My Unsolicited New Baby Advice #maternity #baby

(Things helped me with baby #1 and now baby #2)

So many of my friends are having babies!  You didn’t ask for my advice, but here are some notes that helped make the transition to a new baby a little easier (I wish someone would have told me about some of this sooner!) I don’t have a cure for no sleep yet, still working on that… happy new baby! Now I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old – time files!  What are your favorite baby things/advice? Leave a comment at the bottom!

My Unsolicited New Baby Advice #maternity #baby #mom @getSNAZZY


  • Plan for something to not go according to plan. If you are ready for that possibility, it will be better. (TRUST ME… I had a pretty birth plan typed on nice paper… read the comments for more on my story.  In the end, healthy mom and baby are the goal, not your birth plan)
  • Ask friends that have babies to tell you what labor, delivery and the first weeks (months) are really like. People don’t talk about the craziness because they want to be “Super Parents” Ask for help!
  • Meeting your new baby is the coolest thing!
  • Give your camera to your hubby to take first moment pictures, get some as a new family too.
  • After delivery, stay on top of your medication schedule, don’t try to be a hero and skip pain medicine doses.
  • Ask the nurses about every medicine that you are being given. Ask them to come back if you aren’t sure about something so you can research it. For example, I was itching and they wanted to give me Benadryl, I really didn’t want to take it because my milk hadn’t come in yet. They were able to find something else that I could take. Ask about other options, be your own patient advocate!!
  • Get up and walk as soon as you can. Even if it’s just around your room. Then make it a point to walk a little more each day. It will help in the long run.
  • Ask about taking a stool softener or natural alternative
  • Send baby to the nursery at night! The nurses will bring them back as often as you want. {wow, this sparked a lot of debate – if it’s not right for you and your family, don’t do it :) }
  • Spend time cuddling skin-to-skin like a kangaroo
  • Bring a thank you for the nurses (we baked cookies and bought some mini-candy bars) We kept them in our room and everyone that came in got to enjoy a treat. I think we got some extra blankets because of it :) Trail mix or fruit would be good too.
  • Bring an empty folder to put all of your important forms and paperwork that you get at the hospital.

Hospital Bag

I packed pretty well this time- I still had too much stuff, but better too much than not enough. Remember to show Dad where a few of your things are that you might need on the first day; you won’t feel like getting out of bed.


Car seat (already installed)

Box to carry any gifts home when you leave


Insurance Card and Driver’s License + Hospital Registration Paperwork

Cord Blood Banking Kit (if applicable)

Camera (with video or a separate video camera too)


Chargers (small extension cord with extra plugs might be helpful)



Glasses and Contacts with Solution

Music (with iPod or something to play it on)

Smell good lotion or calming scent {If you use essential oils pack your favorites} and focal point object

Pillow or at least pillow case (bright color so it doesn’t get washed with the hospital laundry)

Small Suitcase (the room gets crowded quick! Leave it in the car until after delivery)

Toiletries bag with deodorant, lotion, more chapstick, toothbrush and toothpaste, hair brush and hair ties, shampoo, make up/face wipes to stay fresh when you can’t shower, extra contacts and solution

Hand sanitizer – I love Thieves all natural Hand Purifier

Loose clothing – I packed a couple of button down sleep shirts that are great for nursing and made me feel better than the hospital gown.

Gaucho pants and extra-large silk pj pants/shorts were great too.

Flip flops (or slippers if you’d rather)


Nursing bras and big undies (I didn’t ever buy special maternity underwear, I just bought some cheap ones in a few sizes larger) The hospital usually provides fancy mesh undies, you might use them instead.

Nursing cover (I didn’t pack a nursing pillow, but you might want one)

Baby book or scrapbook page for guests to sign! I made this one for my daughter and add the birth announcement later.

Thank you notes and a pen or two

Small gift for the nurses (My friend that’s a nurse said food is a nice treat! Just baked goods or a fruit basket and don’t forget to designate one for the night shift and day shift)

Going home outfit (I wore what I wore to the hospital when I had my daughter- you will still need maternity clothes) A dress or something loose will be especially important if you have a C-Section.

Baby (I put these things in a big Ziploc inside my bag so they wouldn’t get lost)

Going home outfit with socks and a hat. Scratch mittens are a plus. The hospital usually provides diapers and a pacifier. Baby doesn’t need much.

Dad Bag

Clothes, comfy shoes, socks, toiletries, playing cards or other entertainment, a few favorite snacks

Happy Baby Birth Day!

If all else fails bring the car seat!

p.s. If you have other kiddos make plans for them early and pack their bag now! It will be too crazy the day of delivery to worry about them too!

To Buy

  • In addition to normal baby stuff, these things will be useful during your hospital stay and the first week or so
  • Snacks (for the hospital and at home) I was starving at the hospital in between meals, luckily the nurses had a lot of snacks!
  • Newborn diapers
  • Stool Softener or natural alternative (we like Peppermint Essential Oil!)
  • Pads (buy these early so hubby doesn’t have to run to the store for you!)

My Unsolicited New Baby Advice #maternity #mom #baby @getSNAZZY

Proud BIG Sister

Other Kids

  • Arrange for their care well before you go to the hospital
  • Have them come for short visits
  • Spend special 1-on-1 time with dad
  • We gave big sister a baby doll at the hospital from her new brother. She loves taking care of it.
  • Teach them about being gentle and touching baby’s feet and not face


  • Meet with a lactation consultant at the hospital, ask lots of questions and take notes!
  • Breastfeeding can be hard, but you can do it (and if you can’t it doesn’t make you a bad mom!) I nursed our daughter for a year and so far so good with our little guy
  • Tips: Ask for help from someone that had a successful time breastfeeding, try different holds (cross-cradle is a good one at first), feed the baby naked (diaper only), stroke their face with a wet wash cloth if they are too sleepy, practice getting a good wide latch (or it will hurt!)
  • It will take a few days for your milk to come in, be patient and continue to nurse
  • When your milk first comes in it can hurt. Put a warm towel on you for 5 minutes before you nurse to help.
  • Medela has an app- iBreastfeed It is a good way to keep track of which side you were on and how many minutes on each. Another simple way is the wear a bracelet or rubberband on your wrist and switch it when you switch sides. I was taught to feed on one side (main dish) for about 20 minutes, then burp and switch to the other side (dessert) for as long as they will eat (usually under 20 minutes). Then next feeding start with the dessert side, so you are always rotating where you start for the “main dish” Eventually I switched to just using one side per feeding (no dessert side), but that’s a few months later.
  • Eat snacks that are high in protein at every feeding and drink plenty of water! Peanut butter, cheese, yogurt, protein bars, etc. A lot of ladies are in baby weight loss mode immediately, but you will feel AWFUL if you are breastfeeding and not getting enough protein.


