By Julie McCaffrey, Pish Posh Baby Parenting Expert
The arrival of a new baby will definitely send any household into a flurry of activity in preparation. When the birthing day arrives, you must be ready with all necessary items in your hospital bag. Not sure where to start? Read on to know about the top must-have items you need to bring with you so you can welcome your new bundle of joy with comfort and convenience.
A warm receiving blanket
A receiving blanket is a newborn staple because its warm and fleecy texture helps maintain an infant’s body heat. It is called such because it is typically the first blanket to “receive” a newborn immediately after birth. A hospital may provide one to wrap or swaddle your infant in, but for the duration of your hospital stay and the ride home, it’s best to bring your own.
A take-home outfit for baby
It’s important to keep a newborn snug and warm so a going-home outfit is a must. Hospitals typically provide just a simple undershirt for an infant. It’s best to prepare a couple of weather-appropriate layette set that’s easy to put on and take off, in comfortable fabrics. Winter-born children in particular need thick ones, especially for the drive back home. Consider packing a pair of booties and mittens, a baby bonnet, an easy-tie shirt, and an extra swaddling blanket.
Loose, front-opening shirts (for breastfeeding)
Nursing your baby at your hospital room or in the nursery should be as comfortable and convenient as possible. Bring loose shirts that open at the front to make it easy for you and your new baby. You can also invest in a nursing tent cover so you can breastfeed at leisure.
A going-home outfit for you
Aside from a toiletry and grooming bag, a going-home outfit is something you must thoughtfully pack in your hospital bag. It should be made of baby-friendly fabric and no embellishments that can snag on baby’s sensitive skin and hair. Bring your favorite outfit which makes you look and feel good, and can enhance that new-mom glow for your first pictures at home together. And keep in mind there are very few moms that are able to wear their regular clothes home. You’ll most likely still wear your maternity clothes for awhile.
A rear-facing infant car seat
It may not fit in your hospital bag, but a rear-facing infant car seat is also a must for a newborn. Most hospitals inspect your vehicle for one before you can go home, and if it meets pediatric and national road safety standards. It should be installed properly, and shouldn’t budge an inch in any direction with any movement.
You might feel inclined to include more items to put in your hospital bag for your baby’s delivery, however, many hospitals already provide things such as diapers, bottles and nipples, thermometers, and a basic collection of newborn essentials. To be better prepared, call up your hospital or birthing center for a list of things they give so that you can only bring what’s needed.
Best of luck!
About Julie McCaffrey
Parenting expert Julie McCaffrey is a proud mommy to 3 kids and owns BabyNav Baby Planners where she offers personalized consultation to new and expecting parents along with functioning as the Chief Brand Officer at PishPoshBaby.com—the high-quality baby store that supplies the facts and advice, along with the right choice, to parents who are completely lost in the whirlwind of baby gear. She loves to help moms and dads navigate everything from baby gear, preparing for multiples, getting back to work and getting the whole family on a routine.