"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> urbanMamas

Preparing for baby's departure from hospital

Remember the day you went home with your newborn baby?  Did you have everything you needed?  Were there things you forgot?  An expecting urbanMama wonders:

I am having a baby in late July, my first, and I am trying to be as prepared as possible to go to, and then leave, the hospital.  I have heard that hospitals have some specific requirements for letting you go home with your baby, such as having baby clothes that have been previously washed, and stringent requirements for the car seat.  I will be delivering at Good Samaritan in Portland.  Has anyone had experience with these kind of requirements?  These are things that they don’t seem to really tell you before you get there, so I am hoping to learn from the wisdom of those who have gone before me!


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I delivered at Good Sam last year, and I don't recall any specific requirements for checking out. Of course, you want your car seat in place before coming home, but I don't think anyone checked. (BTW, I had an excellent experience at Good Sam, especially with an anesthesiologist who made my birth completely pain free--I didn't even need to push!)

Car seat is usually the only requirement. St. vincents even checked! My husband and I went to Segals in Beaverton and they put the car seat in (the have certified tecs) and gave us a lesson. The infant seats are a bit more complicated then the convertibles. They are wonderful there and don't charge a thing. . . even if you didn't buy your seat there.

Don't overthink it. Diapers, wipes, clothing, feeding stuff (if not nursing). It's really not that complex. :)

I don't have too much to suggest in terms of real requirements, but I remember the first time I delivered, my go-home outfit was my favorite pair of pre-pregnancy jeans. Um: yeah, RIGHT.

Yoga pants for you - I left the hospital unable to even fit into the clothes or shoes I wore there (both times) thanks to swelling (IV fluid and fluid shifting).

Upon discharge, the nurse is supposed to check that you have a good carseat and that you know how to buckle your kiddo in. Emanuel has even checked the placement in our car both times.

I don't think they care at all what your baby wears but it's good to have a couple different sizes if you care.

Cozy, soft pre-washed blankets to swaddle your baby in ;)

They will send you home with leftover diapers/wipes from your hospital stay.

I used all my normal toiletries both times (don't forget lotion and lip balm because hospital air is drying), was happy that I had Lanolin (for sore nipples), nursing pads and a black nursing bra that the Lanolin didn't stain. I was always happy to have my own snacks, water bottle, cell phone charger, music. Maybe something special to eat after delivery.

I'd say take what you need/want to be comfortable but don't worry about taking things to keep yourself occupied, if you have a spare second you'll be busy staring at your baby! DO have things to keep your partner/visitors occupied during labor so they aren't pacing and bugging you.

Have fun!

I gave birth earlier this year at Emanuel (a different Legacy hospital) and they made us take a discharge class before we could go to learn about warning signs for mama and baby, and how to deal with the crying (to prevent shaken baby syndrome). They did check to see we had a car seat and that the baby was buckled in correctly. I don't think they checked the base in the car, though. I would recommend getting the seat checked by a professional a week or so before your due date (I think you can find community events where they do this around town at http://www.childsafetyseat.org). They didn't say anything about the clothes (I brought newborn & 3 mo old size just in case), but it is a good idea to wash everything first.

I second the suggestion of yoga pants for you to go home in. I brought a pair of maternity pants that I wore when I was 4 months along and they didn't fit! And slippers are great for the hospital too.

They will give you most everything you need- diapers, wipes, swaddling blankets, a pacifier- but if you want to use cloth diapers or anything else special then you should bring those. They let us take everything home with us too.

One thing that I wished I had when I first came home were more sleep sacks and/or gowns. They were great since they make it very easy for diaper changes. I still use gowns for pajamas for my 6 month old.

Just delivered at Good Sam a month ago and had a terrific experience! The only thing you absolutely need is a properly installed car seat and a take home outfit for baby. Things that would be nice:

comfy take home clothes for you
a robe (if you want more coverage than the breezy hospital gowns)
diaper wipes (the ones at Good Sam are adequate but not so great)
DVDs (if you'd like to watch movies on the flat screen TV)

good luck!

