Hospital Bag Essentials for Delivery
Preparing for the arrival of new baby is a big process; from anticipating which comfort items you’ll want at the hospital to gathering everything the baby will need during your stay, there’s so much to think about.
Which is why today we’ve invited Josh from diaperdads.org to share some advice about what new moms and dads need to think about when packing their hospital bag.
These budget-friendly items will keep you from feeling overwhelmed in those post-delivery hours–when a barrage of questions and decisions will be coming your way in regard to everything from taking photos to breastfeeding.
Pack something mom can feel good in
Many new moms find it difficult to feel good about their appearance just after giving birth, but that doesn’t have to be the case!
Planning ahead for those first family photographs will ensure that you can find something that makes you feel good about yourself without breaking the bank.
Belk coupons and online promo codes will help you save money on the perfect outfit and accessories so you can feel confident and beautiful.
You might also look for a soft, comfy bathrobe and a pair of slippers to wear during your stay.
Make comfort a priority
A bathrobe and slippers will help you stay warm and will provide some comfort, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
You may also want to pack lip balm, lotion, or massage oil to help you relax during labor, and a large water bottle to stay hydrated after the birth.
Of course, you’ll also need a few toiletries as well, including maternity pads to wear following the baby’s arrival.
Fortunately, all these items can be found at your local dollar store, so you can grab what you need without spending a ton of money.
Many parents don’t get much sleep during their stay in the maternity ward, especially in the hours prior to active labor when things are calmer, so you might also want a pair of earbuds to help you drown out the noise of a busy hospital; look for a pair that fits your budget while still meeting your needs.
Stay connected to your loved ones
It’s possible you will find yourself waiting a while before going into active labor, so it will be helpful to have your phone and charger to help pass the time.
This way, you can stay connected with family and friends and update your loved ones on your progress.
You’ll also have a way to listen to music, watch videos or movies, and even read books if you download an e-reader app.
Look for a wireless charger that will allow you to keep your phone close to the bed without getting in the way; do a little research on pricing and read reviews to find the right one for your phone model and charging needs.
Don’t forget about your partner
While you won’t be able to invite lots of friends and family members into the hospital room, your partner will likely be there for the entire process, so don’t forget to pack a few things for them in your bag.
If it’s allowed, bringing snacks and bottled water will save quite a bit of money and prevent frequent runs to the hospital vending machines.
Fruit, nuts, popcorn, and string cheese are healthy, cost-effective snack options.
When creating a gift registry, you can also ask friends and family to provide gift cards to fast food restaurants that are located near the hospital.
Make a point to ask ahead of time about a parking pass for your partner, as some hospitals charge daily for the use of their lots, which can really add up.
Your hospital may offer discounted rates or even free parking for those who are in the maternity ward; if so, keep the pass with your IDs and other important hospital paperwork inside your bag.
Plan ahead for important outfits
The hospital usually provides several things for newborns, but most parents want to bring their own freshly-washed outfits, easy-to-remove nightgowns, hats, and booties.
You may want a couple of options since newborns tend to be a little messy at changing time and during feedings.
For this reason, invest in a waterproof changing pad; there are several designs on the market, but some are specifically made for traveling or to keep in the diaper bag. These are handy for quick changes and are typically inexpensive.
Prepare for nursing/feeding
Most parents have a plan in mind well ahead of time when it comes to whether they want to nurse or bottle-feed, but there are a few items you can bring that will make either option easier.
Whether you’re breastfeeding or not, a nursing pillow will allow you to feed the baby without putting a strain on your arms and shoulders; check out this compilation for the best ones on the market by price.
You’ll also want a couple of supportive, budget-friendly nursing bras.
Even if you choose to bottle-feed, these bras tend to be more comfortable for new moms and usually have built-in spots for nursing pads to keep you dry.
Install the car seat and keep the instructions handy
Now that your bags are packed, go ahead and install the baby’s car seat so you won’t have to worry about it when you’re ready to leave the hospital.
If you’re unsure about how to correctly install it, or if you want to make sure it’s secure, look online to see if there’s a car seat inspection site near you; these services are usually free, but you may need to make an appointment.
It’s also wise to research the different types of car seats to ensure you have the right one for your infant, then compare prices between retailers.
Fill Your Freezer With Healthy Meals
While you’re thinking about the important things to pack in your hospital bag for delivery don’t forget to think about your comfort when you arrive home with baby too.
Bringing a newborn into your home will turn your schedules upside down and you’re unlikely to have the time – or the energy – to prepare healthy meals.
Check out our popular collection of freezer meals for new moms for ideas on healthy foods that you’ll be able to defrost and eat when you’re hungry.
Preparing for your hospital stay and the arrival of your baby takes some time and planning, but these are important steps when it comes to giving yourself peace of mind.
For your own safety and for the safety and comfort of your infant, be sure to keep communication open with hospital staff, as some locations have rules about what can be brought inside.