The wonderful day has arrived. Baby is here! The pain or length or both of labor is finished, and so is the long awaited anticipation for baby’s arrival into the world. Mom and Dad are so excited to look at their little one. She is cute as a button. He is so handsome. Baby is healthy, perfect and doing all the things the baby books said he or she would do in those early hours: cry, eat, sleep and look adorable in between. Moms and Dads are usually so exhausted and overwhelmed. And even though they read articles, books, and were told by their parent friends about the sleep deprivation, they are still shocked how exhausted they are in those early hours after baby was born. Depending on Mom’s birth experience, she could expect to stay at the hospital anywhere from two to four days. This is good as she recovers, adjusts and gets used to all the things she and her partner will have to travel with for the next little while: baby gear.
There are also rules before parents leave the hospital, as there are rules for everything in life. Doctors and other medical staff will not sign off on parents leaving the hospital with their newborn until all the x’s and t’s have been crossed off and the i’s dotted. They need to make sure baby is healthy, parents have all the necessary information, and baby has all the things he or she will need to go home with. Here are 15 of those things:
15 A Going Home Outfit
Mom is so excited, happy and terrified all at once. She is finally going home with baby to start their new life together, and with her partner too! She has planned and packed all the stuff she will need for weeks, including her going home outfit. She almost forgot about packing something for her with all the frenzy of packing up baby’s stuff. She was told to pack something warm or cool (depending where she lives and on the time of year she gave birth), something comfortable and cozy as she may be sore, and something with colors that may help her feel positive and excited. If her outfit meets all this criteria she will be all set for a smooth trip home where she can comfortably take care of baby’s needs, and rest when she needs to for the hardest job she will ever have. Mom is fired up and excited about this.
14 Information On Surviving The First Five Years
Every Mom remembers that inevitable moment when they had to kiss the comfort of the hospital good bye, or maybe it was a relief to say bye to those restrictions and bad food... Either way, after baby is cleared by the doctors and been evaluated and checked out as having no serious issues and Mom and Dad have no questions, one of the things the nurse usually presents Moms and Dads with are pamphlets and brochures of local family resources, a sort of welcome to motherhood care package. Oftentimes photographers will have an advertisement in there for newborn pictures, and the last most important resource to be given will be a care giving guide, from birth to age five, with local resources and information for new mothers on medical services, lactation help and other common questions new parents have. This is great to read in those early days when baby is sleeping a lot when Mom is conscious of course.
13 Nursing Bras
These are a godsend as any new mother knows. Baby needs to eat A LOT at the beginning, and after a week of Mom being in her pyjamas, she’ll want to get dressed and put on nice clothes and join the rest of the world getting out and about. A nursing bra will support her breasts and have the convenience of a strap and opening that will enable her to breastfeed her baby anywhere and everywhere discreetly and comfortably. It is also made to flatter her figure in whatever outfit she is wearing so that she feels at her best wherever she is. They wash as easily as any bra and come in different styles. It’s a good idea if Mom has at least two if not three or four for the convenience if she is a nursing mother. Combined with a great baby sling or wrap, she can now go anywhere and everywhere with baby and feel comfortable.
12 Anti-Leak Pads
There is nothing more embarrassing than the leakage factor at the beginning. A woman is still getting used to milk coming out of you-know-where, and when it sometimes happens that she doesn't reach baby in time and is bursting at the seams, having breast pads to absorb some of the moisture will help keep her from feeling embarrassed and having a little wetness on her upper body. It will also help her not lose any more milk so she can feed baby comfortably and with no embarrassment. Keeping a small box in the car and baby bag is very handy when she goes out. Even having a box nearby at home could help her avoid changing her shirt, though she will be changing clothes a lot at the beginning in that first year. Baby will be burping, spitting up, having pee and poop accidents, and then there are the early days of feeding baby solids. Fun colorful times which will be entertaining, to say the least.
