You’re about to have a baby! The time has come where that sweet unborn baby is about to make their entrance into the world. Greeted by its parents and loved ones, there’s no sweeter moment than meeting this little life you created.
Once the third trimester rolls around, it’s time for mom to start preparing her hospital bag. A hospital bag is filled with everything a parent may need while delivering their sweet baby. From bathroom goodies to diapers for both mom and baby, it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared, right?
While some parents have certain expectations for hospitals, they don’t always have everything a new mom or dad may need, which is why it’s better to bring it yourself. Here are 10 things a mom or dad may not think they really need in the hospital but should bring it anyway.
10 WARM SOCKS
Most hospitals have moms covered with hospital gowns and some thin slide ons they can put over their feet, but think about how chilly hospital rooms are!
Labor could last hours — even days! To keep your body temperature nice and warm, bring a pair of cozy socks to wear throughout those hospital halls. You’re not always going to want to wear those bathroom flip flops, and the thought of putting bare feet in those stirrups sounds uber uncomfortable.
9 BABY BOOK
Labor and delivery are different for every parent. It’s quick for some and longer for others. Due to the whirlwind that is childbirth, some parents find it comforting to jot how the day played out as it’s happening. From the medications administered to how mom is feeling to expectations — it’s a birth story told as it’s happening.
In these books, parents can also put their baby’s first footprint, their umbilical cord, their measurements, and everything the doctor may give them to celebrate this joyous day. It’s best to bring the book with you so you don’t miss writing down a second!
8 COMFY THINGS FOR YOUR PARTNER TO SLEEP ON
As we know, it’s typically all about mama when it’s time for the baby to come out. She has to feel safe, comfortable, ready, and supported… but what about her partner? A woman’s partner should also bring their own hospital bag.
Hospitals have extra pillows and blankets for them but they’re not always comfortable. Instead, bring a pillow and large comforter to the hospital with you. You’ll actually be able to get some rest in the hospital with comfy necessities like these!
7 SOFTER TOILET PAPER & PERSONAL BATHROOM ESSENTIALS
Most delivery rooms have an attached bathroom so that moms can handle their business in the privacy of their own space. Although these bathrooms have soaps, toilet paper, and a shower to use, it doesn’t have the same comfort as home.
To make yourself and your partner more comfortable, bring some super-soft toilet paper (hospital toilet paper is thin, sometimes rough, and can break easily), nipple cream in case you’re breastfeeding, a toothbrush to have fresh breath, and any shower gear you may need — including a cozy bathrobe!
New parents can totally bring their own snacks and food to the hospital. Heck, you may as well have one bag for clothes and one bag for snacks! However, if you’d rather not spend your time packing, bring some extra change or dollar bills for the hospital vending machines.
Hospital food doesn’t always tickle everyone’s fancy, but do you know what does? Packaged junk food. Change can also be used for sodas and Gatorade in case a nurse isn’t available.
The last thing a soon-to-be-parent wants to do is run back home because they forgot the necessary paperwork the hospital may need. Aside from the information doctors and nurses told mom to bring, they should also remember their license, insurance card, any (and all) medical paperwork, and a birthing plan.
Birthing plans are incredibly important as they help doctors and nurses know what a mom expects in different situations.
4 NURSING PILLOW
If mom plans on breastfeeding her newborn, it’s best to remember a nursing pillow. As a new mom (and in some cases, a new nursing mom), it’s important to be comfortable and to get all the help you may need. A nursing pillow can help make a mom feel more supported and at ease doing something she’s never done before.
If a mother is formula-feeding her child, bring the necessary formula you’d like your newborn to eat. Hospitals definitely have extra formula on-hand, but if you have a preferred brand you’d like to use, be prepared.
Just because a woman’s water broke or she has signs that the baby is on its way doesn’t mean their baby is going to pop out within minutes. Sometimes the delivery process can take days! Considering how much time a new parent has while they wait, be prepared.
Bring a deck of cards, download Netflix or Hulu on your iPad, bring some books to read while you wait. Some soon-to-be parents have too much energy to focus on a game but it’s better to focus on something else until the time comes.
2 BIRTHING BALL
If you know that you’d like a birthing ball on the day you’re supposed to give birth, be sure to ask your doctor or nurses if the hospital supplies one. Not every hospital has birthing balls to hand out or sometimes they have a limited amount. If a birthing ball is important to you, simply bring your own.
Birthing balls can help the pelvis open up, helping to induce labor. It can also create more space for the baby to move downward. Ask a nurse for different positions to try.
1 PADS & EXTRA UNDIES
Yes, hospitals have diapers ready and available for newborns when they need to be changed but what about for moms? A woman just gave birth! She’s bound to release different secretions once the baby is out, right? While some hospitals have larger diapers and pads for moms, not every hospital does.
If you found a brand that you connect with or find comfortable and supportive, bring as many as you can along. You have no idea how many you’re going to need or how long you’re going to be in the hospital so come prepared.