As an attorney, I feel obligated to make the disclaimer that you should always make sure you have the hospital’s permission before taking anything home that you didn’t bring with you when you arrived at the hospital. Alrighty, now that the boilerplate is out of the way . . . .
Ta da!! What to bring home from the hospital after baby, as written by a crazy lady who has been there three times in the past year and will be there again this year. The first time we brought a baby home from the hospital, we were very timid about what goodies we were bringing home with us. The discharging nurse practically had to shove the stuff in our bags for us. By our third child, we were calling the nurse over to ask if we could bring home practically everything in that hospital room but the phone! There are so many useful things we brought home from the hospital that we still use to this day. Here is my list of must-haves:
1. Bulb Syringe Yes, any store that sells baby supplies can sell you a bulb syringe. However, here is an insider tip: they suck. In the idiomatic sense of the word, that is. They certainly do not suck literally. They are super tiny and too stiff to get any good suction out of it. It takes a child a heck of a long time to be able to forcefully blow the snot out of their nose, so a bulb syringe is in near constant use at our house whenever one of our children is sick or has allergies. It also is a godsend when you have an infant with a stuffy nose that cannot eat. The hospital bulb syringes are unequaled in size, flexibility, and strength of suction. We stock up as much as we can whenever we have another baby (because they tend to get really icky on the inside, and you’re going to want to throw the old ones out by the time the next baby comes along.)
2. Baby wipes The wipes they use at the hospital are very different from store-bought ones as well. At first, we thought they were a pain in the behind because you have to wet them with warm water before you can use them. However, they are splendid at cleaning up sensitive newborn baby bums. There are no chemicals added, just the material and the water you add. So your baby is much less likely to have an allergic reaction to them. Also, the combination of the warm water and the miracle fibers cleans even that horrible newborn tar poop (also officially known as meconium) in one sweep! We love them so much, we usually run out of them within the first few weeks. I had some left over with Wren for some reason. How fortuitous for this blog post!
3. Soothie Pacifiers Ok, admittedly these are the same ones you can get at any store with baby supplies. And at stores they come in colors other than green. But they have them at the hospital too and you can never have too many pacis. These soothies are still my girls’ favorites well into their toddler years. I mean, what? My toddlers don’t use pacis! I wean them off their pacis by five months, of course.
4. Peri Bottle I have heard that is a staple among moms who have had a vaginal delivery. Well, I am here to tell you that post C section moms need this thing too. Badly. Take it home with you. Trust me.
5. Lanolin If you decide to breastfeed your baby, call in the lactation consultant!!! Immediately. And often. With every baby. They are an invaluable resource and your greatest advocate (because some nurses are less than supportive and don’t know much about breastfeeding). They will help you succeed in breastfeeding if that is what is important to you. And they have all the invaluable breastfeeding paraphernalia that you are going to need. Some women need to rent a breast pump (I did with Wren because my milk didn’t come in soon enough and she was losing too much weight), some women swear by nipple shields, and some women desperately need Lanolin. I did with Ruth because she was a horrible nurser and I had no idea what I was doing. I was cracked and bleeding. The Lanolin was such a relief when the lactation consultant brought it to me. Oh, and by the by, you don’t have to wipe it back off before you nurse the baby. I found that to be very useful information. Ouch.
6. Bed Protector I love these things. They have absorbent paper on one side and protective plastic on the other to protect your bed from getting soiled those first few weeks after having a baby. I also used them to put under the baby when I no longer needed them and the baby is in that irritating stage where the liquid baby poop shoots straight up their backs and inevitably leaks out of their diapers. No one wants to add changing the crib sheet to the list of things you have to do with each night waking. Grab as many of these as you can.
7. Super Sexy Mesh Underwear Yeah, it isn’t as exciting as it sounds. However, it is super helpful to have on hand after the baby is born if you value your regular underwear and would prefer not to have to throw them all out. And here is an insider tip: they are machine washable, so you can use them as long as you want.
Miscellaneous: There are a few things that they can send you home with that are nice to have on hand once you get back home: maxi pads, diapers, pamphlets on how to care for yourself and your newborn, formula and bottle samples, and bags.
I know a lot of moms that keep that sweet blanket that the hospital always wraps your newborn in after he or she is born. We have never managed to bring one home, crazily enough. I suppose it is because we already have swaddling blankets coming out of our ears. We have managed to save all of the little hats they put on the girls after they were born. And each one was different, interestingly enough.
Oh fantastic and helpful readers, is there anything I have missed? What do you always take home with you after the baby is born?