11 Maternity Pads
Something a lot of women don't talk about and even nurses in hospital may only mention in passing, is the need to have maternity pads, specifically heavy ones in the hospital bag home. There will be a lot of discharge and bleeding at the beginning so women need these to protect their underwear and clothes. This is to be expected, and sometimes outfit change will need to get done even with access to the pads. Still, if she could avoid an outfit change and accident, maternity pads would be the best solution. They come in different brands and styles. As long as she buys one that is comfortable for her on, she has nothing to worry about. Making sure she has a box of them in her hospital bag should be plenty to tide her over for the first few weeks at home. Then she will have to get more.
10 Baby Car Seat
How can parents bring baby home without a car seat? The simple answer? They can't. They will be refused release from the hospital unless they have a child car seat properly installed in the car as per province/state regulations. It needs to be rear facing and Mom and Dad need to be able to say that they can adjust baby in there properly. After so many tragedies of baby injuries and deaths in cars, that is why car seats are mandatory. Baby has to also be dressed appropriately for the weather, have a hat on, socks or booties, and be well fed and adjusted in. The hospital wants to make sure baby is secured for a smooth ride home. The woman also has to be accompanied by her partner or someone else going home with her and baby. Again, this is for her and her baby’s protection. The car seat has to also meet other regulations for safety and durability and must never have been in an accident if previously used.
9 Two Or Three Sleepers for Baby
Babies are cute, smell great, and make us feel tingly all over. However, newborns are very messy little creatures at the same time. They drool, burp up, spit, poop and pee themselves like constantly. Especially in those early hours and days they need constant maintenance, cleaning, feeding, and tending, along with outfit changes. In hospital, they require multiple diaper changes, and Mom and Dad will be given instructions on how to bathe them. They will also need several outfits to go home in. After all, there is no laundry machine at the hospital for parents, and Mom and Dad will have more important things to do than laundry, tending to and enjoying the newest addition to their family. The sleepers need to be simple, light, and a good cotton material. Even if they are winter babies, it's far better to have a light sleeper and put a light blanket over them if they're cold than dress them too warmly to avoid overheating.
8 Baby Blanket And Burp Cloths
Due again to their messy nature as a result of being new to the world and not able to do things on their own, burp cloths are essential for clean up at home for feeding, changing and other related newborn mishaps. Baby blankets will keep them warm on cold days and nights, until their body learns to naturally regulate temperature. Mom and Dad want to avoid blankets that are too heavy. This would be a safety hazard in a very young baby that can't move the blankets off if uncomfortable or too hot. But light blankets would do just fine, something made out of cotton works best. A Mom can never have too many blankets or burp cloths, as baby constantly needs adjusting and changing. Mom will be monitoring diapers, checking on baby in bassinet or crib, and adjusting the blanket on them depending on what the weather is like outside and inside the home. It will depend where the baby is.
7 Stocking Up On Diapers
Ah yes, diapers. Most parents should stalk up on TONS of those both to bring to the hospital - in case of shortages in supplies so there are sometimes none left to give - and of course TONS to bring and keep at home for all the multiple pee and poo changes in the coming days, weeks, and months. If Mom is going the disposable route, she has to look into organizing delivery and pickup of that. If it's disposable, she could start looking for specials in advance and stock up. Diapers don’t go rotten or spoil, and they could be stored in any cupboard or closet where Mom and Dad will have easy access to them when they need them. They need to make sure to buy the right size, they have for newborns all the way to toddler, right before potty training age starts. The age and the weight the diapers are meant for are indicated on the box. There are different brands too, and parents could stick with whichever one they feel is best for their little one. Some newborns have sensitive skin so parents may need to stick with unscented diapers as the scented ones could trigger a rash.
6 Baby Outfit Complete With Socks And Booties
Oh those cute little feet and toes that we all want to nibble on in those early days! Socks and booties are very important to keep the little ones’ toes warm and their body heat constant, both in and when they leave the hospital. A nice seasonal baby outfit is also a good idea in case the sleepers are dirty. Baby will have an outfit to wear home. Mom just needs to make sure the outfit is comfortable. Baby needs comfort above all else, especially in those early days when he or she is still getting used to life outside of Mom's belly. Depending on the season, warm joggers for fall or winter babies, and light pants or little shorts or skirts for spring or summer babies, depending on the sex of the child and the weather. Parents needs to be ready for anything, so it's important to make sure to have a mix of warm and cooler clothes depending on where one lives and the temperatures which could fluctuate during the time of year.