I read a lot of books with our first kiddo and have taken bits and pieces of advice from them. You have to do what works for you and each child. Here are a few of my favorites.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

The book is a little overwhelming and more like a textbook, so I read it in sections and come back to refresh as needed.

The review of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Childfrom Amazon customer H. Grable is a good summary: “What it teaches you is this: 1. watch your child [and learn from them]. 2. put him/her down to sleep when you first see the signs of tiredness 3. most children under 6 months do not stay awake for longer than 2-3 hours at a time without needing a nap. 4. DO NOT just put your child down to nap when you feel like it – that’s just letting him/her cry, not TEACHING them to sleep. 5. Most children need to go to sleep at night earlier than you’d think. 6. Going to bed earlier promotes later sleeping (weird, but true. As the author says, it’s not logical. It’s biological – sleep promotes sleep) There’s a lot more too.”

The Happiest Baby on the Block (I watched the DVD, but there is a book too)

The 5 S’s

There are 5 components to this method which, when used together, work amazingly well to calm your crying baby and in many cases help your baby go to sleep with no fuss.

  • Swaddling- Tight swaddling provides the continuous touching and support the fetus experienced while still in Mom’s womb.
    • (We like the Miracle Blanket- it makes swaddling easy, but a large receiving blanket works too)
  • Side/stomach position – You place your baby, while holding him, either on his left side to assist in digestion, or on her stomach to provide reassuring support. Once your baby is happily asleep, you can safely put her in her crib, on his back.
  • Shushing Sounds- These sounds imitate the continual whooshing sound made by the blood flowing through arteries near the womb. This white noise can be in the form of a vacuum cleaner, a hair dryer, a fan, white noise CD, etc.
  • Swinging – Newborns are used to the swinging motions that were present when they were still in Mom’s womb. Every step mom took, every movement caused a swinging motion for your baby. After your baby is born, this calming motion, which was so comforting and familiar, is abruptly taken away. Your baby misses the motion and has a difficult time getting used to it not being there. “It’s disorienting and unnatural,” says Karp. Rocking, car rides, and other swinging movements all can help.
  • Sucking – “Sucking has its effects deep within the nervous system,” notes Karp, “and triggers the calming reflex and releases natural chemicals within the brain.” This “S” can be accomplished with breast, bottle, pacifier or even a finger.


  • ASK for HELP! You can’t lift anything heavier than your baby for the first 2 weeks and won’t feel like doing a lot. Ask someone to bring a couple of meals or have some take out menus handy!
  • Freeze some meals so you have something good to eat with little prep!
  • Usually you aren’t supposed to drive until 2 weeks after delivery, so make arrangements to get to doctor’s appointments, have someone go to the grocery store, etc.
  • Schedule newborn pictures (or take your own) within the first 2 weeks before baby gets too active. Wear simple colors, no bold patterns. Look up some favorite poses before your session.
  • Keep a list of all of the follow up appointments you need to make (OB- 2 week check, Pediatrician- 2 week check, 2nd PKU, etc.)
  • Add baby to your health insurance
  • Send in paperwork for baby’s social security number (should be done at the hospital)
  • Request baby’s birth certificate (you will get Vital Statistics form at the hospital, but you will have to request a birth certificate from the city or county- request at least 2!)
  • A baby swing is a great investment (consider borrowing from a friend)
  • Kid’s consignment shops often have great deals on clothes that are almost new!
  • Buy gender neutral big ticket items (car seat, stroller, high chair, pack n play, etc.) These things are expensive! Buy some extra pink or blue clothes or blankets with the money you save from not having to buy new big items.
  • Check out Amazon Subscribe and Save or Prime. It is awesome not to have to haul boxes of diapers, toilet paper, detergent, etc.
  • Take lots of pictures and videos too. (back up your photos)
  • Enjoy every moment, it goes by FAST.

Need a baby shower gift idea? I made this Happy BIRTH Day – New Mom Comfort Kit.

UPDATE: I wish I would have known about Young Living Essential Oils before my babies were born. Read my Oily Story here.   p.s.  Peppermint essential oil can decrease milk supply, so use it sparingly. Strange – TMI tip – if you put a drop or two of peppermint oil in the toilet (or on your stomach) it can help you go to the restroom (which they will make you do before you leave) Fennel essential oil can help boost milk supply. Lavender is awesome for so many things! Our pediatrician was so intrigued to learn about all the different uses of essential oils. This is helpful book too – Gentle Babies is a helpful reference guide – check it out my book recommendations here.

Important: Before I started using Young Living Essential Oils I didn’t know there as a difference in types and brands.  Did you know that some other companies (especially cheaper grocery store/health store brands) only include 5% essential oil and misleadingly label them 100% pure?  I trust the seed to seal promise of Young Living.  Ask if you have any questions! Welcome to parenthood!


What are your favorite baby things/advice?

Embrace Wellness #OilyFamilies @YLEOTeam Essential Oils  Visit to learn more > free video class

Check out this post – A Day In the Life of an Essential Oiler Series



PhotobucketThe Life Of Faith My Joy-Filled Life TheBetterMom.coma mom blog community!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

  • Truth Mama

    Great post! LOTS of good information here. I didn’t know Medela had an app – I’m going to have to download that one!!

    • Jess Smith –

      Thanks! The app came in handy. I would get confused (aka sleep deprived!) about which side and how long I had been nursing.

