you’ll want to wear, think of what you’ll be comfortable in (you’ll just have delivered a baby, after all). Even though you’ve just had a baby, you will need to wear maternity clothes for a little while after the delivery, so make sure you bring clothes for yourself that fit you right before you go into the hospital! Your body will not change overnight, and you want to be comfortable. If you’re breastfeeding, try to choose nursing tops that will make that process easier.
As for the baby, they seem to get clothes dirty often! You may want to pack a couple of sets of clothes for them, just in case. Also, bring a hat. Babies should wear a hat at all times in the first weeks of life to help them say warm and maintain their body temperature.
Don’t Forget the Carseat!
You won’t be able to drive your baby home from the hospital without one, so it’s easiest to purchase and install it beforehand. About a month before your due date is a great time—that way, you’re prepared for anything unexpected and won’t miss installation steps because you’re rushed. Since they can be tricky to set up, give yourself plenty of time for the installation so that your baby will be as secure as possible in their carseat when you’re driving home from the hospital. There are several organizations that can help you with installing carseats, like safekids.org or your local hospital. They’ll teach you how to do it right so that you’re giving your baby the most protection possible.
For more information on the web, visit healthychildren.org. If you have questions or would like to discuss any concerns you have regarding your newborn, you can schedule an appointment with me, Dr. Kathryn Mandal, by calling 817-617-8600 or scheduling online at continuumtx.com.