Are you expecting a little bundle of joy? Worried about what to bring to the hospital for the baby? Here’s a helpful hospital checklist for baby including questions you should ask before the big day.
Planning for your baby’s arrival is such an exciting time! For most of us, this excitement is also mixed with nervous feelings and plenty of questions on what to do once the baby arrives. It’s helpful to create a hospital checklist for baby at least a month before you are due (because we all know babies can surprise us with early arrivals!).
A huge help in creating your hospital checklist for baby is to arrange for a hospital tour. A few months before you are due, contact your local hospital and ask them if they arrange for tours of the labor & delivery unit and mother-baby unit of the hospital. Most hospitals offer a few tours weekly for expecting parents.
Hospital Checklist for Baby – Questions To Ask:
A few questions you should ask during this tour are:
- What baby supplies will you have in the room? (diapers, wipes, petroleum jelly for those first messy number 2’s, q-tips for cord care, bottles, formula, soothers, receiving blankets, baby nightgowns, baby lotion, baby shampoo, etc.)
- Are there any items that I’m not permitted to bring into the room? You’ll need to know if there are items you should remove from your hospital checklist for baby.
- Does the hospital have a shared breast pump machine for mothers who are having difficulties nursing?
- What are your policies with visitors? Some hospitals now have rules on who can come to see the baby (like immediate family only), limitations on other siblings visiting, visitor hours and who is allowed to stay with you in your room overnight.
- Are bathrooms shared? If so, what are the rules for the shared bathrooms? Hospitals usually supply bathroom cleaning supplies for shared bathrooms and each patient is responsible for cleaning the bathroom after each use. Trust me, you aren’t going to feel like cleaning up a bathroom after delivery so you are best to ask for family support during this time.
- What are the hospital rules on babies in the nursery? Many hospitals no longer offer nursery stays for newborns. The newborns typically stay in the room with the mother the entire stay at the hospital. For c-sections, they usually offer the baby a one night stay in the nursery for moms to recover a bit. If you are nervous to be alone with the baby for your first two nights, there isn’t anything wrong with asking your partner or mom to stay with you to help. Your hospital checklist for baby could include a list of who is available to stay with you in the hospital along with their contact phone numbers.
- Does the hospital provide lactation consultant support? If so, what are their hours and will they be able to visit me in the hospital? Do they have a program for home visits?
- For mothers, do you provide feminine pads or do we bring our own? The ones I received in the hospital were big & bulky and not very comfortable. Don’t forget to include a few items for your own comfort on your hospital checklist for baby.
By receiving answers to the above questions, you’ll be better prepared to create your hospital checklist for baby. Some important items you’ll want to make sure you have on the hospital checklist for baby are:
- Bring your car seat with instruction manual. For liability reasons, hospitals are not able to help you much with getting your baby secured into the car seat for the first time. It’s very important to have the instruction manual with you so you know how to properly fit baby into the seat. This is an important entry on your hospital checklist for baby!
- Bring two receiving blankets that you can roll and place on both sides of the baby’s head while in the car seat. This helps from baby’s fragile head moving too much during your travel.
- A light blanket to lay over baby in the car seat. Remember that the car seat belt must be snug against the baby so you’ll have to lay the baby blanket over the baby after the harness is secured and snug.
- Don’t forget your camera! I’m sure you’ll want picture of baby’s first days in the hospital.
- Cute baby outfit to bring your little one home in. Dressing your baby can be a scary experience for the first time (or first several times) because they seem so small and fragile. Bring along a soft and comfortable sleeper that you’ll easily be able to dress baby in.
- You’ll also likely want to bring along slippers for yourself for your hospital stay. Find ones with rubber soles to prevent slipping.
- Bring along a small notebook and pen. You are going to receive so many tips and instructions from hospital staff and you’re going to want to remember this once you leave the hospital.
Don’t forget that a big part of taking care of your baby means also taking care of yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for family help during your hospital stay.
Congratulations on your little one on the way!
What items did you make sure to include on your hospital checklist for baby?