PACKING YOUR HOSPITAL BAG - FOR THE BABY

- GUIDE ON WHAT I NEED TO PACK FOR THE BABY -

 

Dear Moms-to-be

While you eagerly await the arrival of your little ones, there's a whirlwind of emotions swirling within you – excitement, anticipation, and perhaps a touch of nervousness too.

But amidst the anticipation and flurry of preparations, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the question: "What do I really need?"

Fear not, dear friends, for I am here to guide you through this process with love and care. In this guide, we'll explore the essentials for packing your hospital bag – focusing on simplicity, functionality, and nurturing comfort for your baby. So, let's dive in together and prepare for the journey ahead with confidence and peace of mind.

FOR THE BABY

The number of items to pack in your hospital bag can vary depending on personal preferences, the length of your stay, and specific needs. However, here's a general guideline to consider: 

1. CLOTHING

When selecting clothing for your baby's hospital bag, consider choosing soft, breathable fabrics like cotton to keep your baby cozy and comfortable. Look for clothing with easy-to-use snaps or zippers for quick diaper changes and dressing. Pack a range of sizes to accommodate your baby's growth, as newborns can vary in size. Take into account the season and weather conditions when choosing outfits, ensuring your baby stays warm or cool as needed. Select clothing pieces that can be easily layered for added warmth or removed for comfort.  Avoid clothing with loose buttons, strings, or embellishments that could pose a choking hazard to your baby. While functionality is key, feel free to add a touch of personal style with cute patterns or colors that bring joy to you and your little one.

  • Onesies/Bodysuits: Pack several onesies or bodysuits in newborn size. These are comfortable and convenient for your baby to wear during their hospital stay. Bring 3-5 pieces.
  • Sleepers/Sleepsuits: Include a few sleepers or sleepsuits for your baby to sleep in. Look for soft, breathable fabrics that will keep them comfortable and cozy.  Bring 3-5 pieces.
  • Socks or Booties: Keep your baby's feet warm with a few pairs of socks or booties. Opt for soft, non-binding styles that won't irritate their delicate skin. Bring 2-3 pairs.
  • Hats: Pack a couple of hats to keep your baby's head warm, especially if they are born during colder months. Choose lightweight, breathable hats that won't overheat them.  Bring 2 pieces.
  • Mittens: Consider packing a pair of mittens to prevent your baby from scratching their face with their nails. Look for mittens with soft, elastic cuffs that will stay securely on their hands.  Bring 1 pair.
  • Swaddles/Receiving Blankets: Bring along a few swaddles or receiving blankets to keep your baby snug and secure. These versatile blankets can also be used for swaddling, nursing covers, or as makeshift changing pads.  Bring 2-3 pieces.
  • Going-Home Outfit: Don't forget to pack a special going-home outfit for your baby. Choose an adorable outfit that is comfortable, weather-appropriate, and easy to put on and take off.  Bring 1 piece.
  • Extra Clothing: It's always a good idea to pack a few extra clothing items, such as additional onesies or sleepers, in case of spills, leaks, or unexpected accidents. Bring  1-2 additional onesies or sleepers

Remember to pack clothing items made from soft, breathable fabrics that are gentle on your baby's delicate skin. And don't forget to wash all clothing items with a gentle, fragrance-free detergent before packing them for your hospital bag.

2. DIAPERS & WIPES

When packing diapers and wipes for your baby's hospital bag, pack enough to last for at least 2-3 days, considering how often newborns need to be changed. Choose newborn-sized diapers that are suitable for your baby's weight and age. Avoid buying too many diapers in larger sizes as newborns grow quickly. Look for diapers with good absorbency to keep your baby dry and comfortable between changes. Look for hypoallergenic wipes to minimize the risk of irritation or allergic reactions on your baby's delicate skin. Select fragrance-free wipes to reduce the likelihood of skin sensitivity or discomfort for your newborn. Consider packing travel-sized packs of diapers and wipes for convenience and ease of carrying in your hospital bag.

Some hospitals may provide diapers for newborns during your stay, but it's always a good idea to check with your hospital beforehand to confirm their policy. Even if the hospital does provide diapers, it's still a good idea to pack some of your own just in case, especially if you have specific preferences for diaper brands or sizes. Additionally, having your own supply ensures that you have everything you need to care for your baby during your hospital stay, giving you peace of mind and added convenience.

