Saturday: Baby Prep List + Hospital Bags

Knowing myself (and our family schedule), I marked off the entire month of March as “Baby Prep Month.”  I figured it would take a whole month of weekends to get everything out and ready for the new one.  Well, you can guess – it’s now April, and I’m still getting things ready.  We’re down to the small/last minute things at least, but they still have to be done.

But since I’m a share-er, I thought I would throw all this out there in case someone else is trying to figure out everything they need to do.  Obviously, for a first-time baby you would need to buy stuff instead of finding and washing stuff, but remembering to do all of this is a lot even when you’ve done it before.

Things Done

  • Crib/bassinet/boppy linens found and re-washed
  • Baby bottles/nipples pulled out of attic
  • Newborn + 3-6 month clothes found and re-washed
  • Bassinet moved into our bedroom
  • Baby toys pulled out of attic
  • Discuss child care options with various relatives – kind of have a plan for the older ones, depending on how this baby decides to arrive
  • Easter baskets prepped and easter outfits bought for older two
  • Boy and girl easter outfits (just in case) and going-home outfits bought and pre-washed for new baby
  • Car seat installed
  • Baby monitors found and batteries checked
  • New baby registries completed
  • FMLA paperwork dropped off at doctor’s office
  • W-4 withholdings updated
  • Breast pump, nursing tanks, lanolin, breast pads found
  • Make sure we have baby soap, lotion, diaper-rash products
  • Stock up on diapers and wipes
  • New baby paperwork filled out and dropped with pediatrician
  • Hospital L&D tour and pre-registration completed
  • Induction scheduled for a day my friend-the-mother-baby-nurse is on shift
  • Taxes completed
  • Baby care app (timer for last feeding/diaper change/nap etc.) installed on phones

Things Left To Do

  • Wash bottles/nipples/breast pump stuff (can wait until last minute and run through dishwasher so they aren’t taking up counter space for weeks)
  • Set up swing (again, last minute to save space and the big kids messing with it)
  • Set up bouncy chairs (last minute – to avoid stubbed toes in the darkness)
  • Set up changing tables and diaper genies (last minute to keep the pad covers clean)
  • Wash baby toys (can wait for several months since baby won’t need for a while)
  • Pack hospital bags (yeah, should have done that already)
  • Pick out names (we’re trying, but this really sucks)
  • Confirm names on preschool pickup list to make sure our parents can claim Mini if we can’t make it
  • Confirm with preschool that Mini can stay a whole day instead of normal half-day if we can’t make it

So this weekend, my main tasks are to pack our hospital bags and clear out the bassinet (because although I have moved the bassinet into my bedroom, I used it to hold a lot of stuff that I decluttered that needs to now get dropped off at goodwill.  So I have to get all that packed up to leave the house.)  And again, sharing since we’ve done this a few times now and this is based on experience rather than theory this time:

Baby’s Hospital Bag

  • Going home outfits (for boy and girl since this is a surprise)
  • Gas drops
  • Nail files (NOT CLIPPERS per my friend the nurse)
  • Diaper rash lotion (our kids have all been super-sensitive to wipes and we use as a precaution)
  • Good swaddling blankets (pink and blue both)
  • Pacifier
  • Baby mittens (or you can use socks to keep baby from scratching his/her face)
  • Special blanket for pictures
  • White diaper cover for pictures
  • “Easter” outfits will also be used for pictures
  • Nursing wedge

Our hospital provides hat, baby t-shirts, diapers, wipes, brush and comb, nose aspirator, and formula for baby while you are there.

Parents’ Hospital Bag

  • Going home outfit for mom (maternity jeans, nursing tank, t-shirt, and cardigan – trust me, you do NOT want a dress or a skirt since you are still going to be dealing with the giant post-labor pads)
  • Extra “real” shirt for taking pictures with baby
  • 2-3 pairs of yoga/pj pants
  • 2-3 nursing tanks
  • 2 cardigans or long-sleeve t-shirts
  • flip-flops
  • Shower bag – shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving cream, razor, pumice stone, unscented lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, makeup, hair brush, vitamins, breast pads, lanolin, allergy meds, chapstick, nail clippers and files, q-tips
  • PJs for dad
  • Post-labor change of clothes for dad (just in case)
  • Real pillows in non-white pillowcases
  • Cell phone, laptop, camera(s), power cords
  • Cell phone charger
  • Phone/text list for announcements
  • Snacks, drinks, gum
  • Plastic bag(s) for dirty laundry
  • Journal + pen for notes, writing down presents for thank-you notes later, and recording visitors
  • Contact information for notifying boss, work HR, short-term disability plan, updating insurance information

Our hospital provides those throw-away mesh undies, giant post-labor pads, pain meds, meals for mom, breastfeeding support “stuff,” and has a hair dryer in each room.

I also have to pack an overnight bag for the big kids, just in case they end up getting dropped off with an aunt (one of our contingency plans).  Their bags will have pjs, an outfit, and bedtime loveys.

It seems unbelievable that in two weeks (or maybe even sooner than that!) we’ll have another baby in this house.  We’re close enough that I can actually imagine it now – but I’m not sure if that will change the shock of it actually happening.  Even now, having done this twice, it’s still just exciting and scary and happy-making and uncertain getting ready to meet this baby as it was the first time.  Like that butterfly-in-your-stomach feeling before a first date, when you can’t wait to meet them and are terrified to meet them at the same time.






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