What to Pack for the Hospital

As a first timer my husband and I have no idea what to expect when we go to the hospital for the delivery of Baby Yeates. When I went to the hospital with my sister {almost 10 years ago} I took a  pillow and my toothbrush with me ~ that won't really work this time around, I have a more central role to play. So I decided to make a list of what to take and get things ready before hand.

I went online to try and find a list of things that I need to be sure to have with me and and to help because I'm sure there are things I would not even think about if it wasn't pointed out to me.

As I'm looking at the list there are somethings on here I am thinking just sound a little overboard and other things that I know we won't need, like the list for the siblings, but I'm still including it for those who do have older children. If I have everything on my list I'll pack it all, just to be on the safe side, and let you know what I thought was a must have, nice to have and no need for. some of it might also be redundant, on both lists for you and your husband, but there is no need to over do it, that is just more stuff to keep track of. Many of the things I have found on these lists are also things that the hospital will provide but it might help the laboring mother feel more comfortable to have her own items from home that she is familiar with.

For Her:
  • Health insurance card
  • Pre-registration forms from the hospital
  • Nursing bra(s)- This supports swollen, tender breasts, and helps keep breast pads in place.
  • Sports bra- Many women find these extremely useful during water birth or when using the birth pool; they are also good for suppressing lactation if you are not planning on breast feeding.
  • Breast pads- You will need these whether or not you are breast feeding because they stop leaks by absorbing milk.
  • Nursing pillows- These can be used if you are breast feeding or bottle feeding; either way they reduce the strain on your arms, neck, and back when feeding your baby.
  • Nightgown and robe- Make sure they open in the front if you are planning on breast feeding. They will get dirty. Any Clothes of your own that you wish to wear, as an alternative to hospital gowns
  • Slippers- During early labor it is always recommended to walk around. These will also come in handy as you make trips to the nursery to check on your new baby.
  • Socks- Many women complain of their feet being cold during the delivery, so have a couple of pairs in case one pair becomes soiled.
  • Going-home outfit- Choose one that fit you when you were around 6 months pregnant.
  • Toiletries- To be more comfortable, take a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, chap stick, makeup, hairbrush, shampoo, soap, lotion, hair dryer, etc.
  • Sanitary pads- The hospital can provide you with these, but many women feel more comfortable when they bring their favorite brand with them. Remember, you are going to need a pad designed for a heavier flow.
  • Hair clip or band if you have long hair- Women with long hair like to have it pulled out of their faces during labor and delivery.
  • Pillow from home- This makes you more comfortable; just make sure you have a different colored pillow case on it to distinguish it from hospital pillows.
  • Extra wash cloths- These also need to be colored to distinguish them from the hospital’s wash cloths.
  • Magazines/something to read- You will not have a lot of down time, but there could be a few minutes here and there when you could read.
  • Mints or breath strips- Many women experience nausea/vomiting during labor and delivery; these will help freshen your mouth or the mouths of your support people.
  • Lollipops or other hard candies- These can alleviate dry mouth.
  • Glasses and contact case
  • Breast feeding book- Take along any reference books that would be helpful.
  • Baby book- The nursery often will take your baby book and put your baby’s footprints in it. This will save you a lot of time and trouble.
  • A notepad or journal and pen or pencil- Track your baby's feeding sessions, write down questions you have for the nurse, note what the pediatrician tells you, jot down memories of your baby's first day, and so on. Some people bring a baby book so they can record the birth details right away.
  • Large envelope /file folder- This may be used to store any loose paperwork.
  • Tube socks that have been filled with tennis balls or rice- These can help alleviate the sore aching muscles during labor. Just take a tube sock and place three tennis balls inside the sock. Tie or sew off the open end of the sock to keep the tennis balls in place. Many women like to place these between their backs and the bed because the pressure applied makes them feel better. You can also fill a sock with uncooked rice (but not instant). These can either be heated or placed in the freezer and provide comfort during painful contractions.
  • Massage tools- (Oils, massage tool, etc.)
  • Waterproof pads- for the car ride
  • List of people to call
  • Focal Point- (If you want one)
  • Cell phone charger or prepaid phone card

For Him:
  • Change of clothes- Maybe two sets
  • Pajamas
  • Bathing suit- For shower, this is also important if you and your partner are planning on a water birth or using the birthing pool during labor.
  • Toiletries
  • Snacks- Labor can be a long process, so you want to be prepared.
  • Cooler filled with drinks and sandwiches- This keeps the partner close by and can help avoid multiple trips to the hospital cafeteria.
  • Quarters for the vending machine and/or pay phone- Remember not all hospitals allow cell phone use.
  • Watch with second hand- my husband has never had a watch, he just uses his phone for everything so that's what we'll use here
  • Video/still camera - Make sure you have extra tapes, film, batteries, chargers, etc.
  • Extra memory card/film
  • Address book- This will help you contact friends and family about your new arrival.
  • Massage oils- Many labor classes discuss the use of massage oils during class because they can help alleviate back labor.
  • CDs/CD player/MP3 player- Soothing music may help you and your partner relax both during and after labor.
  • Take out menus
    Cell phone charger or prepaid phone card

For Baby:
  • Infant car seat and infant head support- You will not be allowed to leave the hospital without one; make sure you bring the instructions.
  • Going-home outfit
  • Hat- Babies lose the vast majority of their body heat through their heads.
  • Booties/socks
  • Receiving blankets- Newborns love to be swaddled, and these blankets are perfect for swaddling.
  • Newborn diapers- If they do not have the umbilical cord area cut out, make sure you fold them down.
  • Wipes- Begin with the wipes that are designed for newborns or sensitive skin.
  • Mittens - Many newborns will have longer nails, so they can easily scratch their face and other parts of their bodies.
  • Cans/bottles of formula- This will allow you to begin with the formula that you have chosen to feed your baby.
  • Baby Book- for getting the foot prints done by the nurse when paperwork is done.

For Siblings:
  • Crayons, markers, paper, coloring books
  • Books
  • Toys
  • Snacks
  • Special camera
  • Gift from big brother/sister to the baby- This can be something that was picked out prior to delivery by the older sibling.
  • Gift from Mom and baby to the big brother/sister- Many times older siblings tend to get jealous around the birth of the baby. A special gift can help alleviate this problem and allow the big brother/sister to know that they are still important.

Anything else you think you can use (Candles, pictures, etc.)
Number of La Leche League or other breastfeeding support
Number of diaper service (if you need to arrange for delivery)
Car Seat with instructions
Make sure you have a supply of heavy-duty pads waiting at home!

My list is put together compiling lists from the following websites:

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