Your baby delivery checklist: What you'll need for you and baby
Baby delivery checklist in Atlanta
By Melissa Willets
It's been nine long months and the big day is fast approaching! It's time to put together a baby delivery checklist of everything you will need to pack for your hospital overnight bag. While you shouldn't overthink this task, there are definitely some "do's" and "don'ts" when it comes to planning ahead for your maternity ward stay. Oh, but before you pack your bag, make sure you know the location of the Atlanta-area hospital where you plan to deliver your baby; more importantly, make sure your partner does! And remember this tip: Leave your overnight bag in a place where your partner can find it should you feel too overcome with labor pains to think of anything else.
What you'll need for you
- Your birth plan: If you have a written birth plan, it's show time! Make sure you put this in an easily accessible place.
- A nursing bra: If you plan to breastfeed your baby, make sure you pack a nursing bra in your overnight bag. That way, you can nurse your newborn easily in his or her first hours and days.
- A few comfy nightgowns: You will want to get out of your "oh so flattering" hospital gown as soon as possible after your baby is born. Bring a few comfortable nightgowns to wear as you recover from your delivery; just make sure you consider the ease with which you can breastfeed wearing them. Perhaps a button-down style will work best for your stay.
- At least two outfits: You may have visitors and you'll likely want to wear something other than pajamas to see friends and family. Just make sure you pack comfortable clothing. You may be sore following your delivery and jeans could be a bad choice. Also keep in mind that while you will lose weight following the birth, the chances of you fitting back into your regular clothes right away are slim (pun intended). Sorry, but maternity clothes are still the most practical option right now.
- Personal care items: Bring lotion, toothpaste, a hairbrush and other personal care items that you use on a daily basis. But don't go overboard; you may not be up to wearing a full face of makeup right after you give birth, no matter what you've see on reality television!
- Snacks: After the birth, you will likely be ravenous! If the hospital food isn't floating your boat, a few of your favorite snacks may just tide you over until your partner or a friend can bring you a meal from the outside world.
- Your camera, phone, iPad or laptop: Of course you'll want to alert all your friends via social media that your long-anticipated bundle of joy has arrived! You may also want to record the private moments of your delivery for your own enjoyment later. Be sure to pack your smartphone, etc so that you can show off your baby to your audience of choice.
What you'll need for baby
- A few newborn outfits: Pack at least a few outfits for baby--one to take baby home in and a few back-up options should your perfect little angel have an accident en route. And don't forget socks! But do not pack his or her entire wardrobe. The hospital will provide a few outfits for your stay.
- Formula: If you do not plan to breastfeed, you may need to bring a supply of baby formula with you. Check with the hospital where you plan to deliver. Many hospitals provide free samples of formula and may even send you home with a supply. You can also ask your OB/GYN if you are unsure of the hospital's policy.
- Your car seat: This may be the most important thing to remember on your baby delivery checklist. The hospital will not let you leave with your baby if you don't have a proper car seat. If you do not know how to strap baby in (don't worry, you aren't alone), a nurse can help you make sure baby is safe on his or her first car ride.
- Blanket and hat: These items may or may not be necessary, given the fact that cool weather in Atlanta is a rarity. But if you are delivering during the winter months, prepare accordingly.
What you won't need
- Diapers and wipes: Most hospitals will provide these baby essentials for you, so no need to pack a huge supply and overstuff your overnight bag.
- Books, DVDs and magazines: Don't kid yourself; you won't have time to catch up on your reading in the maternity ward!
- Pacifiers and bottles: Most hospitals will also provide these items for you and even give you a few pacifiers and nursettes to bring home.
- An armored vehicle: While you will be transporting the most precious commodity on earth, an armored vehicle may be taking things a little far.