Since the beginning of humanity, women have been bringing children into the world. If you’re feeling stressed or nervous about your own labor, it can help to keep this in mind. Your body is so powerful and so much of that body has been made to do this.
Even so, Enjoy Birth recognizes that labor and delivery is still an intense experience for new moms. Recovery can also take some time and care. That’s why you may want to pack a few essentials in your hospital bag to keep you calm and comfortable. To help you stay within budget, we’ve outlined a few basics you will need, as well as extras that can be nice to have.
What Every Mom Needs
Figuring out your hospital bag needs and wants will help you avoid overspending. Here are recommended ‘musts’ from mom’s who have been through this experience before:
You’ll spend much of your time at the hospital in a gown. But you should also pack a change of clothes or two to help you feel more comfortable in the maternity ward and for the trip back home. Cool, soft sleepwear is a good choice for the hospital since maternity wings tend to be kept warmer. When you go home, an outfit that is comfortable and will fit well is more than appropriate.
It also helps to make sure the clothes you bring look good and make you feel good about yourself. After all, you’re going to want to take plenty of photos and selfies after your baby arrives. If you need a new outfit or two, shopping at stores like Target and Walmart will keep things under budget, especially when you use promo codes and coupons to save money.
Plenty of Diapers
Ask any experienced parent and they will tell you that babies go through a ton of diapers during that first year. Even in the first few months, your baby may go through as many as 700 diapers! To be prepared, you’ll want to stock up on several sizes for your home and then stash a few of the smallest size in your hospital bag.
Again, you will also find great deals on diapers at Walmart and Target. Although there are a few other ways to save too, like signing up for diaper rewards. Most big-name brands will let you redeem loyalty points for free diapers, gift cards, and more. Try a few different brands for more savings.
There’s no way to tell how long your labor will last but you’ll likely be in the hospital for at least a day or so. During that time you’re going to want access to your cellphone, whether it’s to take pictures of your little one or reach out to family members. You can simply bring your existing chargers along, to save some money. But beware: finding an outlet isn’t always easy.
If you can spare an extra $20–$50 from your budget, think about picking up a power bank to keep your phone charged instead. Most come with multiple outlets, so that you can conveniently charge your phone and your partner’s phone at the same time.
What You May Want
Honestly, if you have the basics covered you should be in good shape at the hospital. But here are a few commonly missed items that moms wished they had packed as well:
- Postpartum self-care products, including numbing sprays.
- Several “coming home” outfits for the new baby.
- A comfy pillow or two from their own home.
- Extra bags to transport products provided by the hospital.
- Satisfying and comforting snacks for after delivery.
When you’re trying to budget before your baby is born, focusing on ‘needs’ for your hospital bag is smart. Also, know that bringing a new life into the world is a lot of hard work! You deserve a few extras to help you stay comfortable and calm during this time. Best of all, you can keep these extras within budget by shopping at the right stores and looking for additional savings.
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