Perhaps you've had this fear before: the harried dad helps his panting, very pregnant wife into the car to head to the hospital, and no one has a suitcase ready at home. Don’t let it happen to you!
Packing for the hospital is an important part of the final stages of pregnancy as you ready yourself for this momentous occasion. It’s never too early to start packing since many babies decide to arrive several weeks before their due date. You might want to aim for week 36 as a guide to start getting things ready for the road.
You can even leave your packed bag in the car during those last weeks so it and won’t get left on the curb when your water breaks and you’ve got other things on your mind.
The bottom line is to bring the essentials you and baby will need in the hospital and for the trip home. By being prepared you can focus on what's important -- your first moments and first hugs with your new baby!
Here’s what to bring:
- You’ll need some basic toiletries like a toothbrush, hairbrush, hair elastics or headband and lip balm. If you’d like to freshen up before those first photos of snuggling with your little one, consider also bringing a small makeup kit with lip gloss and other items.
- Don't forget a nursing bra, several pairs of underwear and something to wear home. You may not fit in your pre-pregnancy clothing, so maternity wear or baggy clothing may be most comfortable.
- Bring the little one a cute outfit to wear home including socks, a hat, sweater or jacket depending on the weather. Your baby has been in a very warm place the last nine months, so they might be cold even in the summer!
- Consider taking your own pillow if you have one that brings you comfort.
- Your favorite lotion, hand cream or essential oil will make you feel at home and help mask those hospital smells.
- A new nursing nightie and your own robe may be a lot more comfortable than the standard issue hospital attire.
- Non-slip socks or slippers can help for walking on cold hospital floors.
- Consider a baby blanket for pictures or hugs while you're in the hospital. Choose wisely! Some babies take instantly to that first blanket and it becomes their never-be-without “blankie” for years. Make sure it’s washable.
- A black and white stuffed animal can be nice for your baby, since those are the first colors he or she will see.
- A blank journal is a good place to record your feelings about meeting your baby for the first time. See some stories from other Huggies.com moms and the power of the first hug here: https://www.huggies.com/en-us/tips-advice/power-of-hugs/hug-stories/the-power-of-the-first-hug-parents-meet-their-babies-for-the-first-time
Extras for little one
The hospital will supply some basics, but if you have preferences about your baby's products, feel free to bring them to the hospital. You’ll also want to stock a supply at home to keep your baby's skin healthy and comfortable.
- Be sure to pack some Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers for your newborn. They're fragrance and lotion free to keep your baby comfortable and let skin breathe. They come in preemie, newborn and larger sizes.
- Hypoallergenic Natural Care Baby Wipes keep your newborn’s skin clean and healthy. They’re paraben, fragrance, and alcohol-free, perfect for your baby’s soft and delicate skin. After all, a newborn’s skin is paper-thin and can be up to 10 times more sensitive than yours, so extra care is needed from the start.
For the expectant dad:
- Be sure to bring your cell phone charger so you are ready to take photos and to call the grandparents and other family and friends with the news once the baby is born.
- Throw in a small speaker to play music from your phone while mom is in labor.
- Take lots of healthy snacks to avoid eating junk food from the hospital vending machines.
- Bring a clean shirt for the photos of the smiling couple with their new baby.
Image : Getty