The birth of a child is a huge time in any parents life, and the moments following meeting their little one can be a bit of a blur. Adjusting to the feedings, diaper changes, swaddling, and soothing of a newborn can be very all-consuming, especially for first-time parents. Luckily, doctors and nurses are on hand to help out, and even pass out a few freebies while they can!
After giving birth, and adding a newborn to the family, a lot of new and special stuff is going to be required to make life for mom a little more comfortable and easier. Many hospitals offer a lot of these items free of charge to new parents. Better yet, they encourage parents to take the items because they want their transition into parenthood to be as smooth as possible. “I may or may not have packed some burp cloths, swaddle blankets, and baby shirts that our room was stocked with into our bag before we left… and you may or may not want to do the same,” writes MomSmartNotHard.com.
Before any parent packs up the bags to head home from the hospital, they should definitely do a double take of all the freebies offered at the hospital. Many nurses will often remind and encourage parents to take these things as well. Not all of the items are totally necessary or useful though so be forewarned.
From the very obvious need of diapers and wipes to the not so obvious necessities, keep reading for a list of ten things anyone should absolutely grab on the way out the door, and ten that are better off left behind.
20 It's A Given: Grab Those Diapers
If there’s one thing you are for sure going to need, it’s diapers. Baby.LoveToKnow.com estimates that the average baby will go through around 2500 diapers in their first year of life. And that is just the first year. A lot of articles online will suggest packing diapers in your hospital bag, but truthfully you don’t need to do this as the hospital will have them available for you. They will even send you home with some, so don’t be afraid to ask.
When my daughter was born my husband and I were sent home with whatever diapers were left in our room, including a recently opened package.
19 And Don’t Forget The Wipes
Wipes are something required for all babies, whether you choose to use disposable diapers or not, you will still need wipes. And just like the hospital has diapers available for you, they will also have wipes available.
“There are so many choices available it boggles the mind. There are scented and unscented ones, thick ones, textured ones, and ones designed for sensitive skin,” shares MomLovesBest.com on the variety of wipes on the market. Luckily, the hospitals typically have good quality products available, so you can rest assured they are a tried and true product. It doesn’t hurt to ask for extra on your way out the door!
18 Stock Up On Sanitary Pads
Your baby is likely not the only one who will be headed home from the hospital in diapers. Oh, the joys of motherhood. “Set those tampons aside. You won't be needing those for a while. Instead, you'll use the thickest maxi pads the world has ever seen. Luckily, you won't be going out much, so who cares that you're practically wearing an adult diaper?” writes TheStir.CafeMom.com.
A quick stroll into the hospital bathroom will likely boast a very large supply of maxi-pads, so be sure and grab those babies before you head out the door. You will be glad you did.
17 Ask For Extra Mesh Undies
Yes, I just said mesh undies. These glorious little undies will help keep your gigantic maxi-pads in place. They look ridiculous but they are extremely helpful and actually kind of comfy. You will also want to have some high-waisted pants and/or leggings around for the days following delivery, as they are very comfy and make the mesh undies less noticeable for you.
“Plus, if you have those night sweats for days after delivery (yes, your hormones can cause this), the lightweight fabric of the disposable bottoms will keep you feeling a little less sweaty down there,” shares TheStir.CafeMom.com as an added bonus of this genius product. Ask for extras before you leave the hospital!
16 Those Suction Bulbs Will Really Come In Handy
“I have bought it all. Nothing sucks out infant boogers better than the hospital nasal aspirator! I don’t know what’s so magical about this thing, but the sucking power is perfect. Grab it! Grab 2 if you can,” writes Babble.com on the goofy looking suction bulb you’re sure to receive from the hospital.
These are especially helpful to have around a newborn in case of any problems with spit-up. We asked our hospital for extras of these and had one in our diaper bag, in the living room of our house, and one for the nursery. Don’t hesitate to always ask for more, the worst that can happen is that they say no.
15 Breastfeeding? Don’t Forget Nursing Goods
Breastfeeding is hard work, especially the first days when you and baby are getting the hang of things. The hospital will have some items that can make this a little easier. From different creams to nursing pads, they will have a plethora of items available in order to hopefully make things go a little more smoothly for you. Take advantage of this and stock up before you head home! And don’t forget to take advantage of the lactation consultant before you head home.