5 Adorable Baby Hats
It’s important for baby’s head to be kept warm. As we all know, heat escapes from the head really easily for all of us. And for newborns, they are particularly sensitive to heat and cold so parents need to monitor their core temperature. If they are fussy and complaining they may need to remove some layers of clothing. Or they could be chilly. Mom and Dad will soon learn to read their baby's cues. Baby hats are like sleepers. One can never have too many to keep baby comfortable, so this is something Mom needs to buy lots of and bring several to the hospital so she has several choices of what baby can wear home when the family is leaving the hospital. If parents have any questions, they can ask the nurses about dressing tips for babies and how they could check what baby needs at any given time as far as clothing and accessories go.
4 Spare Underwear For Mom
This is a necessary, but embarrassing thing to think about. Still one needs underwear if there are bathroom accidents due to relaxed uterine muscles, or if Mom doesn't make it to the bathroom on time at the hospital and then has to go home commando. Not fun. Discharge accidents happen too. It’s always good to have an outfit and underwear change as it is for baby. Lots of things that were once predictable will now become unpredictable and need to be monitored differently. Mom will be more comfortable tending to baby when she is dressed comfortably (and dry), as funny as that sounds. This is something that may be embarrassing to think of, but it has to be dealt with. Every Mom has and will go through it. Our bodies change after children and lots of adaptations, physical and mental, need to be done to move forward into the next phase of life, motherhood.
3 Jacket Or Snowsuit
This is absolutely mandatory for a fall, spring or winter baby born anywhere in Canada or in any other Northern Hemisphere country where the temperature drops down at night and gets very cold. Depending on the season and place, a spring or fall jacket, or full newborn snowsuit to layer baby needs to be one of the top things on a parent’s take home list from the hospital. Babies need to be protected from the elements not to catch a chill - and even in and out of a car counts. It’s a good idea if the weather is finicky to have a light jacket, medium warmth, and a full snowsuit if it's winter, on hand just in case. Sometimes we don’t know which one we will need. Also, depending on where one lives, a Mom has to be ready for anything: snow, sleet, rain so thinking ahead is mandatory in this case to keep baby safe.
2 Comfy Nightshirts
A nice robe or pyjama is good for Moms to have during their overnight stay at the hospital. But for afterwards, sometimes back at home she’ll want lighter layers. A nightshirt is perfect for sleeping light, easy to breastfeed or bottle feed with (she doesn’t have a lot of layers or heaviness to walk around with), and it's comfortable for Mom with her ease of access to move around in. She may even want to try it in the hospital to make sure she can breastfeed baby easily with it and move baby around it. Moms can ask their Mom friends which clothing worked and did not work for them and go from there. Nurses can give her good feedback in hospital, and as with everything else, it’s always better to have a few choices for nightwear instead of just one or two garments which then need to be washed and she is out of clothes.
1 A Breast Pump, Back Up Formula, And Bottles In Case
Most nurses or medical personnel will make sure Mom has established breastfeeding or bottle feeding before she has left the hospital. Some will insist she has backup formula in case there is a problem with breastfeeding or if she wants or needs to supplement. They may also inquire if she has a good breast pump which will be invaluable to a new Mom. She can pump milk for baby and let Dad or another family member give a bottle so she can rest. In order to fully establish breastfeeding, it's a good idea to introduce the bottle later, but sometimes Mom is exhausted and needs to rest so this is the best way to proceed for all. Good bottles need to be BPA safe, though these days pretty much all of them are. It's important Mom has all of this in her baby bag, and any questions on breastfeeding, bottle feeding, and equipment needs to be asked so Mom knows that baby is headed in the right direction with nourishment.
So there is a run down of what Mom will need to check out of the hospital with the baby. Doctors and nurses will be extra careful that Mom and baby are doing well, as they want both to thrive and be healthy in their new family environment.