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Baby care checklist: What to bring to the hospital

It’s almost time for your baby to arrive! You’ve been looking forward to this for nine months, and now you’re preparing for yourself for the trip to the hospital. But what should you bring for your newborn? Read on for some suggestions.

Pregnant woman packing hospital bag

Before heading to the hospital for delivery, make sure you have all the necessary baby care supplies ready to bring for your little one. The items the hospital will supply you and your baby with during your stay will vary depending on where you live, and hospital policies regarding such are apt to change. It’s a good idea to be prepared so you can ease your mind and focus on what’s important — your new baby!

Rear-facing infant car seat that suits a newborn’s height and weight

Safety first. This is number one on the list, as you might not be allowed to leave the hospital without it! Bring the instructions, ensure the base is properly installed and the check the expiration date.

Going home outfit

While in the hospital, there isn’t much call for your newborn to dress for the occasion, so going home might be the first opportunity! For many parents, this event calls for a special outfit, and let’s face it: Your baby deserves to show off his or her cuteness to the world! This will also be a great photo op, so bring an outfit that’s adorable, and considering it’s your baby’s first adventure into the outside world, keep it weather appropriate.

Baby care essentials

Whether you have a preference regarding baby care products or you are unsure of what the hospital will offer, these items are mainstays of baby care and should be packed and ready to go. For a normal delivery, a good rule of thumb is to fully pack a diaper bag for a day, then add extra diapers, extra formula and bottles (if you will be bottle-feeding) and the going home outfit to your own hospital bag. This will help you keep it all in order, which brings us to the first item on the list:

  • A diaper bag, one with plenty of room and compartments to keep organized.
  • 12 newborn diapers. A baby may go through 8–12 diapers per day, so plan ahead.
  • Three T-shirts and onesies. This makes it easier for the health care providers to perform standard examinations than wearing a sleeper does.
  • One or two hats. Newborns can’t regulate their heat properly and will lose the majority of their body heat through their heads. A hat will keep them snug and warm.
  • Three receiving blankets for swaddling and adding extra warmth.
  • One package of sensitive skin baby wipes for tender tushie care.
  • Petroleum jelly for all-over moisturizing and care of the belly button.
  • Baby wash for your baby’s first baths.
  • A baby brush or comb and baby clippers.
  • Formula and five bottles fitted with newborn nipples if you won’t be breastfeeding.

More on baby care

Preemie care: What a parent should know
Nursery checklist
Tips for baby-proofing your home

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