  • Diapers: Newborns typically go through about 8-12 diapers a day, so plan accordingly. Packing a small pack or two of diapers, containing around 20-30 diapers, should be sufficient for most hospital stays.
  • Wipes: Pack a travel-sized pack of baby wipes or a refillable wipes container for diaper changes. This ensures you have everything you need to keep your baby clean and comfortable during your time at the hospital.

By considering these factors, you can ensure that you have everything you need to keep your baby clean and comfortable during your hospital stay.

3. FEEDING ESSENTIALS:

When packing feeding essentials for your baby's hospital bag, consider if you plan to breastfeed or bottle feed. 

BREASTFEEDING MOMMAS:

  • Nursing Bras: Choose comfortable, supportive nursing bras that provide easy access for breastfeeding.  Bring at least 2-3 nursing bras.
  • Nipple Cream: Look for a lanolin-based nipple cream to soothe and protect sore nipples. Bring 1 tube of nipple cream to soothe sore nipples.
  • Nursing Pads: Disposable or reusable nursing pads can help absorb leaking breast milk between feedings.  If you're using disposable nursing pads, it's a good idea to pack at least 10-12 pads per day, especially during the first few days when your milk supply may be adjusting. Plan to have enough pads to last you for the duration of your hospital stay, plus a few extra in case of unexpected leaks. If you prefer reusable nursing pads, you'll need fewer pads overall since you can wash and reuse them. A set of 6-8 pairs should be sufficient for a day's use, but it's always a good idea to pack a few extra pairs just in case.

BOTTLE FEEDING MOMMAS:

  • Pre-Sterilized Bottles: Opt for pre-sterilized disposable bottles or pack travel-size bottles that are easy to clean.
  • Formula Powder: Bring enough formula powder to prepare several bottles a day, based on your baby's age and feeding habits.
  • Bottle Brush: A bottle brush with a small amount of dish soap can be used to clean bottles between feedings.
  • Bottles: Pack enough bottles to cover your baby's feeding needs for at least 2-3 days. Consider bringing a mix of small and large bottles.
  • Nipples and Caps: Ensure you have enough nipples and caps to use with your bottles.
  • Bottle Warmer (Optional): If you prefer to warm your baby's bottles, consider bringing a portable bottle warmer or ask if the hospital provides one.

FOR ALL THE MOMMAS:

  • Burp Cloths: Pack a few soft, absorbent burp cloths to place over your shoulder or lap during feedings. These can also be used to wipe up any spit-up or dribbles.
  • Feeding Pillow (Optional): If you find breastfeeding or bottle feeding more comfortable with a feeding pillow, consider bringing one along. However, keep in mind that many hospitals provide nursing pillows for breastfeeding mothers.
  • Feeding Schedule: Consider keeping track of your baby's feeding schedule in a notebook or using a smartphone app. This can help you monitor feeding patterns and share important information with healthcare providers.

By packing these feeding essentials, you'll be well-prepared to feed your baby comfortably during your hospital stay. Don't forget to consult with your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant if you have any questions or concerns about feeding your baby.

NB!  Whether you choose to breastfeed, bottle feed, or a combination of both, what's most important is that you and your baby are happy and healthy. There's no one "right" way to feed your baby, and every family's feeding journey is unique. Trust your instincts, listen to your baby's cues, and remember that you're doing an amazing job, no matter which feeding method you choose.

I have two breastfed children and one bottle fed. Parenting is one of the toughest jobs out there, and feeding challenges can be especially difficult. It's completely normal for breastfeeding to come with its share of hurdles in the beginning, and it's okay to seek support and guidance if needed. Remember, you're not alone in this journey, and there are resources and professionals available to help you navigate any challenges you may encounter. Be patient with yourself, take things one step at a time, and know that you're doing the best you can for your little one. Whatever the result is, it isn't a failure or your fault. Warm hug!

4. COMFORT ITEMS:

Comfort items can play a crucial role in soothing your baby and providing them with a sense of security. Each baby is unique in their preferences, so it's helpful to have a few options on hand to see what works best for your little one. These comfort items can be especially comforting during times of stress or when your baby needs extra soothing, such as during sleep or when transitioning to new environments.

  • Stuffed animal or lovey for comfort.
  • Pacifiers: if your baby uses them, to help soothe and calm.
  • (Optional) A small portable white noise machine or a playlist of soothing sounds to create a calming environment.

These comfort items can help your baby feel secure and content during their time at the hospital.

5. BABY TOILETRIES:

When choosing baby toiletries for the hospital bag, consider products that are gentle, hypoallergenic, and specifically formulated for newborns. Look for ingredients that are natural and free from harsh chemicals or fragrances that could irritate delicate skin. 