  • Pingback: Happy BIRTH Day – New Mom Comfort Kit – Hospital / Birthing Center Bag

  • Cassidy Stockton

    Wow! As a mom-to-be, this was great. Thank you! I 

    • Jess Smith –

      You are welcome! Is baby here yet? Would you add anything to the list?

  • Aliceandrews

    I agree with it all except taking the baby to the nursery. When I had my son last October that wasn’t an option, but even if it was, I couldn’t have let them take him away. To each their own though :)

    I’d like to add too that if your insurance covers it (or otherwise, if
    You can afford it) get a private room. I don’t know what the norm is in other places, but in Ontario (Canada) you don’t stay in the room you gave birth in. I was originally put in the “ward” with four other women and after about 10 minutes of listening to thr woman beside me complain, I had my husband get us a private room. Best thing we ever did! I didnt have to share a bathroom or have to deal with roommates.

    • Jess Smith –

      Thanks for the note. I was fortunate that all the rooms were private. Definitely something to ask about!

  • Tori

    I agree with everything except taking the newborn to the nursery. Rooming in not only helps facilitate milk production for mom, it also helps baby regulate their breathing because they’re near their mother. This is the same reason it’s encouraged to have a cosleeper or pack and pay right next to the bed at home for the first few months.

    Great list, though!!

    • Jess Smith –

      Thanks for your note. It worked for us, but I know that different things work for different people. Great to share ideas!

      • Foy Spicer

        There is a hospital certification called Baby-Friendly that is designed to help mothers successfully breastfeed their babies. One of the ten steps is room-in having your baby in the room at all times with you. As Tori says it helps mom’s milk comes in and it encourages feeding on demand. The hospital also agrees not to give passifiers or bottles without parental consent to limit nipple confusion and formula. This is a worldwide program adopted by UNICEF. See if a hospital in your area participates:

        • Lauren Waggoner

          yes, different things work for different people…after a 33hr all natural labor and being awake for almost 46 hrs, I sure as heck let them take the baby! They brought him to me when he showed signs of hunger, always before he started crying. It was usually every 2-3hrs, but we got one 5hr stretch. My milk came in just fine at 4 days pp.

          • Cassandra Sorensen Trujillo

            I’m totally with ya! I actually didnt have them take my baby to the nursery because I was feeling guilty about it, but I regretted it when I came home still exhausted. Next time I will most certainly let them take the baby the first night at least for a while. You are only there for a few days anyways. May as well get rested up for being home

      • Katie Huggins

        I think I might modify your post to say “it’s okay to send the baby to the nursery.” New mamas seriously need their sleep, and I was so paranoid as a first-time mom that my son’s every breathing change kept me awake for hours. Sleeping in the same room might be a little better for breastfeeding and stuff, but it’s not worth it to try and be a hero if it’s not working out for your personal sleep. Your milk won’t dry up because you spent a few hours away from baby.

  • Pingback: {Free Printable} Baby Clothes Storage Labels -

  • amy

    Another wonderful resource: – they saved my life with both children on sleep schedules 

    • Jess Smith –

      Thanks for sharing.

  • Lauren

    EXCELLENT list! 
    The Happiest Baby on the Block was so wonderful for us too! I second Thank You notes for nurses and doctor/midwife. I was so thankful for how a few of my nurses treated me and I really wanted to let them know. I had to send my mom out for TY notes. I brought a dress to go home in thankfully because even sans c-sec, I wasn’t able to wear pants or shorts for a week!!

    • Jess Smith –

      Thanks! I wish someone had a given me a list!

  • WoozleMom

    Maybe it sounds weird, but I used Depends for the first few days after my second baby was born, while the bleeding was heaviest. It was much more comfortable and much easier than underwear (large and loose or mesh) and pads! Highly recommend :)

    • Jess Smith –

      Great idea. Thanks for sharing. No one talks about these things. We need to help each other out!!

  • Amy Brown

    Only thing I would add would be suggest only the plain “Original” flavor chapstick, I tried to use Burt’s Bee’s stick during my first labor and the smell almost made me throw up! I had to wipe it right off!

    • Jess Smith –

      I was funny about smells too! Thanks for sharing!

  • Robeano267

     Great list!  I work as a postpartum nurse and these suggestions are great.  I am shocked at how many people forget clothes for their baby to go home in!  And while our hospital DOES encourage rooming in with your infant  (mostly for the learning aspect for new parents), we also encourage exhausted moms to send their babies to the nursery….And we love to hold and adore them!

    • Jess Smith –

      I think I packed 5 going home outfits – ha. I knew our babies were in good hands for the short time they were in the nursery. I got a few minutes of sleep and then the awesome nurses brought them in so I could breastfeed and love on them too. It worked for us :)

  • Lisa Rusczyk

    These are great baby tips!  I agree I definitely needed the baby swing.  here are some more tips that I have for your friends.

    • Jess Smith –

      The swing can be magical! Thanks for sharing your tips, in my opinion you can’t have enough tips from those that have been there and then do what is best for you! Thanks again for stopping by!

  • Rnmommy

    The boppy pillow is nice to have with you – I’m an ob nurse and regular pillows just don’t work as well. Lol usually women who forget end up sending hubby home to get it! Also try to nurse within the first hour after birth if possible. Baby is most alert during this time typically. Having a typed birth plan is a great idea and make sure it is placed on yours and baby’s chart. Keep extras in your room. At the end of ours we made sure to say ‘we understand this birth plan is just that, a plan. Our goal is a healthy baby and healthy mom and will deviate as necessary to achieve that.’

    • Jess Smith –

      Agreed. Ah the birth plan. Mine was even on pretty pink paper the first time around. Well, a ruptured ovarian cyst after almost 12 hours of labor will change plans. In the end, healthy mom and healthy baby. Definitely an ordeal! And yes, ask to nurse as soon as possible. I had to wait with baby #1, but it ended up working out fine (with some practice) and I was able to nurse her for 12 months until she weaned herself.

  • Hyman

    worst advice…

    Ignore what other people experience = dont listen to anything scary … bc fear does not equal an easy natural child birth experience

    do not send baby away…. I cannot believe that was even advice…. that is more like anti-advice. It is so bad that many hospitals only have nurseries for nicu or high needs babies. Healthy babies of healthy mothers room with their mothers.

