Preparation for the Hospital and Beyond




You might want to have an overnight bag packed and ready in case you need to leave for the hospital in a hurry. The hospital will take care of many of your needs but you may find the following list of items useful.


  • Insurance Card and ID
  • Bathrobe, slippers
  • 2 or 3 nightgowns (a front opening makes it easier to breastfeed)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant
  • Shampoo/Conditioner, body soap
  • Hair brush/comb, other cosmetics
  • 1 or 2 bras/nursing bras the same size you wore when pregnant
  • A book/magazines, your favorite music to listen to in labor (MP3 player or laptop)
  • Camera and extra batteries
  • Charger for cell phone and other electronics
  • Small change for your partner to get snacks or drinks from the vending machine/cafeteria
  • Baby book (for footprints)
  • Loose fitting cloths to wear home
  • Baby outfit to wear home
  • Baby blanket
  • Car seat

There are 5 things to do when buying and installing your car seat.

  • Right Seat.
    Check the label on your car seat and make sure it is appropriate for your child’s age, weight, and height. Double check the label for an expiration date to make sure it is still safe. All children 2-4 years old must be in a forward facing car seat. Children ages 4-8 and less than 4ft 9in must ride in a full car seat or booster seat.
  • Right Place.
    All children should ride in the back seat until they are 13.
  • Right Direction.
    Your child should be in a rear-facing car seat until age 2. Make sure to attach the top tether after you tighten and lock the seat belt or lower anchors.
  • Inch Test.
    Once your seat is installed, give it a shake at the base. Can you move it more than an inch in any direction? A properly installed seat will not move more than an inch.
  • Pinch Test.
    Make sure the harness is tightly buckled and coming from the correct slots (check your manual). With the chest clip placed at armpit level, pinch the strap at your child’s shoulder. If you are unable to pinch any excess webbing, you have adjusted the straps correctly.

Disclaimer: The information contained in the pregnancy guide is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for informational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or your pregnancy. Nothing contained in the pregnancy guide topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information and materials in the pregnancy guide should not be used as a subsitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you. The information and materials presented in the pregnancy guide are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you - it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing you and your medical problems. You should recognize that the information and materials presented on this website have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:

  • You can have a conversation with your doctor.
  • Your doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
  • You could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
  • If you think that you are having a medical emergency, call 911 or the number for the local emergency ambulance service NOW!
  • And when in doubt, call your doctor NOW or go to the closest emergency department.