It’s a magical time, but it’s a stressful one, too. When you’re about to become a new mother it’s easy to get bogged down with all the planning and preparing. Your needs for your upcoming labor may be simpler and different than you might think. Take care of your needs, too, when you’re considering what to pack in your hospital bag.
When should you pack your hospital bag? At least a month before your due date. Babies come on their own schedule, so it’s good for your peace of mind to be prepared. I took mine with me in the car when I went to work or out and about. These are the items on my hospital bag list that I found useful and necessary.
Yes, you’ve got loads of adorable new clothes for your baby. But when you’re a brand new mom figuring out a brand new baby and probably hurting all over, you’ll want what’s easiest. Side-snap kimono style onesies are great for a wriggling newborn. Bring three different sizes. You’d be surprised how often a newborn will come out ready for 6-month clothing options.
Clothes become a complicated thing when you’re recovering in the hospital. A nursing gown will ease your transition. Also bring clothes that are very easy to put on, soft and loose, for when you leave the hospital. No skinny jeans. Sandals or slip on shoes are your new jam.
A car seat is a requirement, so don’t forget it! Installing it can be a pain; get that set up ahead of time. The Nuna Pipa is extremely light and has a base option, which makes snapping in and out of the car much easier. You can also buy inserts for newborns that will help with head support.
The Pop pacifier is a lifesaver for you, as it pops in when it falls. This means you won’t have to wash it every time it falls out of your baby’s mouth. Take a few different types of pacifiers. Babies can be picky about what they like to suck on.
This was recommended to me by a doula, and I brought one for all three of my labors. Pierce the skin a little, then breathe in to help calm yourself and concentrate. I’m not sure why it was so magical, but it got me through some tough times. According to her, it’s a good sensory overload that distracts your body.
Your birthing plan
Having a written plan is so important for communicating your wishes when you can’t. Take a look at these guidelines from the American Pregnancy Association.
Hairbrush, toothbrush and toiletries
To help you feel human again. Don’t forget contacts or glasses if you use them.
Suddenly you have to keep track of so many things! What time contractions start and end, when the baby ate last, how much, etc. etc. etc. Save yourself some mental energy and just write things down in one place.
Whatever you need for your hospital bag (and beyond) for baby, you’ll be able to earn cash back with Rakuten at hundreds of stores. Mothers and partners, chime in! What did you wish for when you were at the hospital? What helped you to get through your stay?
Mariko is a high school English teacher who has three children, illegible handwriting and an obsession with mail-order artisan ice cream. She lives in Hawaii, but she makes a point to eat her way through big cities as often as she can.