New Parents Hospital Stay Guide
We are so happy to have this guest post today from Josh Moore with Diaper Dads. Josh created Diaper dads because parenting is a learning experience and it helps to have some backup when you aren’t sure what you’re doing. Josh wanted to give all the dads out there the credit they deserve and some much needed advice when life seems consumed with diapers, fruit pouches, and tantrums.
A hospital stay is usually not something that people look forward to. However, you can still make
it a pleasant enough experience. The key lies in being as comfortable as possible. Packing
appropriately for the occasion is definitely a must, which means you do not want to under-pack
or over-pack. Read on for some packing tips.
As you gear up for your hospital stay, you want everything to go smoothly. You can accomplish
this when you come prepared with the right paperwork. At the very least, this will include IDs,
insurance cards, and a list of emergency contacts. Your personal health record is also
necessary as this will detail your health conditions, allergies, recent physical exams or lab tests,
medications, immunization records, and more.
In many cases, it’s also a good idea to include a living will or health care proxy. Essentially,
these are legal documents that detail your health care wishes, so you are guaranteed to retain
control of important decisions, even when you’re incapacitated.
For mothers who are about to give birth, it’s also smart to throw in your birth plan. It provides the
medical team a clear picture of your preferences, such as whether or not you’re open to getting
an epidural or if you would like to preserve your placenta. It’s not set in stone, but it can be the
blueprint that gives you the birthing experience you want.
Hospitals provide items like toiletries and gowns, but they do encourage you to also bring items
that make your stay more comfortable. This can be anything from your own pajamas or a
bathrobe to socks and slippers. Lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, and the like may also
be allowed, though it’s best to find out what your hospital will allow.
For Mom and Baby
For birthing moms, a hospital bag will be more substantial, as you need to pack for both mother
and baby. It’s smart to have a checklist to ensure that you don’t forget anything important.
For new moms, loose and comfortable clothing is the norm. This is because labor can take a
while, so you need to be cozy enough to endure the long wait, while also mobile enough to walk
the hallways. With this in mind, you should pack a delivery gown, comfortable underwear, a
robe, and socks that you can wear to prepare for the delivery. Afterward, your nursing pajamas,
bras, and pads, as well as recovery underwear, will come in handy.
You should come prepared for the baby, too. A receiving blanket, warm clothing, baby socks,
and a baby hat are ideal. And don’t forget to pack a cute outfit so your new baby can go home in
You can bring items that will help you pass the time during your stay, such as books,
magazines, or a crossword puzzle. A pen and notebook are also good if you want to take notes
and jot down questions for your doctors and nurses. You can even bring small personal items
You may also want to take electronic gadgets with you, especially for a prolonged stay. Your
cellphone and charger will likely make the cut, but depending on your needs, you may want to
take your laptop and/or portable media player with you. Again, it’s best to check hospital policy
on electronics just to be on the safe side.
Remember that you’re going to the hospital for a reason, so don’t lose sight of that and make
sure to pack according to your circumstances. Your stay may not be particularly enjoyable, but
as long as you’re comfortable, you’ll find that it’s not so bad.
Have questions about your new baby or planning for their birth?