“ A recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that patients connected with International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) were three times more likely to be exclusively breastfeeding at three months, more likely to be exclusively breastfeeding at one month and less likely to wean in the first six months,” shares PumpStation.com.
14 Peri Bottles Are A Necessity
“The nurse probably will give you one or two of these at the hospital, but try to score a third if you can. No, you won't be stocking up for rainy days -- let's hope you'll only need to use this cleaning method for six weeks after delivery. You'll want to have a couple at home (in different bathrooms if you have 'em) and one in your purse for when you pee when you're out and about,” shares TheStire.CafeMom.com on this magical little invention. Having a few of them around the house is a necessary tip, so don’t forget to ask for a few spares!
13 C Section Or Not- Take The Abdominal Binder
This miracle-working item will help you feel more comfortable in the awkward post-delivery days where your body is still trying to adjust itself to life with the baby outside the womb.
“Postpartum abdominal binders have been used for centuries after the birth of a baby. The goal for this postpartum tool is to help a new mother feel more stable, be able to get around more easily and to improve her posture,” writes VeryWellFamily.com on the topic of the abdominal binder. These are a given for C-Section mom’s but even if you didn’t have to have a C-Section, ask for the abdominal binder.
12 Say Yes To Free Pacifiers!
Okay, there is honestly just something about those hospital issued pacifiers that seem to work wonders for babies. None of the pacifiers my husband and I packed worked well for our daughter, but she immediately took to the hospital issued MAM brand pacifiers. I couldn’t find the newborn ones anywhere online so we ended up asking for spares when we went back for a one-week checkup.
Even if you know where you can buy them, free is always better, so don’t hesitate to ask for some back-ups. Goodness knows you will probably need some back-ups at some point or another.
11 Paperwork And Other Mementos
Don’t forget to grab your important paperwork and other mementos, like those adorable first footprints. Our hospital also had a lot of mementos for us like the bassinet sheet that turns into a pillowcase, a cute knit hat, a cute little commemorative spoon, a halo swaddle sack (score!), and most importantly, a coupon for a free pizza from a local pizza joint on the way home.
We would have missed half of this stuff if we hadn’t dug through the drawers of the bassinet in our room, so snoop away. Or make it easier on yourself and just ask the nurses if there’s anything you’re forgetting to grab.
10 Bring Your Own Water Bottle So You Don’t Have To Use The Hospital Issued One
You know which one I’m talking about. The large water bottle with a handle and the accordion straw sticking out of it. Some people love these water bottles, and I certainly don’t have anything against them, I’d just rather use something you know, a little cuter! Pregnancy and delivering a baby is cause enough to treat yourself a little here and there. I think every expecting Mom should treat themselves to a cute new water bottle.
“Water is needed to help form to amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby and support increases in blood plasma volume during pregnancy. Later on, if you choose to breastfeed, water is important to help produce breast milk, which is about 90% water,” shares MumKind.com on the importance of hydration during and after pregnancy.
9 There’s No Need For That Little Pink Tub At Home
Isn’t it funny that you probably know exactly what little pink tub I’m talking about without even seeing the picture? This is just one of those things that never really needs to leave the hospital. Opt for a cute diaper caddy instead. There are very cute diaper caddies available on Amazon so when you’re waking at all hours of the night with your newborn, do some shopping, I know I did!
“Changing tables are great, but the reality is you won’t always be in baby’s room. That’s when diaper caddies come in handy. Caddies make diaper changes mobile and keep everything you need all in one place,” shares MomLovesBest.ocm and I could not agree more on this topic. I love a good diaper caddy!
8 Leave The Petroleum Jelly
Am I the only who is not a fan of this greasy stuff? Give me some coconut oil any day of the week. “Unrefined coconut oil is extracted from the kernels of the seeds of the coconut palm. It provides deep and real moisture and is easily absorbed into your skin. It also helps to strengthen underlying tissues and helps remove excessive cells on the skin’s surface that makes your skin rough and flaky in texture. Unrefined (or virgin) coconut oil is rich in antioxidants, is anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal,” writes LearningAndYearning.com. Pass on the petroleum jelly and get yourself a good jar of coconut oil instead, you will be so glad you did.
