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As the due date for delivery keeps nearing, excitement soars high and so does the nervousness. While delivery, by itself, is a very draining process, handling the first few days in the hospital with an infant can be nerve-racking without prior planning.
A lot of pregnant couples keep a hospital bag ready after the 36th week to ensure they are well-prepared to handle the delivery process and the days following. If you are pregnant, then this is something you definitely need to do too.
ID cards, past medical reports, insurance details, and credit/debit cards are all essential when you check into the hospital for delivery.
Apart from these, here is a list of essential organic newborn and mommy items that need to be in your hospital bag checklist.
For the newborn
Organic cotton clothes
Some hospitals offer a complimentary romper for the newborn while others don’t. Do not depend on this and carry a couple of onesies and footed rompers to use for the baby on the first few days in the hospital.
Newborns are born with the most delicate and sensitive skin and the clothes you choose mustn't lead to skin infections and allergies. Organic cotton clothes are gentle and very safe for newborns and infants and these can be used confidently the first time you dress up the little one.
The mother and the baby may be required to stay in the hospital for 2-5 days depending on the type of delivery and the presence/absence of delivery-related complications. Pack baby clothes accordingly.
Some families do not believe in buying baby clothes before the little one is born. Others want to wait to see the gender before they pick clothes. In such cases, add your favorite baby clothes to online carts early on and place an order immediately after the birth.
Baby socks and mittens
If you don’t use a footed romper, then you may have to take with you some socks to put on for the baby. This is needed especially at nights when the baby may feel cold. Newborns have the habit of scratching their faces with those teeny-tiny nails of theirs. Prevent this putting on baby-sized mittens on the hands. You may need to use organic cotton socks and mittens for a few weeks at least until the little one gets used to being outside the womb.
Do not pick rough woolen ones which can create skin problems. Organic baby products are always safer in the long run.
Blankets and swaddles
Swaddle cloths are one of the most vital newborn baby essentials. Now, this is needed for newborns while in the hospital and even after that too. Imagine being inside a cozy warm space for 9 whole months and suddenly exposed to external noise, pollution, and temperature changes!
That’s what newborns go through every minute after birth. Swaddling is an age-old technique that helps cozily wrap the baby so that the little one feels comfortable. Nurses in the hospital usually bring the baby swaddled and can help parents learn the technique. Make sure you carry an organic swaddle cloth with you to learn. You can read more about swaddling here.
Blankets can be put over the crib to keep the baby safe while sleeping. You will also need a blanket to wrap the baby when you take him/her back home.
Baby blankets have to be small enough to prevent the risk of SIDS.
Burp cloths are such handy essentials that you can use when you burp the baby after every feed. You could be breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Having a burp cloth in hand will help absorb spit after every feed. Make sure you have at least a few burp cloths in the hospital bag. You can also wet these and use them as a wipe to clean the little one over the day.
Diapers and nappies
Hospitals do provide newborn diapers but these are exorbitantly priced! You can save money by buying newborn-sized diapers from local pharmacies and keeping them in your hospital bag. Parents who don’t believe in using disposable diapers can pick up organic cotton nappies instead. These are super soft, lightly absorbent, and perfect for daytime pees and poo while in the hospital and even after that.
For the new mom
Loose and comfortable clothes/ nursing clothes
Mothers don’t exaggerate when they say that every part of the body is sore after a delivery! This is especially true for cesarean deliveries. Make sure you pack loose, comfortable, and fuss-free clothes for the hospital stay.
Pick short-sleeved cotton shirts, loose pajama pants, or nursing dresses that are easy to put on and remove.
If you are a person who generally feels cold, then the effect of delivery, the centralized air conditioning, and the change of place can all aggravate the feeling. Make sure you have a couple of antiskid socks in your hospital bag. This is to help feel warm throughout the day and night.
Basic toiletries (brushing essentials, soap, shampoo, moisturizer, lip balm, face wash, and hairdryer)
Some hospitals do provide basic toiletries while others don’t. It is always safer to carry your own products with you to the hospital. Sometimes, using random brands can lead to skin infections. This is going to make the time in the hospital troublesome. As a new mother, it is safer to stick to products that you have already used in the past.
If your spouse or partner will be staying in the hospital with you, do carry his basic essentials too.
Nursing pads (if you plan to breastfeed)
Nursing pads are small disposable pads that are placed against the nipples to absorb excess milk flow. During the first week after delivery, the body struggles to understand the needs of the baby and produces excess milk which may leak out. These nursing pads help prevent the clothes from getting stained.
Do not worry. The body regulates the flow soon and you don’t have to use these for more than a month. Having nursing pads in your hospital bag will save you from having to keep changing clothes often.
The only thing to note here is the brand and kind of nipple pad you buy. Since the baby is going to suckle on the nipples, harsh chemicals from these pads can cause harm. Look for hypoallergenic and possibly organic pads.
If you have delivered a baby before and breastfed the little one, you can understand the pain of sore nipples! Sore nipples and nipple cracks are very common in new mothers and can completely ruin the joy of breastfeeding. Make sure your hospital bag has a good quality nipple cream to prevent this from happening.
Organic/natural snacks and beverages
The combination of frequent feeding, baby blues, and the tiredness of delivery all are going to make you ravenous.
It is very normal to keep feeling hungry all through the day. The hospital food kiosks may not offer a healthy variety of snacking choices for new mothers. It is hence a smart move to pick up healthy and natural snacks and beverages that you can eat after delivery. Here are some good choices.
- Roasted nuts and seeds
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh juices with additives or sugar
- Tender coconut water
- Green tea packs
- Homemade cookies
This hospital bag checklist contains everything organic and natural you need during and after the delivery. If you are pregnant and haven’t made your checklist yet, definitely do it right away. Keep things packed so you can rush to the hospital as soon as the pain kicks in. Being always ready is the first step of entering parenthood.
Going to the hospital and bringing home a baby is one of the most life-changing and precious moments of life. There should be nothing that brings down the joy of this experience. Keep your hospital bag ready, prepare the house for the new member, and get ready to become parents. Good luck!