This post was originally published on AdoptionBlogs.com on July 23, 2009. Republished here with permission.
On Tuesday, I began my epic packing post. I really didn’t expect it to get so long! There are three questions that I want to make sure I answer:
- What should you bring with you?
- What can you buy there?
- What is simply not necessary?
To Bring With You
- Cell phone AND the charger!
- Laptop computer and its power cord
- Digital camera and the cable that links it to the computer, as well as an extra memory card
- Your journal: You’re going to want to remember this!
- Baby care reference book
- Blankets: You need to bring at least one with you. If you want to buy the rest there, that’s up to you. But you should have at least one for every day you think you’ll be there. Babies leak.
- Diaper bag: I recommend bringing instead of buying there, because your choices may be limited. At home, you know where the stores are and can “test drive” the bags.
- Carrier: Such as a sling, mei tai, Ergo, or Baby Bjorn. Again, I recommend that you “test drive” these beforehand, which is why you should bring with, instead of buy there.
- A few pieces of clothing: I recommend bringing at least two premie-sized items and two newborn-sized items. Go with clothes that snap up the front. Newborns’ heads are mushy.
- Gifts for the expectant mother, but ONLY if your attorney allows it! We brought a small purse full of pampering items for when she was at the hospital.
To Buy There or Have Shipped
- Bottles: You need to sterilize them before you use them, and you need a kitchen to do this. If you won’t be staying somewhere with a kitchen, then you need to bring them with you. Glass bottles are the best.
- Formula, if you’re using it: I recommend organic formula, so you may need to have that shipped. The hospital should send you home with samples and coupons. If they don’t, then ask. They have them.
- Hand sanitizer: I recommend Clean Well All-Natural hand sanitizer.
- Bottle brush: You know, to wash the bottles.
- Cloth inserts to keep baby’s head in the right place in the car seat: Baby head slump is very uncomfortable. And no, receiving blankets don’t work.
- Baby bath travel-size pack: You won’t need to give too many baths, but you may need a little soap and lotion. I recommend Burt’s Bees products.
- Burp cloths, lots and lots of burp cloths: I recommend buying wash cloths in packs from Target or a similar store. Three burp cloths cost $9, but 12 wash cloths cost $5.
- Hooded towel: It may seem like a luxury item, but it was really soothing after the little baths.
- Clothing: See the end of the post for more information.
- Blankets: One or two per day should cover it.
- Pacifiers, if you choose to use them: We did. The hospital sent us home with one. You may need to try many different kinds before finding a paci your child will like.
- Diapers: If you’re using disposables, you can get them anywhere. If you’re using gDiapers or cloth, bring them or have them shipped ahead.
- Changing pad: You can use hotel towels too, but a couple of waterproof changing pads can be very useful.
- Ziploc bags or wet bags, for diapers, soiled clothing, etc.
- Toys: Newborns don’t need a lot of toys. We’re talking a rattle or two and something musical.
- As previously mentioned, a car seat and a travel crib
Don’t Bother To Bring
- Lots of recreational reading: You won’t have time.
- A stroller: Newborns are very easy to carry and strollers are a pain to get through airports.
- A baby bath tub: That’s what sinks are for.
- Grooming kit: The hospital will give you an aspirator and a brush. I bet they’d give you a nail clipper if you asked.
- Cotton balls, Vaseline, basically any bath item that isn’t soap
- Bassinet sheets: Just secure a receiving blanket.
- Wipes warmer: The most superfluous piece of baby equipment there is.
A Few Words About Clothing
The thing about clothing is: You can bring it or buy it there. You should wash new articles of clothing before putting them on your child. Remember, babies leak, so more is better, even if you’ll have access to laundry facilities. You’re going to need 3 or 4 articles of clothing per day.
- Nightgowns are great, because they can fit long babies and short babies.
- Shirt and pants outfits are ridiculous.
- Onesies and nightgowns are your best friends.
- Undershirts that snap up the side are especially useful if you’ll be in a colder climate.
- Hats are good for cold climates, but you don’t need a lot of them.
- Socks and booties are also good for cold climates (but Jack always kicked them off).
And that brings us to the end of our epic packing post. Maybe you feel I’ve included too much? Too little? Do you love your diaper wipes warmer and think I’m a heathen? Let me know!