Bringing a new life into the world can be an exhilarating and nerve-wracking experience. As your due date approaches, there are numerous things to consider, including what to dress your newborn in at the hospital. The attire your baby will wear in the hospital and for the journey home is an important factor to consider. Let’s delve into the essentials to ensure your newborn is comfortable, safe, and ready for their first trip home.
1. The Basics: What Newborns Typically Wear in Hospitals
In the majority of hospitals across the U.S., newborns are immediately swaddled in hospital-provided blankets, with only their diaper on. The hospital might also provide a hat and soft white shirts with side snaps. This attire is typically enough for your baby’s stay in the hospital, aside from a unique going-home outfit.
The hospital’s labor and delivery wing can provide guidance on what items they suggest you bring. Mostly, they’ll likely inform you that the hospital provides all necessary clothing for your baby during their stay, which is a relief for many new parents, as it reduces the need for laundry once you’re home.
1.1 What’s the Point of Minimal Clothing in the Hospital?
It might seem odd to have your newborn only in a diaper and a blanket, but this setup makes perfect sense for several reasons:
- Frequent Medical Checks: Medical professionals regularly check your baby’s weight, hearing, blood, reflexes, and muscle tone. These tests often require removing your baby’s clothing, so minimal attire is best.
- Easy Diaper Changes: Newborns require frequent diaper changes, so not needing to remove pants each time simplifies the process.
- Maximizing Skin-to-Skin Contact: This contact helps regulate your baby’s body temperature and heart rate, and enhances the bonding experience. Minimal clothing makes skin-to-skin contact easier.
- Umbilical Cord Care: For the first few days, the baby’s umbilical cord needs to air dry. Dressing your baby in just a diaper facilitates this.
- Maintaining a Warm Environment: Postpartum wards are kept warm to ensure the health and safety of babies and moms. So, your newborn doesn’t need many layers of clothes.
2. Other Items Provided by Hospitals
Aside from clothing, hospitals generally provide other essential items for your baby during your stay. These typically include diapers, wipes, pacifiers, receiving blankets, and formula (if you’re not breastfeeding).
Remember that these items are covered by your insurance, so make use of what the hospital offers during your stay. It can make your first few days easier and save money on disposables like diapers and wipes.
3. Essential Items to Bring for Your Baby
While hospitals provide most of what your newborn needs, there are a few essentials you should pack:
3.1 Going Home Outfits
Your newborn’s going-home outfit should be comfortable, easy to put on and take off, and sized appropriately. Pack outfits in both newborn and 0-3 months sizes to account for size variations. Having an extra outfit on hand is also wise, as accidents can happen.
3.2 Car Seat
If you’re leaving the hospital by car, you’ll need an installed car seat. You won’t be allowed to leave the hospital without one. If you live in a cold region, a warm car seat cover that zips up and closes can be beneficial.
3.3 Other Helpful Items
There are a couple of additional items that you might find helpful at the hospital:
- A Velcro Swaddle: Even though hospitals provide receiving blankets, a Velcro swaddle is often easier and quicker to use.
- Newborn Electric Nail File: Newborn nails can be long, so having an electric baby nail trimmer can smooth everything out.
- Camera and Photo Props: If you want special pictures of your baby’s first moments, bring some cute photo props.
4. What to Consider in a Summer Going-Home Outfit
If your baby is born in the summer months, it’s crucial to consider the weather when selecting their going-home outfit. The outfit should be breathable and protect your baby from the sun. Cotton is generally considered the best fabric for newborns due to its breathability.
4.1 Essential Summer Baby Clothing
- Sleepsuits or Onesies: These are top choices due to their comfort and ease of use.
- Hats and Socks: These items help regulate your baby’s body temperature.
4.2 Baby Coming-Home Outfits
You can go a little fancier for bringing baby home. Consider the following:
- Shirts, Pants, or Dresses: Choose loose, soft ones that won’t irritate your baby’s skin.
- Vests: These help keep your baby warm and ensure diapers stay in place.
- Jumpsuit or Cardigans: These items are necessary if you’re traveling home in cool weather.
5. Other Necessities to Pack
In addition to clothes, remember to pack other essential items:
- Blankets and Swaddles: Hospitals provide blankets, but bringing your own is a good idea.
- Burp Cloths: These are small rectangular cloths that prevent your child’s frequent spit from making it to their clothes.
- Diapers and Baby Wipes: Pack a few diapers and baby wipes just in case you need them.
6. Final Thoughts
The birth of your baby is an exciting time. As you prepare for your hospital stay, remember to think about what your newborn will wear at the hospital. Comfort, safety, and practicality should be your guiding principles. Always remember to pack extra outfits, account for weather changes, and ensure your newborn’s clothes are soft and breathable.
As you embark on this beautiful journey, ensure your baby’s comfort during their first few days of life. Happy parenting!
- How many newborn outfits should I bring to the hospital?