What should I pack for my baby while staying at the hospital? Depending on the hospital that you are delivering at most of the time the hospital will provide you and your baby with basic necessities. In fact, when I was pregnant with my first baby I had no idea what I needed to take with me so I was stuffing all of the basic items that I might need into my daughter’s diaper bag so that I was prepared to take care of all of her basic needs. In fact, after I delivered her I immediately knew that I was over-prepared and had way too many things at the hospital. Remember that everything that you take up to the hospital has to fit in a bag when it is time to go home. Each time I had my children it seemed as if I went home with a ton of stuff. With my other two babies I was a bit more prepared and tried to only pack a small amount of stuff because I knew that the hospital has all of the necessities.
Disclosure: The information in this post are my own opinions and based upon my own experiences.
So what do you really need to take to the hospital for your baby? The goal is to pack as light as you can or leave the diaper bag in the car so that it is one less bag that you need to deal with while in the hospital. You can have your spouse bring the only the items that you need into the hospital. Here is a list of must haves, that I would recommend for a new mom to pack in the baby’s hospital bag or diaper bag for the hospital stay.
- Boppy or Nursing Pillow – If you plan on breastfeeding, I would highly recommend that you bring this item with you. The boppy easily wraps around your waist and supports your baby during feedings so that you don’t have to breastfeed in an awkward position. A boppy would also protect your baby from laying on your scar if you have to end up with a c-section.
- Pacifier – If you plan on using a specific brand of pacifier, you should plan on bringing a few with you to the hospital. Most hospitals have a pacifier for your new baby; however, depending on the brand of pacifier that the hospital has it might be hard to find it in stores. (The hospital that I delivered at gave me this advice) I know that most babies get attached to a certain type of pacifiers and they don’t care for another brand.
- Several Going Home Outfits – Your baby will need an outfit for baby to go home in. If you are like me you have probably already had something in mind for a few weeks. The reason why I suggested bringing several different outfits, depending on the brand and size of the clothes the going home outfit may not properly fit your baby. This happened with my youngest, I was prepared to bring him home in a specific outfit but when I put it on him it was way to big on him. Luckily, I packed something else in his bag to bring him home in. While in the hospital, they will provide your baby a shirt to wear so that you don’t quickly dirty up a bunch of clothes.
- Car Seat – In order for your baby to leave the hospital, your baby will need a car seat that is approved for your baby’s weight. With my first baby, I used a convertible seat and it seemed to swallow my baby during those first few weeks. I decided with my subsequent babies, that it was worth spending the extra money and I bought an infant car seat and stroller combo. The infant car seats are easy to get your baby in and out of the car, especially, if your baby is asleep.
- Several Light Weight Blankets – During your hospital stay, you will be able to use the blankets that are at the hospital and they will provide you with new ones if your baby soils them. I personally used my own receiving blankets for covering up while I breastfeed my baby, especially when we had visitors. However, when it is time to go home from the hospital you will want to make sure that your baby is kept warm, especially, if your baby is born when it is cooler outside. Babies are sensitive to the cold temperatures and can’t quickly get cold, even during the heat of the summer. If it is hot outside make sure that your baby isn’t too warm either. When leaving the hospital never swaddle your baby in the car seat. Always buckle your child in the car seat with light weight clothes on. Then use blankets to cover them up with. Bulky clothing leaves the car seat straps too loose and your baby could be seriously injured if you are involved in a car accident.
- Heavy Blanket – If your baby is coming home when it is cold outside, a heavy blanket or those new car seat covers keep your baby warm and protects them from the elements. I used to use the heavy blanket and drape it over my baby’s car seat.
- Nail Clippers – I would suggest putting a set of baby nail clippers in your diaper bag so that you can easily trim a sharp nail. I remember when my son was born his nails were soft and sharp. Use caution when trimming your baby’s nails so that you don’t cut too much and make their tiny fingers bleed.
- Baby Mittens – I purchased baby mittens for my younger babies because I didn’t like it when they would scratch up their face. I found that the mittens not only protected their face but they also keep baby from sucking their thumb.
- Burp Cloth – A burp cloth isn’t a necessity but it is a convenience item. The burp clothes are great for cleaning up your baby’s spit up. If you don’t want to take a burp cloth to the hospital, you can use a wash cloth or a receiving blanket while at the hospital.
- Diaper Bag – You will need a diaper bag to store all of your babies goodies in when leaving the hospital. I would highly recommend that you only put the items listed in this post in your diaper bag so that you have room to bring all of your babies extra items home from the hospital. You shouldn’t need any diapers or wet wipes while at the hospital, the hospital provides these for your baby and you can take them with you when it is time to leave.
I quickly found out how much stuff that you seem to accumulate while in the hospital. I always attempted to pack lightly so that I wouldn’t have a ton of stuff to bring home on the day we left the hospital. However, it still seemed like we went home with a lot more than we took to the hospital.
Congratulations on your new arrival and I hope that you have a safe and uneventful delivery.
What was your favorite baby item while in the hospital?