    • Jess Smith –

      Hi- I wish someone would have told me some of these things before I had kids. Its my unsolicited advice, you are definitely entitled to your own opinion! I definitely had a different birth plan, but ended up having emergency surgery for a ruptured ovarian cyst. Sending baby to the nursery so I could get a few minutes of sleep worked for us. For both kids, the awesome nurses brought them back to breast feed and bond. Thanks for stopping by.

      • Kelly

        the nursery at the hospital i deliver at never has babies in it so idk if they even take them at night… (not that i am willing to give up my baby at night) but everyone has their own opinion and parenting choices…at least when they are first born there are nurses who do still watch them…after you take them home and go to sleep with them in their crib no one is there

    • Megan Ann Clark

      Everyone is entiled to their own opinion, but your post is unnecissarily hostile… EVERY family is different, and is more than entitled to decide how to care for their newborn and themselves post-delivery.

      • Jess Smith –

        Thanks Megan. I agree 100%.

    • Shawna

      I had both of my children naturally in only four hours and thenext was three hours and both were healthy. I was breastfeeding but I overnighted both of my children and they stayed overnight without coming back to feed. My milk came in just fine. Every family experience is different and we should be toleraant of new parents choices, it’s overwhelming as is it having a newborn.

      This is a great list. I packed a special treat for my older son for the first time he came to visit at the hospital ( a hot wheels or lollipop).

      • Jess Smith –

        Thanks for the note. Great idea to bring something special for a sibling. We gave our daughter a baby doll when our son was born. It was fun to watch her take care of it like we were taking care of baby :)

    • Christina

      There is saying, that I think you should take into great consideration, that states: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” I had my healthy child stay in the nursery for a couple of hours total during my stay at the hospital so I could get some type of sleep. I personally think it’s good advice. You don’t have to agree, but you also don’t have to be rude about it.

      • Jess Smith –

        Thanks Christina.

    • Ashley

      How rude if you don’t like it then move on. This is great advice and might not be for everyone. The nursery is not only for high-risk babies that is a NICU. Also some people do better knowing some of the “scary stuff” I like to be prepared and although birthing your sweet miracle is the most amazingly beautiful experience ever there is pain and unexpected things do happen(no nobody expected our son to be 10lbs6oz and for me to bleed much more than you’re suppose to) I am due with baby #2 in a couple weeks and this is great advice thanks Jess!!

  • disqus_TaxBPhbbYU

    Great advice! I would like to add that you will likely need a lot more than a going home outfit for baby. Yes, it is true that many hospitals provide diapers and a pacifier but where I live, you are responsible for clothing baby during your stay. You may be there longer than expected (I was in for 4 days for example) and one outfit just won’t do it for that length of time. I’d say 4 onesies and 4 sleepers minimum plus the going home outfit. And, that would be for a 24-48 hour stay just to be on the safe side. My hubby had to run home to get more clothes during our stay.

    • Jess Smith –

      Definitely better to overpack. I stayed in the hospital for 5 days with baby #1, it was nice to be able to change clothes. Baby mainly wore onesies and was swaddled, but good to be prepared!

  • Carli S.

    Wish Amazon Mom is was still free. Bummer…

    Read some other good advice though. I’m taking my boppy the second time around! I sent my daughter to the nursery the first night because she wouldn’t stop crying. I did feel guilty, but I was getting at my wits end being so tired and up since 2 from the birth. I think it’s better to not get to your breaking point.

    I think it is very helpful to share these kinds of things with new moms. I didn’t know A LOT when I had my first child because you are right, no one talks about those things. (Like I had to send my husband to the store for pads!) So getting the word out so mommy can be prepared is a wonderful idea.

    • Jess Smith –

      I wish Amazon Mom was still free too. Still a great service instead of hauling boxes of diapers, toilet paper and detergent AND the carseat, stroller, baby, etc. :)

  • KJ

    This is a great list! One small thing I recommend bringing, in addition to the shampoo already listed, is your favorite shower gel. Your first shower will be so much nicer without having to use hospital soap. Some people like to bring their own towels/washcloths too, just for comfort.

    • Jess Smith –

      You are right, some comforts of home can make a big difference!

  • Cathleen North

    I would also suggest some slow flow nipples, my son had jaundice and I was not offered and did not know about the light, anyway they suggested supplementing and gave him formula with a fast flow nipple, anyway 7 long frustrating days later my milk came in but he would not take any to slow and had to work to hard. plus i could have used a little more assistance live and learn….Very frustrating (wish my mom had been here to help) good luck and remember as long as your baby gets feed and is healthy the rest is just part of life…. you are not a bad mom if you can’t breastfeed for as long as you had hoped. I struggled with this for awhile especially after going back to work .

    • Jess Smith –

      Definitely lots to learn and it can be so frustrating when you aren’t sure what to do! Our daughter had jaundice and had to wear the “Star Trek” glasses and be under the lights. You are right, “live and learn” and do the best you can. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Lwheeler

      My son also had jaundice, and we had to supplement with formula because my milk hadn’t come in. Our lactation consultant had us use a small tube which we would put in his mouth while he was feeding from me. Baby got the needed sustenance, but he was still sucking to stimulate my milk to come in. We only had to supplement for 24hrs as my milk finally came in, and the jaundice went away within 2 days. I just wanted to share there is an option besides bottle feeding for supplementing breast milk in the early days! :)

  • Jennifer Luscomb Concannon

    I am about to give birth to my third baby, and I packed an almost identical bag to what you listed :) I have to have a c-section, so I am in the hospital a little longer than the normal time. The things that I like to have the most are: My own pillow, my own soft blanket from home, flip-flops AND slippers – Flip flops are a must because I don’t want to go barefoot in the hospital shower!! BTW, I totally agree with you about sending your baby to the nursery if it feels right for you. After a major surgery, you must get sleep in order to recover and although I keep the baby in the room all day long, I have them only come in to eat during the night so I can rest too… Because once you get home, you don’t have that option, and your baby needs you to be healthy and on the road to recovery :)

    • Jess Smith –

      Thanks for the note! Happy new baby :)

  • Rebecca Neifeld

    if your hospital will allow it walk the halls during labor. it helps speed up labor and being up right will help bring baby down farther into birth canal so you don’t have to push as long.