7 Your Probably Have Plenty Of Baby Blankets At Home
Why is there such a huge market for baby blankets when hardly anyone uses them anymore? This is mind-boggling to me. Modern moms have ditched traditional receiving blankets for the larger swaddling blankets that are easier to swaddle baby up in. And of course today we now know it’s not safe to let baby sleep with a blanket. So, when exactly do they get used? We have heaps of baby blankets and literally use one that we alternate between the car seat and the stroller. Many hospitals still hand these blankets out, but we were lucky enough to be offered a Halo sleepsack instead!
6 You Don’t Need Samples Clogging Up Your Junk Drawer
Formula, creams, potions, oh my! You will find a ton of samples around your hospital room, but do not feel like you have to grab them just because. If you feel like they will be useful to you, then, by all means, grab them! And if you are planning to formula feed then absolutely take them up on those samples!
But if you are not, then do not feel pressured into taking the samples. Any samples, for that matter. Free does not always mean necessary, and this is often the case when it comes to samples. Just be sure to dig through and grab any coupons you see that might be helpful.
5 There’s An App For Newborn Care Tracking-Say No To Extra Paperwork
There’s an app for everything these days, and newborn care is no different. Just look up ‘newborn log’ in your app store and you will see a plethora of options. After several days of filling out the little pink logs provided by our hospital, I downloaded the Baby Tracker app and never looked back. I just wish I would have found it sooner!
“Designed by busy parents, for busy parents, Baby Tracker offers a simple, streamlined way to track your baby’s daily habits, health, and exciting “firsts” of those precious early days and months. Record feedings, diaper changes, and sleep patterns with a quick one-handed tap, then feel free to go back later and add details and even photos,” shares the description of the application on ITunes.Apple.com.
4 Diaper Changing Pads Aren’t Really Necessary
I didn’t even know this was a thing until recently, but some people use one-time use diaper changing pads for each diaper changing. It makes sense for sanitary purposes that they might do this at a hospital, but the idea of actually using them at home is goofy to me. But hey, that’s just my opinion.
If my actual changing pad covers get dirty, I just toss them in the wash. There’s a reason I bought a few! Another hack for diaper changes is to place a clean diaper underneath your baby’s bottom before you proceed to clean their dirty diaper.
3 You Probably Don’t Need Any More Diaper Bags
A lot of the aforementioned samples will come in reusable bags, many of them even closely resembling a diaper bag. But here’s the thing; these bags are pretty cheaply made and will not very last long. Plus, I’m willing to bet you (or someone else) spent some good money on a diaper bag of your choosing. I’m sure you poured over the different options for hours, reading Amazon reviews, looking for the cutest one, etc...Don’t let another thing just turn into unnecessary clutter in your home. Just say no to the extra baggage, most of us have plenty of that to go around anyway.
2 You Only Need One Baby Thermometer
If you had a baby shower you probably registered for and received, a baby thermometer. If you don’t already have one, then for sure grab it, but if you already have one, there’s no reason to take another. Wondering what your baby’s temperature should be? “In babies and children, the average body temperature ranges from 97.9°F (36.6°C) to 99°F (37.2°C),” shares Healthline.com.
In addition to a good thermometer, you should assemble a general first-aid kit to keep handy for any worst-case scenario and print out general first-aid information. It’s great to have this information readily available for yourself and anyone who may be watching your little one in your home.
1 There’s No Need To Take The Toiletries From The Bathroom
Slow down, Mama, this isn’t a hotel. If you simply can’t say no to free things, then, by all means, grab the half-ounce bottles of shampoo and hair conditioner. These really are not necessities though, and they will probably just end up sitting on your bathroom shelf indefinitely.
Save yourself the clutter and just pass on this free item from the hospital. Enjoy a shower before you leave and use that stuff up so it’s not even something you have to consider. A nice shower or bath before you head home can have you feeling like a whole new person.