Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hospital Packing Part 2- Baby supplies

If you haven't read part one, check it out HERE.  It includes the essentials for mom.

This post will go over items you need to bring for baby.

  • 2 Outfits for baby to wear home. No more. No less. Why 2?  First off, it's not a fashion show.  There's plenty of time to dress up baby in cute outfits and take a million pictures, and those will turn out better with the lighting you have at home anyway. You don't need to take the lot with you. Secondly, as soon as you start sorting through your baby clothing and get everything washed pre-arrival you will notice that there is a great variance in the SIZE of baby clothing, even when it is labeled to be exactly the same. Since there's no way to tell exactly what will fit your newborn, take one newborn size outfit that looks like it will never fit the tiniest of dolls, and a second newborn size outfit that looks larger in comparison. And yes, I do mean newborn size and not 0-3 months.  Your kid will be swimming in a 0-3 months size. If they have matching hats, that's even better.

When choosing your outfits here are a couple things to think about.  First, the weather. Generally you want baby to be wearing one more layer than you are comfortable in. If it's 80 degrees outside you probably don't need a wool sweater for baby. Wearing a t-shirt yourself?  A newborn is usually good in a long sleeve t-shirt. You can always wrap baby up in a blanket if you feel they need more.

Next, try to find an outfit that is NOT a onesie, and opt for a t-shirt style top instead.  These can be difficult to find, but it's worth it.  The reason being is that baby will still have the stump of their umbilical cord. Onsies will press up against that wound and irritate it (and by extension, the baby and then you.) The cord stump also tends to ooze for a bit while it's drying and that goo gets all over the onsie and is a pain to wash out. The t-shirt style tops provide some relief from the rubbing and helps the cord breathe better, which promotes faster healing.

Finally, if you can find an outfit that has fold over cuffs for the top and attached feet on the bottom you've hit the baby outfit jackpot.  Baby's nails are REALLY sharp when they're born so you'll want to cover their hands.  The little scratch mitts that you can purchase separately don't stay on for beans, plus you can never find them in the suitcase because they're so tiny.  The fold-over cuffs give you the same protection without needing to track anything down. Baby Socks are problematic for the same reason, which is why the footed bottoms are perfect.
  • A blanket to place over the car seat. In my case an extra heavy one since it will be the middle of winter.  If you're having a summer baby, just a light receiving blanket is fine.  Something to block the sun and wind on your way to the car or to keep them warm if the snow is flying. (Remember, bulky coats and snowsuits are a no-no since they interfere with safety buckles in car seats. When in doubt, keep an extra blanket in the car for cold weather.)
    •  If you have pets: Pack an extra receiving blanket or a small scrap of fabric. Snuggle baby in this blanket as often as possible during your hospital stay. When it's time to come home have someone go ahead of you and let your pets sniff around this blanket for a while. Since it smells like the baby, it's a great way to help introduce him or her to your furry friends.
That's the list for baby.  Really.  I'm serious. That's it. Everything else you will need, diapers*, wipes, pacifiers, bottles, a small hair comb, circumcision care supplies, etc. the hospital will provide. Use their stuff since it's already part of your bill anyway. When you leave, take any extra baby supplies with you.  Just clean out the drawer of that bassinette and shove it all in your suit case. Again, you have already been charged for these supplies so don't feel bad about swiping them.  If you don't end up using them at home you can always donate them to someone in need.

In the next series of posts, extra comfort/convenience items and the things I left out of my bag on purpose.

*I have heard a few stories from moms where their hospitals did not provide newborn diapers and they were required to bring a pack of their own.  This is really rare, but if you're worried about this or any other baby supply you might need, just give the hospital a call to double check on what specifically is provided.

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