    I agree with having a private room after birth. out of all 3 of my kids I only had to share a room once and I truly hated it. the other woman was rude her baby cried nonstop and whenever she would walk through my side of the room to the bathroom she would move my baby (who wasn’t in the way) and that just pissed me off.

    A birth plan is great to have, but always remember that a healthy baby and mom is the ultimate goal.

    I also found it to be nice to hear other’s birthing experience (good or bad) cuz it helps educate you on things that could happen and go wrong and then you can research them and see the different ways that a doctor may want to try to help solve the problem.

    • Jess Smith –

      Rebecca. Thanks for the note! p.s. I’m glad I didn’t have a roommate!

    • CZ

      Even if the hospital state they allow people to walk the halls during labor, ask if people actually do walk the halls, or visit and observe. With my first baby this was not common practice and I had the janitors and others asking if they should get a doctor or nurse. And I was on the maternity floor, and my husband was next to me! Needless to say, I switched hospitals for my second child.

  • Elizabeth

    I loved walking the halls at the hospital after having both of my boys. They were both c-section deliveries and I was able to get out of the room for a while ith my mom or my husband and even take my babies for a stroll.

    • Jess

      Thanks for stopping by. Yes, walking helps so much!

    • Jess Smith –

      Walking helps a bunch!

  • Natalie Gaston

    What a great list! (I came across it on Pinterest.) I’d add that you may want to ask for a sleeping pill that first night in the hospital. Personally, I was wired after laboring for 30+ hours & then could not sleep a wink. If I had know that this sweet baby would not let me sleep soundly again for over a year, I would have tried harder to get a little rest while I was in the hospital. For baby number 2, I will try harder to get some R&R before leaving for home.

    • Jess Smith –

      Thanks for the note. I love Pinterest! Sleep, what’s sleep? Just double check with your doctor about taking any other medicines at the hospital.

  • Postpartum nurse

    Due to the importance of rooming in and short staff/budget cuts many hospitals are eliminating nurseries so please do not come expecting this.
    Diaper and pacifies are not provided in many Canadian hospitals. Parents are expected to being in their own supplies.

    • Jess Smith –

      Thanks for the note. It reminded me that I found it really helpful to take a tour of the hospital several weeks before. It helped me know what to expect.

  • Shandra Mueller

    I would add that when you bring an outfit for your baby, bring a newborn size AND a 0-3 month! With my first, she was 8 lbs. 3 oz and definitely smaller when we left the hospital so the newborn size fit perfectly. My second was 9 lbs. 4 oz and BIGGER when we left the hospital! I was grateful for the 0-3 month outfit! Nobody guessed that he was that big, so it was good that I planned ahead!

    • Jess Smith –

      I totally agree! Our daughter barely fit in newborn clothes and then 0-3 month outfit I wanted our son to go home in was GIANT. I took a picture anyway :) Definitely pack both sizes!

      • Kelly

        my cousin told me to bring a preemie outfit and a newborn outfit because she said all three of her kids went home in preemie outfits even the 8 pounder lol

  • Tori Guy

    This is amazing! I surely wish I had found it before my first born, I ended up sending my husband for pads:) Our local hospital has a photographer that takes newborn pics while you’re there, so I would suggest bringing a cute picture outfit as well. You don’t get to use the cute props and such like you would later on, but they’re truly newborn pictures:) I definitely agree with sending them off at night! You don’t have that option at home and you may wish you had chosen those 3 nights alone.

    • Jess Smith –

      Thanks Tori. Poor husbands!

  • ddigerati

    Found your blog on the Nov Blog Hop. Love and need the tips! I am 6 mos with my 3rd child, but the last time I was pregnant was 8 years ago! So it’s almost as if everything is brand new to me again. Thanks for all of the reminders and tips!

    • Jess Smith –

      Thanks for stopping by! I feel like I forgot a lot and my kiddos are only 21 months apart! I’m glad I remembered to write it down. Congrats!

  • Pingback: Hospital Bag! What did I forget? @babycenter #maternity #baby #scrapbook -

  • Christina

    I find it interesting how rude some of these comments are. If you don’t want to send your baby to the nursery during the night, that’s fine. But don’t judge others who do want to. Personally, I did. I didn’t like the idea of having my baby sleeping in a room where everyone was also asleep and accessible to anyone. At least in the nursery there is someone watching constantly. It allowed me to get a couple of hours of sleep without the baby, which I believe is necessary. I’d keep my babies in the room until around 2-3 a.m, then send them to the nursery. After a feeding at 4-5 (I breastfed) I got the baby back at 6-7. Neither one of my babies were there for an extended time and I got a little time to sleep. People who make comments about sending the baby to the nursery as if it were a horrible thing are being nothing less than ridiculous.

    • Jess Smith –

      Your experience sounds a lot like mine. It is interesting to read other comments. Agreed, we don’t have to agree, but let’s be nice!

    • Foy Spicer

      I was not worried about the baby being taken. She had a bracelet on every appendage! And at least one of them had a device that would lock down the doors if the baby was taken out of maternity without permission. Not sure if that is par for the course or not.

    • chic robertson

      My third baby was my first hospital experience – big teaching hospital – Yale New Haven. I went with my daughter when they moved us from L&D to the post-partum rooms. First stopping at the nursery for weight, measurements and clothes etc… There was a room full of babies. All the nurses were busy doing other things and every single one of those babies were screaming their heads off. Not one nurse paid any attention to them. I wanted to pick up every single one of them and hold them. Needless to say, I did *not* send my baby to the nursery during my stay.
      Other hospitals may very well be different, but I was absolutely horrified with their *lack* of care. So, no, I don’t think the concern with sending baby to the nursery is a ridiculous idea.

