Some people are planners and some just like to wing it. That sounds great in theory, but labor is not something you want to go into possibly having forgotten something. You can’t turn around and get it once it’s forgotten. So how do you avoid the guessing? You create a packing list.
A good packing list consists of things you’ll need during labor, after delivery, for recovery, and for baby of course. This is my first child, so I’ve searched high and low for resources to make this as seamless a process as possible. I’ve gotten the majority of my list from my midwives but also have taken advice from other moms.
This list includes the little basics that can often be forgotten. I know personally I am very particular about what toothpaste I will use, so going somewhere without it and having to use another brand would not work. It’s little things like that which need to be going through your mind when packing. What are your preferences?
There’s also items that you think less about. Having an extra bag, for example, is not something you think of. But you can almost bet that you’re going to leave the hospital with more than what you came with. Another biggie is your baby book. This is great if you want to have them stamp it with your baby’s foot prints!
Not included in my list, but I’d also recommend taking some of the snacks I listed in my Pregnancy Snacks on the Go article in case you don’t like the typical jello provided at the hospital while recovering.
Here is my comprehensive list of things I’ll be packing for visit:
- Confirm your Primary Care Physician
- Cash and Change
o Bring cash and change for snacks, gift-store runs, and any of your miscellaneous cravings or whims.
- Cell Phone and Charger
o Be sure your partner has a cell phone when you head to the hospital. He can call friends and family to update them on your progress — and announce the big news when your baby arrives.
- Extra Bag
o With all the goodies from the hospital — diapers, blankets and creams — and all the gifts from well-wishers, you’re bound to have a lot more luggage coming out than you did going in.
o Bring flip-flops for the shower or to wear home if your feet are too swollen to fit into regular shoes.
- Bra (a nursing bra and nursing pads if you are breastfeeding).
- Hair Care Products
o Hair clips — and a brush and comb — will help keep your hair out of your face during labor (and ensure that you look great in those first photos with your new baby).
- Homecoming Outfit for Baby/Outfit for Newborn Photo
o Skip the sleep sack and tight-fitting outfits. Instead, pack a kimono-style shirt, with footed pants so you don’t have to bring socks. Bring a receiving blanket and hat (a heavy, warm one in the winter and a thinner cotton one in the summer).
- Homecoming Outfit for You
o A clean, loose-fitting outfit will best suit your still-round belly and make your trip home as comfortable as possible.
- Car Seat
o A car seat for riding home. Many local fire departments will demonstrate and ensure your car seat is installed properly.
- Important Documents
o Bring copies of your birth plan (if you have one), a picture ID, medical insurance information, ID card and hospital registration forms. Even if you’ve already registered at the hospital, some hospitals need to confirm your records before they can admit you.
- Manicure Tools
o Your newborn may have long nails from the beginning. Stash a pair of rounded fingernail scissors or a mini emery board from the baby’s toiletry kit in your bag.
- Memory Book
o You can even ask the nurses to stamp your baby’s footprints when they’re preparing the birth certificate.
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