Every expectant mom has spent time researching what to pack in her diaper bag before heading to the hospital to deliver baby. What will be needed for your new bambino? What will she need for herself? These are critical questions – the last thing you want to do is arrive and be without something that will make both mom and baby as comfortable as possible. And while most hospitals will provide the essentials like diapers, receiving blankets, and wipes, there are items you’ll want to bring yourself as well.
I, like most moms, researched online and asked friends and family about what they felt were the essential items to pack in a diaper bag to take to the hospital. And the consensus was, and what I realized myself, is that it’s just as important to take items for mom as it is for baby.
First, it’s a good idea to grab a few grab-and-go snacks, like granola bars. You never know how long your labour will last, or how long you’ll be in the hospital after giving birth. And you’ll appreciate something better than hospital food to quell those hunger pangs. (If doc says it’s OK, of course.)
Some suggest bringing along books, magazines, and other entertainment gear. But let’s face it, no mom in labour, or a mom who has recently given birth, has the time or the desire to check out the latest issue of Cosmo. Just make sure you have your smartphone or tablet with you so you can communicate with friends and family and, of course, share your first family pics.
A housecoat may also prove useful. Hospital gowns aren’t the most flattering, nor comfortable. And while you’ll have to wear one, you can always wear your own housecoat overtop it.
Additionally, you’ll want to bring comfortable clothes to wear during an extended hospital stay, or for the ride home. I’d suggest a pair of loose and stretchy jogging pants, and a loose-fitting T-shirt or zip-up hoodie if it’s cold out. Grab something from your maternity wardrobe, like the JoJo Maman Bebe Support Maternity Tank Top, a simple tank that will keep you cool and relaxed. If you’re nursing, you might prefer something like the Carriwell Nursing Shirt, which has a lift-up panel that will keep the rest of you covered and warm. For the bottom, opt for something ultra-comfortable, like the JoJo Maman Bebe Check Maternity Pyjama Bottoms, that has a jersey bandeau at the top, and is made of soft, brushed cotton. It’s perfect to wear home from the hospital.
Also pack a comfortable nursing bra to wear for the trip home, especially if you’ll be stopping somewhere else first and might have to feed baby on the way. The Carriwell Seamless GelWire Nursing Bra doesn’t have a cutting underwire, so it will be comfortable to wear while still providing the needed support. Once ready to nurse, just use the one-handed release clasp.
Toiletries can do wonders for making mom feel as much as herself as possible. Bring along a toothbrush and toothpaste, any desired face and skin creams, and even some extra feminine napkins and large, comfortable underwear. For the latter, make sure to bring high-waisted ones, in the event of an expected or unexpected C-section. The Carriwell Organic Cotton Hospital Panty is made specifically for wear during your hospital stay. It comes in a five-pack, and one-size-fits-all for sizes 8 up to 14. The breathable design will be gentle on the skin, and it’s high-waisted to avoid direct contact of the band with a C-section scar. Once you take them home, you can wash each one up to 10 times, wearing them comfortably throughout those first post-birth weeks.
Arguably the single most important item for me was a comfortable pair of shoes. I underestimated just how swollen my feet would be, and had to struggle to squeeze my feet into my one-size-too-big boots. Despite the weather, opt for simple slip-on shoes, ideally ones without backs, to account for extra ankle and feet swelling. All you need them for is to get from Point A (the hospital) to Point B (home) at which point you can throw them off and get comfy in your house slippers.
Most important, you’ll want to bring along everything you’ll need to tend to baby for his first 24 hours or more.
If you desire, bring your own diapers, along with wipes, and necessary creams. Always bring extras, just in case you have to stay longer than anticipated. The Aleva Naturals Newborn Travel Pack contains travel-sized versions of some of the essentials, including baby wash, moisturizer, bubble bath, and baby wipes, all of which is certified organic. I’m a fan of the Live Clean line, and for diaper changing, the Baby Diaper Gift Set from that brand is also a good option. It includes travel-sized versions of baby wash and lotion, non-petroleum jelly, and diaper ointment – perfect for throwing into the diaper bag. Everything is made using 98-100% plant-based natural ingredients that don’t contain any petroleum, parabens, SLS, sulfates, or phthalates.
Pack a few receiving blankets and burp clothes as well, though you will be able to make good use of those provided by the hospital. Made for newborns from birth, the Baby’s First Peek-A-Bot Boys Receiving Blanket doesn’t necessarily have to just be for little boys. The four-pack includes soft 100% cotton material with cute robots. Each is 28” x 30” – the ideal size for swaddling a newborn, or to drape over your new little bundle of joy once he or she is safely secured in the car seat for the ride home from the hospital.
And, of course, a few basic outfits for baby will be necessary, including some onesies, booties for the feet, and mittens for the hands. Bring a few sizes, just in case. I received a ton of newborn-sized onesies for my son. However, when he was born at 8 lbs., 12 ounces, I had to move straight into the larger clothing. You’ll, of course, want something super cute. If you’ve waited to find out the sex of the baby, go for a neutral colour, like the Juddlies Stripe Baby Sleeper in green and white. It has a double zipper for easy access to your delicate baby for removal and diaper changes, and built-in foot covers so you don’t even need to worry about socks or shoes to keep baby warm. Pair it with the matching Juddlies Stripe Newborn Cap that will keep baby’s head warm and protected.
Which diaper bag is best?
For use before baby is born, look at a fairly sizeable diaper bag, since you’ll be using it to hold just as many items for you as for your upcoming baby. A tote is a smart idea, like the Jolly Jumper Striped Diaper Tote, which has a really spacious interior so you can throw in everything from your slip-on shoes and housecoat, to toiletries, and items for baby. There’s also a zippered inerior privacy pocket for holding all of your valuables, like smartphone, keys, and wallet.
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JJ Cole Caprice Diaper Bag
JJ Cole Satchel Diaper Bag