      • Cassandra Sorensen Trujillo

        thats too bad their nursery is like that. I’m from Rexburg, Idaho and our hospital is pretty small. Its a highly mormon community so babies are a big thing here. The nursery is pretty tiny. There are only a handful of babies there at a time. I work downstairs and whenever I have to go up to the mom/babe unit the nurses are always holding the babies in the nursery at night. Makes me super jealous!

  • Julie Short

    Definitely wish I had seen this before I had my son. Lots of good advice. Also, I’d like to add a note on the taking the baby to the nursery. I had pre-eclampsia when I delivered my son and was on mandatory bed rest for 24 hours post delivery. I was not allowed to have my son in the room with me unless someone else was awake in the room with me so we had to send him to the nursery in order for my husband to get any sleep. That is not something I have ever heard anyone mention as a possibility. Of course, that is an extreme case but something to be aware of in case it happens to you.

    • Jess Smith –

      You had a wild time after delivery! Thanks for sharing. It helps to share our experiences with soon-to-be moms so if something unexpected happens it isn’t a complete surprise!

    • Ashli Aycock West

      I had the same thing happen with my first baby. I was not allowed to see my son until my blood pressure went down which was heartbreaking, but necessary for my health. He was 6 weeks early and in the NICU even though his only health issue was his weight (4 lbs, 6 oz.). It was almost two days before I could go see him. I tried pumping because I wanted to breastfeed, but my milk never came in and they had been giving him formula anyways. I say all of that to say this. IT WORKED OUT!! It may not have been how I planned it to go, but he is healthy and happy and thats all that matters in the end. I am getting ready to have my second and my health has been very different this time around. I have a “plan” but I know if it doesn’t go the way I want it to, its still going to be ok. Just keep that in mind….do what feels right for you and don’t let others pressure you into doing things that don’t feel right. If you want your baby in the room, thats fine…if not, thats fine too…everyone deals with birth differently, there is no one “right way” to handle it. As long as you do everything with love, you will be fine.

  • Shannon Aksel

    Giving the older sibling a present is THE BEST idea! I still remember getting a baby doll and best big sister ever t-shirt when my younger brother was born. It helped me be really excited about him!

    • Jess Smith –

      Hi Shannon. Thanks for stopping by. That’s the same gift we gave our daughter. You’re right – it does help build the excitement! (and keep away a BIT of jealousy!)

  • Pingback: Mom Blog to Money Blog -

  • Sarah

    Thanks for compiling all of this amazing information. I’m getting my bag ready now and this list has been very helpful, especially since I’ll be giving birth aboard, nearly nothing is provided by the hospitals so hear what is, has also helped me to get the things I need together for my husband and I. Thanks again!

    • Jess Smith –

      Sarah- Hope you have everything you need!

    • Jess Smith –

      Thanks for stopping by! Glad the list helped you! Better to be over prepared :)

  • Pingback: Merry Christmas 2012 -

  • Louise

    Good advice, my only caveat would be your comment regarding Vaseline and gauze for “boys only” implying all boys are getting circumcised. The latest statistics are telling us that in the US, only about 50% of boys are getting circumcised while the other 50% is remaining intact, Having 2 intact boys myself I never needed those items. I don’t know, perhaps change the wording to “if you plan on having your son circumcised these items may be useful.”

    Like I said, wonderful list, very comprehensive!

    • Jess Smith –

      Hi Louise – I made an additional note about the Vaseline and gauze. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Sarah Rickert

    Bring Vaseline for either gender. It helps with black poop removal.

  • Andrea Leestma

    I’m keeping this as a reference for next time :) I don’t know if any other moms have had the unfortunate experience I had after delivering my first child, but I ended up with a c. diff infection from the hospital. I would recommend frequent hand washing, especially before eating anything, with soap that does NOT contain triclosan. That includes most if not all antibacterial soap, regular hand soap is best. Also, make sure the nurses and visitors are washing their hands rather than just using the hand sanitizer. The foam does not work on the clostridium difficile bacteria. Maybe do a quick research on c. diff before spending time in the hospital so you can take precautions. I ended up spending a week in the hospital on two different occasions dealing with the infection and had to be away from my daughter and dump my breast milk even longer because of medications. Horrible experience. It is quite difficult and costly to treat, not to mention a huge stress for new parents. And, the only effective cleaner against the bacteria is chlorine bleach, so you might make sure that the housekeeping crew uses that for cleaning your room daily. I hope this comment will be helpful :)

    • Jess Smith –


  • Amanda Smith

    My advice would be to try to take pain medicine that won’t make you loopy. I had a c-section with my first. I was young and scared and since he was 6 weeks early, I was not at all prepared. I didn’t even know I was going to have a c-section until the day of, but it wasn’t an “emergency” c-section. Anyways. I don’t remember much of anything about his birth or the hospital stay. After he was born he was sent to NICU at a different hospital and I was so doped up from pain medications that I barely remember my 4 day hospital stay.

    With my second, I had a repeat section and since it was planned, I was more prepared. I took a lot of ibuprofen for paid instead of anything that would make me loopy. It was a much better experience and I actually remember most everything that happened! :)

    • Jess Smith –

      You definitely learn with each experience! Thanks for sharing. Glad you could feel more present with baby #2.

  • armstrongs1997

    A tip about the lack of sleep from a mom on her 7th pregnancy. About a month before the birth, start setting your alarm for every 2 hours. Get up, go to the bathroom, get a drink, and then go back to sleep. If you’re used to this schedule before the baby is born, it’ll be easier to handle it when you have a crying baby. Also, my husband would get up to change the baby while I woke up and situated myself to nurse. This way, we were both working on getting back to sleep and I didn’t resent the fact that he slept more than I did…and he felt like he was helping out.

  • Alicia1348

    Bring a roll of toilet paper. The hospital paper is less than appealing when your intimate areas may be tender. Even after a c sec

    • Jess Smith –

      Ha. So true.

  • Brittany Lockie

    Coming from a Labor and Delivery nurse I highly recommend all moms read this blog post before going to the hospital. Too many times people are more concerned with their birth plans than they are with the most important thing happening, your baby coming! Loved all this advice. I think you did a great job to help these moms relax. Great advice. Psh.. use that nursery while you can! It won’t last long and labor is exhausting!

