Your due date is approaching, and it's time to pack your hospital bag! This is one of the last steps you need to take before you get ready to welcome your new baby into the world. You should have your infant car seat installed and ready to go and hopefully, there’s a baby car seat cover to go with it. The car seat and car seat cover are for the baby, yes, but they’re also for you. Every new parent wants to make sure their new little one is safe and secure, and a canopy seat cover creates a little cocoon for the baby to ride home in. But before you get to bring your baby home, you have to be prepared for your hospital stay. Not sure where to start when you pack your bag? Here are some ideas:
- Toiletries - After your baby is born, you will want the familiar scents of your own shampoo and lotion. And mama, you will have earned a nice, hot shower!
- Loose, easy-open pajamas - Your body has been through a lot, so make sure you pack something soft and comfortable for you, but also something that maintains access for the medical staff caring for you and for feedings.
- Going home outfit - Don’t forget that you will be in a lot of the photographs, too! New mamas can forget to plan their own outfit, but easy, pull-on dresses or leggings with a tunic top are always good options.
- Nursing bras, if nursing
- Chargers with extra long cords - Don’t forget to bring more than one charger for your partner or any other family members staying up there with you.
- Pillow with colorful pillowcase (so it doesn’t get lost with hospital sheets!)
- Downloaded movies or tv shows - Do you have something you watch on repeat? A nightly show? A favorite movie? Download it and have it ready should you need it. There will be so many new changes to your rhythm that anything familiar can bring comfort, even if it’s reruns of the Office.
- Night light for late feeds - There is nothing more harsh than fluorescent lighting. A night light will help ease you into your new normal and not be as disruptive.
- Blanket for baby - The hospital will provide a basic blanket, but you will want to pack what you have registered for or been given. If you have a personalized blanket, it’s a great thing to pack for newborn pics.
- Disposable maternity underwear
- Going home outfit for baby - You might pack more than one option so that depending on baby’s size and the weather the day you’re going home, you will feel comfortable.
- Lots and lots of snacks! Your hospital room will be your abode for a couple of days. Make sure you pack enough snacks that you won’t have to send someone to the vending machine over and over again.
The hospital bag is such an important piece of your preparation journey! Once you get things packed, you will have peace of mind knowing that whenever the baby lets you know it’s time, you will be ready. Along with the installation of the car seat and the infant car seat cover, the hospital bag should be prepared before your due date. If you're stumped about when to pack your bag, I recommend having it ready to go by 37/38 weeks - 32 weeks if you're having twins!