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Preparing Your New Baby Hospital Bag

Pregnancy Journal

Your new baby is almost here and it’s time to pack your hospital bag.

You may have a long checklist, but a few little things can make a big difference during your stay.

Making the list

There are only a few things you must bring to the hospital. Other items may make labor and delivery and your time at the hospital more comfortable, while some are often unnecessary or go unused.

Plan to bring

  • Car seat
  • Clothes for your baby to wear home

Consider bringing

  • Lip balm
  • Pillow from home
  • Comfortable clothing  
  • Massage tools
  • Portable speakers
  • Phone chargers
  • Snacks for your partner

Leave at home

  • Hair dryer. There’s one in your room.
  • Breast pump. Many mothers find it to be unnecessary at the hospital.
  • Diapers, wipes, linens and blankets. They are provided.

Remember: The less you bring, the less you have to take home and clean.

Click here to download a hospital bag packing list.

Preparing for a new baby

Preparing for your newborn starts long before you pack your hospital bag. Childbirth education courses can help set a firm foundation for expecting parents and family.

“From Belly Bump to Bassinet,” offered over six weeks or in a condensed one-day course at Methodist Women’s Hospital, gives mothers and partners an overview of techniques for labor, the importance of birthing partners and learning how to care for a newborn. And, of course, there are ideas for what you do and don’t need to bring to the hospital.

A variety of resources

No two birth experiences are the same, so Methodist Women’s Hospital and Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital offer numerous childbirth education courses to prepare expectant parents, siblings, relatives and friends for a new baby’s arrival.

There are courses geared toward mothers seeking a natural birth experience, parents expecting multiples, parents who already have children and youngsters preparing for new siblings. Also offered are tours for expectant families, basic CPR training and breastfeeding assistance. The Breastfeeding Boutique at Methodist Women’s Hospital offers all families, not just patients at the hospital, pumps and other supplies to support and enhance the breastfeeding experience.

Not sure where to begin? Methodist Women’s Hospital offers a free introductory class for prospective parents that covers the basics on hospital resources and amenities, as well as what to expect throughout your pregnancy, at doctor’s appointments and during delivery.

While many of the classes have registration fees, arrangements can be made for families with financial challenges. Flexible scheduling is available for families with special circumstances.

Our goal is that every family feels educated and confident when leaving the hospital with their new baby.

Why childbirth education?

There are countless benefits to childbirth education, but three of the most important are:

  • Calming fear and anxiety, from labor and delivery to caring for your new baby at home. Knowledge is power.
  • Giving a mother confidence in her body and her ability to birth a baby, breastfeed and care for a newborn.
  • Connecting with the families and partners, emphasizing their crucial role in a baby’s life.

More on Methodist childbirth education

You have plenty to think about as you prepare for your new baby’s arrival. Contact Methodist Women’s Hospital (402-815-1136 or childbirthed@nmhs.org) or Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital (712-396-6037) to learn more about childbirth education classes or to register.

Cathy DelSenno

About the Author:

Cathy DelSenno, the childbirth education coordinator for Methodist Women’s Hospital's courses, has been teaching at Methodist since 2007. She is a Lamaze certified childbirth educator and a certified lactation counselor. 

See More Articles by Cathy DelSenno