    • Jess Smith –

      Thanks for the nice note Brittany! Ah, yes, the birth plan. Mine was on pretty pink paper. That went out the window with baby #1 when I had a ruptured ovarian cyst and had to have a c-section and emergency surgery. Important to remember to focus on healthy mom and baby instead of “the plan.” The nursery was wonderful for us. We had an awesome team of doctors and nurses.

  • Angela Nystrom Bernier

    Agree totally with all these! I’m on my third child and my sister just had her first and we have learned that when you have a c-section (we both had them), ask for a belly band after you deliver. It will help with the stress on the incision and make it more comfortable.

    • Jess Smith –

      Thanks for the suggestion Angela – I didn’t know about them when I delivered. Seems like a helpful thing!

  • Roxy

    When i was pregnant, a lot of people told me their horror birth stories and frankly i got sick of hearing it. As a first time mother it only freaked me out. One person said “it sucked but after I felt so much better”. It was the most candid, honest, and least frightening stories i heard and i appreciated it so much. I also chose to send my daughter to the nursery so I could sleep a little (it was the last time for many many months that i had the chance to) but she was also the only baby in the nursery until the day we left. I don’t think a lot of women share how hard those first few months are for a first time mother. Yes, you get through them but even with an easy baby like I had it can be extremely trying. Take all the help you can get from your families and don’t feel guilty about it. Anyone who has kids knows you need breaks. It is a wonderful time and that baby will make you smile more than you ever have in your life but with the good comes times you want to pull your hair out :) . Oh, just a warning not all babies sleep through the night by six months. Be prepared for that. I tried EVERYTHING to get her sleeping through the night none of it worked. She finally did around 9-10 months.

    • Jess Smith –

      Our second didn’t sleep through the night until 9 months. You are right – EVERYONE is different!

  • Dena

    a friend of mine gave me the suggestion of having the baby go to the nursery at night at least for the first “night” after delivery (it might be 2pm in the afternoon for you) to get a good night rest. But it is also a great time for some friends to come see the baby in the nursery. I’m in support of having the baby with you as much as possible, but I also learned the lesson that I had to rest. He/she doesn’t have to be in there long, but to use the hospital time to get some rest is smart. We stayed two nights and had the baby with us most the time then she went in the nursery for the night (6 hours) but they brought her to me twice to feed (she stayed asleep). It was a life saver to get some sleep after 12 hours in labor!

    • Jess Smith –

      Thanks for the note Dena! SLEEP!

  • Pingback: You’re pregnant, what’s next? {Guest Post} -

  • Rikki

    As a young and first time mom this list and all of the comments are really helpful. My fiancé and I took a tour of our hospital last week and they were really nice. They let us know what the provide for me, our baby, and him. We were sure to ask as many questions as we could think of. I would highly suggest everyone taking a tour of their hospital so they are more prepared on what to expect. For us as far as the whole sending our baby to the nursery, they told us that we could have the baby with us as long as we wanted and at any time that we wanted, but if we are both going to be asleep at the same time then they ask for the baby to be in the nursery as a security precaution (even though the baby will have a band on his wrist and ankle and it will set off alarms if the bands are to close to the exits). Personally I am pretty sure that I will be sending him to the nursery when I feel like I want some sleep because then the family that’s visiting us will be cleared out of the room too. Our hospital has said that my fiancé can have the baby in the hallway and in the waiting room with our family even without me because all three of us will have matching bands. I also just want to say that I like all of the comments and tips about breastfeeding since that is what I fully intend to do (even though something could happen to where I won’t be able to for some reason). I ask my mom about some tips, but since it’s been about 16 years since she has had an infant, some things have clearly changed and she has also forgotten some things.

    • Jess Smith –

      Thanks for the note. I took a breastfeeding class and then had the hospital lactation consultant come into my room once my babies were born. It helped tremendously. Breastfeeding can be confusing at first. We figured it out and I was able to nurse my daughter for 12 months until she weaned herself and 9 months until my son started biting me! Yikes! Congrats and happy soon to be baby!

  • Tabatha

    My youngest sister is having her first child in October. For her baby shower, I am giving her two bags already packed to take with her to the hospital. It is the thing that I wish had done for me by another mom. I have had two kids and I know exactly what I wanted and what I missed and I think it will definately help her if she doesn’t have to worry about it.

  • Heather

    Or you could not circumcise and scratch having to worry about an open wound with a brand new baby.

  • Andrea

    To make labor a little easier, try Evening Primrose Oil. My midwife suggested it at around 37 weeks and it worked great for me. It can help with the dilation of the cervix and it seemed to just make everything a little stretchier. I have used with both my pregnancies, one was 7lb 7oz and the other was 8lb 13oz and I had little to no tearing with either. This means no stitches and less discomfort down there!! As always talk to your doctor about this

  • Carrie Breckenridge

    So I’m just now reading this, BUT I had a c-section and the day before the birth my WHOLE family got sick with the stomach. No baby was allowed in my room at night because I could pick him up by myself out of the crib thing. My milk came in fine, my baby bonded with me fine and my child loved me…and I got sleep in between feedings. It really did work fine. thanks for the list, it’s awesome!

    • Jess Smith –

      Thanks Carrie!

  • Rebekah Silva

    Being a to-be momma for the first time I appreciate this list so much! I still have a while but it is never too early to learn what to have, expect and look forward to. I can’t wait to look back at this list in 6 more months! So thank you so very much! And I agree if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all…didn’t all of our moms and dads teach us this when we were young?!

    • Jess Smith –

      Hi Rebekah! Thanks for stopping by! Random, but my other advice would be to have a plan for what to do with baby clothes as they outgrow them. I’ve been sorting and sorting and sorting as the season changes. I made some labels to help with the clutter! I slip them into clear tubs. Much easier to manage than my previous piles!

  • Rabeckah Mastroni

    I am glad I found this blog before I had my baby. Now I have a better idea of what to do and expect when I deliver. This is mine and my husband’s first and we are due during the worse winter month of the year.

    • Jess Smith –

      It snowed while we were in hospital – Texans and snow don’t mix. The city was practically shutdown! ha.

