As the last few months of pregnancy arrives, a huge wave of pressure comes with it. Suddenly the clock is winding down. Worst of all, you only have a vague idea of when it’s actually going to go off. Babies come early, due dates get calculated wrong, and stranger things have happened than kiddo arriving ahead of schedule.
That’s why most pros recommend having your hospital bag packed by 36 weeks. The good news is, this is a to-do item with a massive return on investment, emotionally speaking. Knowing your bag is packed and ready to go will allow you to release a ton of pre-baby jitters. The bad news — packing a hospital bag can get pricey, fast! Here’s a look at some of the pricier elements of hospital-bag-packing and how to make them way more affordable:
Photo-Ready Hospital Wear
Those precious moments when your new baby arrives are beyond powerful, and most families will want photos to remember them by. However, many moms feel self-conscious following birth. They’ve just gone through a massive physical undertaking and might prefer photos that underplay the sheer exhaustion they’re feeling in that moment.
That’s where a nice robe or kimono can make all the difference. Splurging (responsibly) on something that Mom can feel confident in for newborn photos is an indulgence many families find well worth it. Make this a little easier on the wallet by searching for online discounts for shops like Saks 5th Ave. This allows you to find something super nice without breaking the bank.
Clothes For Your Stay
Although some families have a relatively short stay in the hospital, it’s not uncommon to need to hang around for a few days to make sure everyone’s recovering well. The tough thing is, outside of circumstances such as scheduled C-sections, you won’t usually know how long your stay will be. That’s why it’s wise to pack a few days’ worth of clothes for Mom, Dad, and the baby.
Before you buy a bunch of brand-new newborn onesies for your little one, ask friends and family who already have kids. Babies typically outgrow the newborn size extremely fast, so odds are, you’ll be able to find totally free hand-me-downs that may have been worn once or twice — if at all.
When it comes to packing for Mom and Dad, focus on comfort. Loose-fitting, high-waisted leggings and pants and some loose tops (with nursing access, if you plan to breastfeed) are perfect for Mom. Dad should focus on packing the most comfortable pajamas he can find — those hospital guest beds aren’t exactly the picture of comfort, and you definitely don’t want to try and sleep in one in jeans. Chances are, you already have this type of clothing on hand.
Supplies For Your Stay
During your time at the hospital, the staff is going to provide most of the basic supplies you’ll need for the new baby. That said, it never hurts to stock your diaper bag or Dad Hoodie with basics like diapers, wipes, and an emergency onesie. Even if you won’t need these things at the hospital, you also don’t want to rely on the sleep-deprived, new-parent version of yourself to remember what to pack.
Supplies you will want to include in the hospital bag include snacks, books, or games to pass the time — and anything else that might make you more comfortable or at-home during your stay. Buying this stuff ahead of time gives you the opportunity to search for the most affordable options and take advantage of sales that happen between now and birth.
By searching for discounts, you can keep this process far more affordable. The hospital bag can be a bit intimidating, but getting it packed is one of the best gifts you can give yourself leading up to birth. Once practice contractions start kicking in, you’ll be thankful you have it ready to go when the real deal arrives.
Dads, are you not excited about dragging around a bulky diaper bag? Get yourself a Dad Hoodie!
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