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One of the things I really wish I had been better prepared for when heading to the hospital was the number of hospital freebies available to me. There are plenty of hospital freebies that will be provided to you after delivery.
Most of the things that will take up room in your bag will be things you need to make sure to snag for mom, but you will definitely want to save room in your bag for a couple of items to bring home for your baby too!
Diapers and Wipes
The hospital won’t provide you with a lot of these items, but they will re-stock if you go through them.
The expectation is that you won’t, however, since most babies don’t go through a ton of diapers in those first couple of days.
Newborn poop is more like tar than like liquid, so poop-splosions aren’t really something the hospital expects and stocks in preparation for.
Nonetheless, you should definitely grab the packages that they provide for you and you should ask for more if you’re afraid you’re not adequately prepped with the right size diapers at home.
Shampoo/ Body Wash
There is a good chance that your baby will get their first bath while they’re in the hospital. And if you’d like, the hospital nurses will likely let you or your husband watch or even encourage you to participate in the baby’s bath so that you know how to do it effectively.
The hospital staff will be able to show you how to check the water temperature, clean your baby’s skin folds and their hair, as well as show you how to protect your baby’s umbilical chord so it doesn’t get wet.
The items that hospitals stock in your room, such as shampoo/body wash are single use items, so they won’t be re-used for the next family that takes over your room. This makes them great freebies to take from the hospital after delivery.
You won’t be given a large bottle, but it is probably still worth grabbing on your way out since you can get a couple of uses out of the bottle.
Every little thing helps because the cost of items you’ll be buying for the next 18+ years definitely add up!
If your hospital uses a hairbrush/comb on your child, its ok to take it with you when you go.
The brushes usually have fine bristles that are great for using while bathing your baby. It will help get the shampoo through whatever amount of hair your child is born with, but it also helps to gently massage the scalp and gradually release any cradle cap your baby may have.
A hat is probably one of the most common hospital freebies people take after delivery.
The hospital will give your baby a hat when they’re born in order to help maintain and regulate their body temperature. Since your baby has been using your body in order to regulate his or her own temperature for the last 9 months, your baby will rely on you to keep him or her dressed appropriately and to help them regulate their temperature. Like the rest of us, babies lose a lot of heat out of the top of their head, so in terms of what items you should plan to take from hospital after delivery, this one is pretty helpful.
Proof of Birth Letter
You will be given some paperwork to fill out (or whomever you have with you at the hospital will be given the paperwork) in order to obtain a birth certificate for your child.
But you will not be given the actual certificate while you’re there.
You’ll have to wait a couple of weeks before receiving the real certificate. If you’re curious as to how long you should expect, you can contact your state’s Department of Vital Records.
In the meantime, the hospital can supply you with a letter certifying your child’s birth. This is particularly useful, as many places of employment will need this documentation to initiate your maternity leave.
Especially if your chosen pediatrician does not come to the hospital in order to handle your baby’s very first introduction to a pediatric doctor, you’ll want to ask that the hospital provide you with your child’s records before you leave the hospital. Though the hospital should send these records your chosen pediatrician, it’s nice to have a copy of these records on hand for your first appointment — just in case.
Most hospitals will have all of your child’s recorded vitals in a package of paperwork that they provide to you prior to being discharged.
They will also send the documentation to your chosen pediatrician.
Nonetheless, if you make sure to get your own copies proactively, you’ll be well prepared if the documents aren’t sent to the pediatrician by the hospital.
In addition to keeping track of your child’s vitals for your own knowledge, you also want to have these on hand in case you plan on flying with your baby.
Some airlines will allow you to use these vaccination record as documentation for your baby if you fly.
Which is especially useful if you do not yet have your child’s official birth certificate. However, in order to guarantee that the airline will let you use this, you should always contact them directly prior to booking.