  • NurseEV

    I am a mother and a nursery nurse. There is absolutely nothing wrong with sending your baby to the nursery at night. I was a breastfeeding mom and tried to be a hero. I had been up for 52 hrs straight and didn’t want to let him out of my sight but I was exhausted. I called the nursery nurse and talked to her and she said they would bring him out in time for feedings and that an exhausted mom is not a healthy one. She did exactly what she said she would. I was a 24 hr discharge and boy, did I need that sleep before I knew what was coming! Having your baby away from you for a few hours at night is NOT going to keep your milk from coming in. Doing feedings every 2-3 hours with skin to skin contact is going to make your milk come in. I tell my moms that the nursery is available at any time they want or need it. We allow our babies to room in 24/7 unless mom is sick or can’t get up and nobody is in the room with her. Don’t pass judgement on women who need that little extra sleep before they get the baby home. If you don’t want to do it, then don’t do it! Simple as that! Great list, I find that I tell a lot of moms this myself and did most of this when I went to have my son.
    I would add that moms should do their own research as far as what devices are used during birth i.e. vacuums and forceps. Please read about the risks that go along with these and if you want them used. Personally, if they’re going to have to yank my baby out, they might as well cut me open to do it!

    • Alicia Saunders

      Thank you for being on of the only sensible replies on here, not filled with scare-tactics, judgement, old wives tales, or misinformation. Great to see a post from a medical professional, and as an experienced maternity nurse, you know better than most.

    • Kassi

      I wish this was something I had read before I had my daughter. I remember crying and feeling so bad because I sent her to the nursery for a couple hours to get some sleep after a long labor; I really felt like a terrible mother. I ended up (exclusively) breastfeeding for over a year with no problem whatsoever and we are both perfectly fine. Sending the baby to the nursery isn’t the end of the world and it DOESN’T make you a bad mom.

  • Pingback: DIY Halloween Costumes -

  • Meredith

    Sending your baby away is not good “advice”. Yes you’re tried but you made the decision to have/keep your baby so it is now your responsibility to care for them. So when you’re home with baby and they’ve been awake for hours screaming and you’re exhausted what are you going to do? You can’t send them away then so why do it at the hospital? It’s your baby not a barking dog you can just put outside until it’s done. When my son was born early, was hypoglycaemic, had a stomach infection and an IV in his head and HAD to be in the nursery, I was with him all day and back every 2.5 hours or whenever he cried. The nurses called me whenever he was upset, they’re not there to babysit for you, they have jobs to do.
    If you’re not prepared for exhaustion, you’re not ready for motherhood. Its part of the job.

    • Alicia Saunders

      Meredith- You comment is quite harsh and filled with fallacies. I’m going to address some of the ‘points’ you made, quoting segments from your comment.

      - First off, in regard to nurses you said “…they’re not there to babysit for you, they have jobs to do.” The medical staff / nurses in the nursery *are* there to watch and care for babies. That IS their job. The nurses who care for you during and after delivery are not the ones who primarily staff the nurseries. Most hospitals in the US have an entire staff of RNs and CNA’s who work ONLY in the nurseries. They watch over the babies as the moms are getting rest and provide medical care and treatments if necessary. You are not taking them away from other jobs or responsibilities that IS their job, and these nurses are generally different from the ones who care for the mom during and after labor.

      - “…Yes you’re tried but you made the decision to have/keep your baby so it is now your responsibility to care for them. So when you’re home with baby and they’ve been awake for hours screaming and you’re exhausted what are you going to do? You can’t send them away then so why do it at the hospital?” Being “tired” is completely different from having just gone through hours of LABOR and/or a C-Section, which (though routine) is a MAJOR surgery. In addition to this, your hormones are rapidly changing and your body is going through major changes. We aren’t talking about the same level of tired like you get after waking up multiple times in the middle of the night to feed and care for a newborn. We’re talking about one of the most physically demanding and exhausting experiences a person could ever go through. The choice to send a baby to a nursery while the mom gets some rest is often highly encouraged by doctors, and depending on the specific situation, the pros can heavily outweigh the cons. If you were in labor for 48 hours and have not slept a wink, sending your baby to the nursery briefly could be VERY beneficial. You get some sleep knowing the baby is cared for, because if you don’t, you will continue to keep losing sleep and get into a vicious cycle. This can be dangerous when you ARE home, caring for the baby by yourself. Sleep deprivation can lead to accidents, impaired judgement, increases chances of post partum depression, etc. So catching up on a few hours of sleep you can drastically decrease chances of something bad happening and help your health and your judgement.

      - “It’s your baby not a barking dog you can just put outside until it’s done”. LOL…Did you seriously just compare leaving a baby in a secure nursery, staffed by highly trained medical professionals to abusing a dog? Let’s get real.

      Everyone’s situations are different. It honestly disgusts me to see so many people be so judgement over something SO minor as a baby going to a nursery for an hour of two. If you don’t feel comfortable with it, don’t do it, and keep the baby with you! But catching up on sleep after the most physically demanding life event you may ever experience so you can better care for your baby at home isn’t a crime, and as I said above, is often encouraged by doctors to prevent future issues. To each their own, and if it’s going to help in the long run and you feel comfortable with it, that’s your decision as a mother.

  • roben

    Dr egbenakhue am so grateful, through the powerful money spell i purchased from you
    last week i was able to apply for a loan from the bank for both to start my own
    business and also to buy my family a house, i cant imagine yesterday i received a
    call from the bank notifying me that my loan on R4.2million was approved, i don’t
    know how to thank you but your powers are beyond human imagination,if you need his
    assistance contact him via

  • J T

    They’ve done studies on separating the baby from the mom… It’s quite stressful for the baby. Maybe being sent away to the nursery is sometimes the “right” thing for the mom, but unless there is a medical problem, it is not the right thing for the baby.

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /nfs/c03/h07/mnt/47365/domains/ on line 1034

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /nfs/c03/h07/mnt/47365/domains/ on line 1034

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /nfs/c03/h07/mnt/47365/domains/ on line 1034

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /nfs/c03/h07/mnt/47365/domains/ on line 1034