I second the thought that you may be swollen and need the biggest most comfy pants/shirts you own. I gave birth at Good Sam, most everything about it was great. They did check that he was in his seat correctly, and the sent whatever was leftover home with me. DO take your big water jug with the straw. I used that for months afterwards because I was so stinkin thirsty and it holds a good amount of icy cold water.

I also agree with the don't overthink it comment. Have the basics to take with you, make sure your home is stocked with groceries for when you get home so there is no mad dash when you least feel like it.

We took lots of snacks to the hospital and it's a good thing, I wound up with an unplanned cesarean so was there for 4 days. Also, don't count on having all this spare time to get caught up on correspondence. Bring your cell phone, maybe a book, but you'll have so many visitors and interruptions, you won't be able to complete a thought, let alone watch a movie or finish a paragraph.

Also, relax. I know you probably filled out a birth plan and that is great, but remember, it's a guideline of things you prefer, it's not a manual for how things are going to go. Things are going to happen the way they happen, and no amount of planning can make it go any other way. The end result hopefully, is a healthy, happy baby, and that is all that matters. Good luck!!

I gave birth at Prov Portland, LOVED It. I do not remember them requiring anything other than the car seat. As for tips, If your planning on breast feeding: One thing nobody mentioned yet is the breast friend or boppy nursing pillow. I brought my boppy with me and discovered that I like the breast friend pillow better. It was nice to have the lactation nurse help me out with discovering what worked best for me. A Night gown that you can nurse with, robe, and slipper socks that way you don't have to take slippers on and off every time you get in and out of the bed. If you haven't opened the newborn diapers yet, don't you never know what size you will really need! My son was in size 1 in the hospital. I had my sister go to our house and get all the size newborn ones and we gave them to a woman down the hall. The hospital was so nice and they gave me a package of size 1's! And throw a couple empty reusable shopping bags in there to carry all the stuff you get out to the car. LOL. Congrats and enjoy this special time. My son is 20 months and it goes by SOOOOOOO fast!

PS: Find a new moms group! I have no idea if good sam has one or not, but you can go to the prov Portland one for $30 (one time fee if you didnt give birth there) and Mary B. is awesome. Its on Fridays at 10:00 and 1 (or 10:30 and 1:30) Cant remember exactly.

My baby arrived early - before we'd even bought diapers. The hospital (Emanuel) was kind enough to send us home with a few! We'd kept her in the hospital-issued onesies during our stay there, so we did need to have a change of clothes for her departure, and a carseat. But that was it.

Good for you to prepare in advance, but you'll be fine even if you don't. On the day my water broke, I'd written myself a note, "Pack hospital bag." That never happened!

I gave birth at Kaiser Sunnyside, and they didn't even check our carseat, and as it turns out, we buckled her in incorrectly! No other requirements....pack very comfy loose clothing that will be easy to use for feeding (if breastfeeding), and especially loose pants (yoga pants are the best), because your belly is still so big. I had a c-section, so it was also very sore and I needed nice comfy waist bands.

Great advice here. The one thing I didn't take to the hospital that I wish I had was the Breast Friend. If you plan to breastfeed, I would highly recommend this specialized pillow. The pillows at the hospital were slippery and small--not helpful when you are trying to get the breastfeeding going and need some support. If you don't already have one, you can get the Breast Friend at most large baby stores, the Providence Breast Feeding Clinic store on East Burnside near 28th and sometimes used at places like Picolina. Best wishes to you and your family!

I lived in my nursing tanks for the first couple of months after giving birth. At the hospital I felt so much more comfortable wearing a tank and nursing because there were people coming in and out of the room all the time and the tank allowed me to nurse without showing my stomach, which I was pretty self-conscious about. I would definitely recommend bringing at least 2.

I would suggest making sure that you are all set at home in case you end up having a c-section. I had my 1st vaginally and thought the 2nd would be the same so I was completely unprepared. Some things I would have liked to come home to was a bed on the ground floor with the babys co-sleeper all set up.Also,having your breast pump ready is helpful.I had my babies at OHSU and St.Vs and neither hospital checked out our carseat in any way,just wanted to make sure we had one.Also-I 2nd Mama Ceri's suggestion to join a new moms group-it was what kept me sane the first time around and we still have playdates with many of the moms and children we met there 6.5 years ago. Mary B. is wonderful!Good luck and enjoy your sweet baby!

