How to Prepare Your Baby's Hospital Bag
As you enter the final months of pregnancy, knowing what to pack in your baby’s hospital bag becomes fundamental. Many times, inexperience and anxiety take over and expectant mothers end up overpacking.
What items should I include in my baby’s hospital bag?
It’s very important that you have your baby’s hospital bag ready several weeks before your due date. When the time comes to go to the hospital and give birth, your little one’s “luggage” needs to be prepared.
But, what are the essential items you’ll need for the first days of your newborn’s life? Here’s a list of items that you should definitely include in your baby’s hospital bag:
- Size 0 or newborn diapers: Today, many brands produce diapers that contain hypoallergenic materials that are ideal for newborns. While some hospitals provide diapers, it’s good to take some along just in case.
- Gauze, rubbing alcohol 70% and chlorhexidine: Hospitals usually provide these items for newborns. However, you’ll want to have them with you at all times during the first days of your little one’s life. These items are indispensable when it comes to proper hygiene and disinfection of your baby’s belly button, for example.
- Baby lotion: The regions where your baby’s skin comes into contact with his or her diaper are prone to irritation. Moisture can accumulate in these areas and lead to the development of infection. A protective moisturizing cream is a must when it comes to your little one’s bag.
- Hypoallergenic baby wipes: Good hygiene is essential when it comes to the health and development of newborns. Their first waste is very difficult to clean, meaning parents need to be patient and gentle. When the time comes, you’ll need to have hypoallergenic baby wipes on hand.
Clothing for your newborn
Besides the items listed above, you’ll also want to include certain clothing items, such as the following:
- Bodysuits or onesies for newborns: It’s important that you choose cotton items when it comes to newborns. This material allows your little one’s delicate skin to breathe and doesn’t cause irritation. Look for items with buttons or snaps down the front or side, as well as a wide neck. These factors will make both dressing and undressing your baby easier. Remember that baby clothes get dirty frequently, so you’ll need to pack several bodysuits in your bag.
- Pyjamas: Your baby will also need pyjamas to sleep warmly and comfortably. Newborns aren’t able to regulate their body temperature, meaning they always need to be relatively bundled up. During summer months, you can choose lighter items as your little one’s body gains strength.
- Baby hats: Newborns have a tendency to lose heat through their heads, making temperature regulation more difficult. Pack a few cotton caps in your baby’s “luggage.” That way, your baby will be warm and comfortable from head to toe.
- Socks: Socks are important in protecting your little one’s feet from the cold.
- Blanket: When it’s time to leave the hospital and go home, a blanket will be key in protecting your baby from the cold.
- Bibs and burp cloths: Newborns tend to spit up very often during and after feedings. Bibs and burp clothes are must-have items when it comes to your hospital bag.
- Towel: The hospital will provide appropriate towels for the care of your newborn. However, we recommend packing a small, hypoallergenic towel made of natural fibers, just in case.
“When the time comes to go to the hospital and give birth, your little one’s ‘luggage’ needs to be prepared.”
What items can I leave out of my baby’s hospital bag?
Above we looked at the essential items for your baby’s hospital bag. Now, at the same time, there are elements that are better to leave out to avoid overpacking:
- Pacifier: According to many specialists, babies shouldn’t use pacifiers during their first month of life, or after their first year.
- Shoes: Tiny little baby shoes can be adorable, but they’re completely unnecessary. In fact, it’s best to put off putting shoes on your child until he or she learns to walk.
- Perfume and colognes: Most perfumes and colognes contain alcohol, which can irritate your baby’s skin and cause allergies. Besides being unnecessary, their use should be moderate. Apply them only to clothing and not directly on your baby’s skin.
- Toys: Toys are an essential part of a child’s cognitive and physical development, but not during this stage. It’s best to leave them at home, where your child will be able to enjoy them in the months to come.
- Teething toys: It will be several months before your baby starts teething. So there’s no need to have them on hand at this point.
While preparing your baby’s hospital bag may seem like a simple task, there are many details that are easy to overlook. With the help of this simple but effective guide, you’ll have everything you need to pack your baby’s bag in no time.