  • ShampooChoose a baby-friendly shampoo that ensures you're providing the best care for your little one's hair and scalp, keeping them clean and comfortable without any unnecessary irritation.
  • Body wash: Choose a specially formulated body wash for delicate baby skin, gentle and nourishing. Free from harsh chemicals and fragrances, that cleanses without stripping natural oils and leaves your baby's skin soft and smooth.
  • Lotion: Choose a gentle, hypoallergenic formula, enriched lotion with natural ingredients like shea butter and calendula, to moisturize and protect delicate baby skin. Absorbs quickly, leaving skin soft, smooth, and nourished. Ideal for daily use after baths or as needed to keep your baby's skin hydrated and healthy.
  • Nail Clippers or Files: Can be useful in the first days to safely trim or file your baby's nails, which may grow quickly and become sharp. However, some parents prefer to use their fingers to gently file or smooth the edges of their baby's nails to avoid accidentally clipping their delicate skin. Ultimately, the choice depends on your comfort level and what works best for you and your baby.

Choose gentle products suitable for newborn skin to keep your little one clean and comfortable during those early days. Remember to test products on a small patch of skin first, to ensure they are well-tolerated.

6. BABY TRANSPORTATION:

When choosing baby transportation for the hospital stay, prioritize safety, comfort, and ease of use. Look for items meeting safety standards, providing adequate support, and being easy to install and adjust. Consider durability, versatility, and compatibility with your lifestyle.

  • Car seat:  Look for one that meets safety standards, provides proper support for newborns, and is compatible with your vehicle. Ensure it's easy to install and adjust, and consider features like side-impact protection and a five-point harness system for added security.
  • Sling or carrier:  Look for ergonomic designs that provide proper support for your baby's hips and spine, and ensure it's adjustable to fit your body securely. Consider your lifestyle and preferences, whether you prefer a wrap-style sling or a structured carrier. Test different options beforehand to find the one that best suits your needs and allows for easy bonding with your newborn while keeping your hands free.

Ultimately, by prioritizing safety, comfort, ease of use, durability, versatility, and compatibility with your lifestyle, you can select the perfect baby transportation items for your hospital stay and beyond, ensuring the safety and well-being of your newborn while offering convenience and peace of mind for yourself as a parent.

7. BABY DUVET & COVER:

Having these items on hand will provide a familiar and comforting sleeping environment for your baby during their time at the hospital. It's a must-have for us Nordic Mommas who value warmth and comfort for our little ones.

  • Duvet and Cover: Choose a lightweight and breathable duvet to prevent overheating, and look for a cover made from soft, hypoallergenic materials for gentle skin contact. Consider the climate and season when selecting the thickness of the duvet and the material of the cover.

Your baby's comfort is paramount, especially during their early days, and having a duvet and cover will help create a soothing environment for them in the hospital.

8. BABY BOOK:

In the hospital, use the baby book to document your baby's first moments, while they are fresh in your memory, such as their birth details, footprints, and first feeding. Take photos of these special moments and insert them into the book along with any keepsakes provided by the hospital, such as wristbands or birth announcement cards. Write down your thoughts and feelings during these precious moments, capturing the emotions of becoming a parent.

  • Baby Book: When packing a baby book for your hospital bag, consider choosing one that is durable and easy to carry. Look for a design that allows you to capture precious moments and milestones during your baby's first days, ensuring you can cherish these memories for years to come.
  • Pen or pencil: Look for a comfortable grip and smooth writing experience. Additionally, choose a pen with quick-drying ink to prevent smudging, especially if you'll be using it to document memorable moments in your baby book.

NB! While it's wonderful to capture memories in a baby book or keepsake, remember that your primary focus during your hospital stay should be on bonding with your newborn and taking care of yourself. If you feel overwhelmed or tired, it's okay to postpone filling out the book until you're feeling more rested. Your presence and love are what truly matter in these early moments with your baby.

 

I'M GRATEFUL FOR YOU TAKING THE TIME TO READ THIS ❤

 

Assemble your baby's hospital bag on joy and anticipation, and let that guide you. Take comfort in knowing that you've thoughtfully prepared for your baby's arrival, and trust in your instincts as a parent. Cherish each moment, from those first cries to the first time you hold your baby in your arms. Embrace the journey with an open heart, knowing that you have everything you need to welcome your precious bundle of joy into the world. Sending you love and warmth on this beautiful journey of parenthood.

WITH WARMEST WISHES

The Hagelens Family