If you need to know what to bring to the hospital when having a baby, you can find out by reading the list here. If you are a husband or father reading this, there is one thing you should need to know. Your wife is having the baby, not you. While such a disclaimer may seem unnecessary, the sad state of science education in the United States makes the warning an absolute must. Putting all that aside, remember to pack things for her, for the baby, for the hospital, and for you or the labor coach.
Items to Bring When Having a Baby For the Hospital:
- Insurance cards and admission forms. This simply makes the process easier. The hospital does not enjoy the paperwork any more than you do, but bureaucracy makes the world go round. Fortunately, this is all the hospital needs.
Items to Bring When Having a Baby For the Baby:
- Receiving blanket. What newborn child would want to enter the world without his blankie? The blanket will keep the child warm and double as clothes in a pinch.
- Diapers. A newborn child has at least two years to go before he can start toilet training. Newborn infants do not have the muscle control necessary to control their own bowel and urinary functions.
- Baby Clothes. You will not know the size of the child until the child arrives. If the clothes are little big, you can still use them. Clothes that are too small must be replaced. The hospital will provide formula and food.
For the Mother:
- Nightgown and change of clothes. Hospitals usually release mothers shortly after the birth of their child. The labor process, which no man can adequately describe, can take more than a day. Make sure the mother has clean clothes to change into.
- Nursing bras. Nursing bras will help a new mother if she plans to breast feed the child or help her return to normal size if she plans to bottle feed.
- Toiletries. Because the hospital stay can last several days, it is important to bring along soap, shampoo, toothpaste and a toothbrush. Assemble any other items as needed. Some mothers bring along massage oil to help alleviate back pain that occurs during labor.
- Focus Item. This is an item that the mother plans to focus on during labor. The happy couple should bring along any other items agreed upon.
For the Labor Coach or Father:
- Stopwatch. A stopwatch helps the father or the labor coach measure the time between contractions. The time between contractions is an indicator of how close the baby is to delivery.
- Snacks and Bottled Water. Check to see if the hospital allows this first. Because child delivery is a time consuming and labor intensive process – although obviously not for the coach – anyone in the room may find it hard to get regular meals. Having these items on hand helps a person keep his energy up.
- Celebratory Items. Cigars are still popular, although chocolate is a popular option now as well. Most hospitals do not allow smoking on the grounds.