Firstly, read up a lot! I ended up packing and repacking four or five times before I was admitted as the closer you get to the date, the more you ‘know’ what you’ll need!
Usually, the hospital will provide you with a list of what to pack and also a list of what they will provide. I have found that you should pack of what they provide as well – as it’s hardly ever enough.
There are so many lists available with obvious items like diapers and breast pads, so I’m only going to mention things that stood out for me.
- At least 5 long sleeve baby grows. Even in warm weather, a newborn gets cold in air conditioned hospitals. They are used to being inside the womb so the more they are covered, the better.
- Enough receiving blankets. This is essential. As mentioned above, they are used to being in your tummy so being wrapped in a blanket makes them feel secure. There will be a lot of messes, so having enough blankets just makes things easier.
- Pack a breast pump. Within about two days of your baby being born, your milk will come in. You had milk before, but when it comes in, you will know! You will produce much more milk than your baby needs and your breasts might be very swollen and tender. I do not advocate that you should express until empty, just very little for relief. If you pump too much, you will overstimulate and you will end up producing even more milk. It’s also important to not express milk right before your baby feeds as they need the watery milk that comes first. It’s like having a drink of water before the creamy milk comes 🙂
- Snacks. Your body knows that as soon as your baby is born, it’s time to produce milk. I have never experienced hunger and thirst like I did when my baby was born. Pack drinks with electrolytes and sustainable carbohydrates like oat bars. It’s important to pack otherwise you will end up eating unhealthy snacks. I drank Powerade and lots of water as well.
- Pack for mommy. Remember that this is a special time for you. This is the most important day of your life, the one that will change you irrevocably and a day which you will treasure forever. Pack soft luxury towels and face cloths for bath time. Pack a rich moisturizer and a lightly scented body talc. (Not too strong as babies are very sensitive to smell.) Buy two sets of new button up pajamas and blow wave your hair. It makes such a difference if you feel good!