I would definately get someone to check your carseat at a carseat clinic. We did and it was expired! It was a seat we got from friends that we thought was only a year old, but it wasn't!

Oh..and make sure to take pictures!

Don't forget a headband or something to pull back your hair if it is even somewhat short. During delivery my hair drove me nuts. also a small clip on fan was very helpful for me! I also delivered at G.S. and had a great experience!

I ended up with a c-section and a three day stay at St. Vincent's

So glad I brought -
My favorite nightgown that was easy to breast feed in.
favorite socks

Send hubby home the next day for -


- breastfeeding made me more hungry then

More baby clothes
- She blew out of her diapers and went through three outfits + Daddy had never changed a diaper. I wish I had packed an back up outfit bag and put it in the trunk or somewhere he could find it. He brought partial outfits, mis-matching socks (he IS colorblind but still) then I could have just said bring the bag from under the crib LOL

I'd add to the list some shoes that are comfortable and easy to get into for the ride home (expect your feet to be a bit--or more than a bit--puffy and swollen). Snacks--the food will likely be gross, and you'll likely be hungry. Your camera. If you want to wear your own gown or pj's, pack more than one set (I sweated like crazy!)

Pick something with legs for your baby's go-home outfit. Gowns and dresses don't work well in a carseat! Snacks for the partner, since the husband won't feed anyone but you. Extra camera batteries. And yes, take all the diapers the hospital will give you!

I gave birth at Good Sam. A nurse walked us down to the car, so have that car seat installed. If you live within walking distance of the hospital or are taking the bus, then that won't matter. Interestingly, the babe was small enough (6 lbs. 7 oz) that the straps (on a Graco Snugride) still seemed loose. We wrapped an extra diaper on her to make her fit.

Otherwise, we followed the recommendations in our birth class workbook and were pretty much set. We did have a scheduled c-section and were in the hospital 4 nights. The laptop became really handy about day 3 because that's about when people stopped visiting, and we were bored out of our minds. Good Sam has wifi and a good enough connection to watch video. Just watch them before midnight when they might suddenly shut off.

Hope that helps.

i have a 3.5 week old baby girl and here's what i wish i had known about beforehand: the swelling. clothes/shoes that fit during pregnancy no longer fit, they had me so pumped up with saline. i recommend having naturally diuretic foods in the house for when you come home: beets, carrots, fennel. just google it to find something you like. and drink LOTS of water. i had to make a rule for myself to drink 500ml of water every time i nurse. i became very dehydrated the first few days i was home because i didn't realize i was thirsty. my body had been through so many changes so rapidly, i didn't how how to read it's signals and didn't realize how thirsty i was.

as far as what i needed to bring baby home: diapers! we decided to use g diapers and stocked up ahead of time, but the smallest size is too big for a newborn! (ymmv), after we used up the disposable ones we brought home from the hospital we had to find more to tide us over until she gets bigger.

good luck!

i just thought of one more thing, an emery board for baby's fingernails. we were advised to hold off with the clippers for a bit because the nails may still be attached to the skin.

Nurses checked the carseat after deliveries at both Emanuel and St. V's.

Oh, I also discovered if your child pees all over your going home outfit, they'll let you take one of the cute hospital onesies home. I think it said 'This side up' on it.

I agree with lots of the suggestions . . . might suggest to also stock up on feminine pads for post-partum bleeding (mine lasted for 3-5 weeks, if I remember correctly).

Have a wonderful time with your little one!


Most of these suggestions are great, the only thing I would add is to see if you can get some friends to come over to your house while you are in the hospital and clean. Several girlfriends of mine came over and cleaned up, which was great, because most people leave the house in a mad dash. Coming home to a clean house, and clean sheets! It saved me. Also friens brought food over for the first few days. You think you will have time to cook, but you don't. Good luck!

lip balm for you. best wishes

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment