I’ll be 100% honest. I am not an advanced packer. As a Syracuse Newborn Photographer, when it came time for me to deliver, my main concern was having my camera with me after delivery. My husband thought I was a nut when he was rushing out to the car in the wee hours of the morning, on December 19, 2008, and looking back to see me dawdling, packing my camera bag. I don’t even remember if I had a hospital bag packed prior to that evening. My baby was coming 3 weeks early. I had no intentions of having a Christmas baby, as I expected her arrival in the New Year. But after some serious labor pains in the middle of the night, I had been on the phone with the Labor and Delivery at Oswego Hospital, and following their instructions, was heading to the hospital to meet my first child. After I packed my camera, of course.
To properly write this article and to keep your faith in me, I interviewed the most proficient and prepared person in New York State, who delivered during the Covid 19 Pandemic, so all the information below is up to date.
So, mama pull out your favorite luggage/backpack, and get ready to pack not only for you, but baby, oh and dad! Here, is what she recommends you pack for your overnight hospital stay around 30-32 weeks:
For you: Comfy pajamas, maternity clothes (to go home in), nursing/pumping bras, nursing pads, underwear, slipper socks, bathrobe, shampoo/conditioner, body wash, hairbrush, hair ties, and phone charger. Your hospital may supply some of the body care items, but if you have sensitive skin you may want to bring your own to prevent any irritableness to your skin while you stay there.
Chances are dad may be staying with you, so he’ll need a bag packed as well.
For dad: Pajamas, extra clothes, shower/body care items, and slippers.
For baby: Diapers (if you have a preference on brand) extra pjs, and zipper swaddles. Not all hospitals encourage changing baby into street clothes till it is time to go home. That you can check in with your Labor and Delivery prior to giving birth.
For both mom and dad: SNACKS! Giving birth is hard work. I starved at the hospital waiting between meals that were less then fulfilling. I may have smuggled a peanut butter sandwich in for my sister when she delivered her second baby!
If you aren’t expecting a lot of visitors, and/or are a light sleeper, I’d suggest bringing a book and some playing cards. Sometimes you need something to do to pass the time. If you have booked your newborn portrait session with me, this is a perfect time to shoot me a text or email to let me know baby has arrived and it is time to schedule your newborn session! If possible, try to get some sleep. Most likely you won’t be heading home to an all-night nurse to take care of your baby so you can rest.
There you have it, and I even compiled your belongings in an easy check off downloadable PDF list for you to reference to while you pack!! (Oh, and make sure you have PLENTY of space on your phone for baby’s first pictures!)
One more piece of advice I was given as an expecting first time mom. “As you walk out the door to head to the hospital, take one last look at your house. It will be forever changed when you come home!”