I posted before, when I went into the hospital with Skylar, on what to pack in your diaper bag and hospital bag for baby (it’s been one of my most popular posts, and still a great list!)… and I was pretty seasoned then with baby #3. Now with baby #4, I kind of waited until the last minute (since I feel she could come anytime) and quickly rounded up what I really need and use when I’m at the hospital. I thought I’d share a little of it with you; how to get that hospital bag for baby ready!
The great thing is that most hospitals provide just about everything you need and if you showed up without a diaper bag, well, you’d still be all set! The only thing your really HAVE to prepare for is the trip home as you can’t leave the hospital with your baby without a proper car seat. So, I guess if I’m being honest, this list would be pretty short. It’s true, and yet I kid 😉 There are a few items that I like to have with me for baby and I’ll share why I pack each item in my hospital bag for baby below!
Car Seat (12)- This is really the ONLY item that you absolutely have to have in order for baby to leave the hospital with you. So, why not be prepared and have it ready-to-go ahead of time. If this is your first-time baby, you can stop in at most baby stores and have them show you how to properly install the car seat in your car, ask the hospital if there’s someone there to look at it for you or find a car seat installing event near you (just google it, car seat safety is a big thing and there are events in just about every city). It sounds daunting, but once you’ve got it down though, it’s like riding a bike, and easy to do!
Diaper Bag (3)- Of course, if you are packing a few things then you’ll need something to carry it all in (and out) of the hospital with you! I love this bag because of the plethora of pockets, a removable insert with even more pockets and the fact that it doubles as a back pack (making it hands free is a HUGE help!). I used it for awhile with Skylar and it held everything I needed and was easy to carry without looking like a diaper sack.
Nursing Cover (7) – A nursing poncho is great for keeping covered and warm during all of those round-the-clock feedings especially when you’ve got a swinging door of visitors (including the doctors and nurses that pop in at all hours!), plus this one doubles as a car seat cover as well.
Nursing Pillow (11) – For my first two deliveries, a nursing pillow wasn’t something I wanted to drag to the hospital and carry around. I mean, there are always pillow at the hospital and I could totally manage… and I did! With my last though, I decided to take it with me, and wow what a difference it made. Having good support in those first days of nursing, when you need all the help you can get, is so important! Needless to say for this time around, our boppy pillow is right next to the diaper bag and ready to go!
Going Home Outfit – Everyone gets photos when you’re headed home with baby, so get ready! I never want to strap that newborn skin into a car seat without being covered up, so I like packing one piece bodysuits since they’re so cozy and comfy for baby. If it’s summertime, just get a lightweight version. Instead of using mittens and booties, you can also just get a romper that has it all included!
Mittens (2) or Nail Clippers (9) – Since baby pretty much lives in a hospital onesie that first day, I do like to have a pair of mittens on hand because those little nails can be sharp! We don’t want to look like we’ve been in a cat fight with our little one, and what’s crazy is they will even scratch up their sweet face if we don’t help a babe out.
Hat – Our hospitals always provided a hat for our wee babes, and sometimes they were even sweetly decorated. 🙂 I just like to bring one in that I find totally adorable for photos and to match baby’s outfit for the ride home.
Swaddle – Swaddle blankets are something that most hospitals will provide for you, but I do like to have my own swaddle blanket as well because I like having a lightweight muslin swaddle in a larger size (the hospitals are typically smaller) on hand and I like bringing in my own for photos. How cute is this XOXO muslin swaddle!
Diapers – Again, you really don’t need to bring any diapers and in fact, you’ll probably leave the hospital with a couple extra to take home with you. But I do like to be prepared and never want a diaper bag without a diaper or two in it. I also want to be ready in case our sweet bundle’s skin doesn’t like the brand of diapers the hospital uses (our first born got a rash with all but two brands of diapers) and so I pack a few just in case.
Pacifier – This one may get a lot of controversy. With my first, I was adamant that there would be no pacifiers; I was just too afraid she’d have a hard time nursing. With my second, I was more open to it, but didn’t push either way. With my third, I actually tried to get him to take a pacifier, and there were a few times he did… and a few times that I wished he would! Ha. The controversy here is the argument that baby may have a harder time nursing or latching on if they take a pacifier. I’m still just going to be open minded about it all. We’ve never had problems with latch (thankfully!), and also have never had a “pacifier addiction,” and those are both great things. We also have very vocal children, and I am open to using a pacifier to soothe our little one if helps. Again, your hospital should have these and will usually provide one if needed, especially depending on how long you stay, but if you want a specific kind or want to make certain it’s BPA free, then just bring your own.
Oils (8) – While I’m creating my own postpartum care blends and will share what I’m going to be using for uterus toning, perenial care, nipple cream, diffuser blends and more in my own hospital bag post (coming soon!), this one is all about the baby. Many oils should be avoided for newborns, but there are a couple that have been used for centuries for protection and massage. I used a clean dropper bottle and just about filled it with organic fractionated coconut oil, then I added 10-15 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil and 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil. Both of these essential oils will help to calm and relax after the trauma of labor, to build and boost immunity and protection and all three oils are loaded with various health benefits, including its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties… perfect for those baby massages. (I get my pure essential oils from Spark Naturals, and you can use code FRESHMOMMY for 10% off!)
So, fellow mamas, what do you pack in your hospital bag for baby… or your own?! I’ll be sharing my hospital bag later this week!