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What to Expect At The Hospital After Your Baby Is Born - Complete With List of Items To Pack!

Updated on May 25, 2012

OK The Baby Is Here, Now What?

If you have been keeping up with me, you probably already know that the Mrs. gave birth to a beautiful baby boy the other day! I would like to share a bit more of our experience so that you might know how the remainder of your stay might actually be when you're in the same position. We selected a local hospital that did not feature "birthing suites" so it was a bit of an experience with all the moving around and what not.

Once our little bundle of joy was actually born, his mother was medically cleared and he was all cleaned up buy the staff. At this point, being the proud papa I am, I went to the waiting room to inform all of our friends and family of our new arrival. We were welcomed by the staff to have guests if she felt up to it, and we both agreed to let people back two at a time. Each facility has their own rules so be sure to ask the staff when it would be appropriate to allow visitors. Once again new dads: YOU HAVE NO SAY IN THIS MATTER! Each new momma is different. some go through different levels of pain, others may not want to have a bunch of people to deal with right off the bat. Believe me your friends and family will understand if you don't immediately want a parade of folks in and out of the room.

During the second round of visitors, the staff let us know that we were about to be moved to a new room on a different floor. As scary as this might sound, since I know you'll be worried about transporting your precious little one, he was placed in a clear bassinet on wheels and was getting ready to be rolled away. At this point, he had already been identified with not only one, but two bands on him to assist with identification. I'll admit, the tags were impressive. It reminds me of the tag and release wildlife program! As his father I was given the honor of rolling him down to the next floor. With staff members all around we made the short trip to the elevator with an impressive parade of people: a few staff member, my wife, the little, one as well as our two guests. Our guests came in handy for lugging around our stuff, and about the only thing we didn't have was a security escort. I'm sure if we had asked for one they would have been happy to oblige. At no time in the process did our baby leave our sight.

Our Cell.. I Mean Room For Two Days

When we arrived at the new location, we we pleased to find pretty good accommodations. Our room had a private bathroom, and all the necessities of a hospital room including a nice TV (But we didn't really watch any TV to be honest), and reclining guest futon type of chair. This site would become our home for the next two days. If my baby's momma had a C-Section birth, we would have been there longer. Once we dropped our bags and got settled in, before anyone was allowed to enter or leave, or kid was equipped with what I hope to be his first and last ankle monitor. That's right, BABY LO-JACK! Our kid was now on lock down until we left as a family. The baby wing had electronic monitors that prevent the baby from leaving without setting off tons of alarms. If the bad itself it cut, even more alarms would go off. There were also some other subtle security precautions, that I won't really go into detail, but I will tell you this: It's your obligation to know where your baby is at all times. Later on in the day, we heard an alarm go off which was just a mother who ventured too close to the door during a routine stroll around the ward. I swear, every staff member went into action, and security came in force like a SWAT team! I felt a bit bad for the new mother, but the staff was very understanding of the false alarm.

After a few more guests we were finally on own own to figure out all this parenting stuff. The staff was very kind, and offered assistance but weren't pushy or bossy when it came to advice or assistance. It seemed like each new staff person was bringing something in for us, either freebies, supplies, or just a friendly cheek in to see how we were handling everything. Our first day was awesome!

Don't Forget To Pack These Items:

  • Change of Cloths - Mom & Dad For At Least 3 Days
  • Snacks for both of you!
  • At Least $50 For Cafeteria Food
  • Pillows - These come in handy for feedings as well as when it comes to nap time.
  • Cell Phone & Camera Chargers
  • Car Seat - Many states will not allow you to leave the hospital without one. Makes sense right?

Day Two - Almost Like A Work Day

After an eventful night of typical baby raising, day two started early on with visits from everyone! Our selected pediatrician started off the festivities with a visits, followed by phone calls and visits from all sorts of staff. Paperwork was filed for his birth certificate, social security card, and we even had a visit from the professional photographers that are contracted with the hospital. Everything went smoothly except for the photographers. They did ask if we wanted the photos done, and we agreed, but ultimately we declined any package purchases. The photos were decent, but not really what we wanted. We were given no input as to what poses were done, no baby prepping such as combing his hair or cleaning him up at all. With over 10 years in the sales industry, I will admit they were a bit high pressure, but I was able to thwart their sales attempts. Rest assured that if you do not buy their photos, you are still a wonderful parent!

Although she had visited the day before, we were fortunate to get some bonus time with a certified Lactation Consultant. It sounds like one of those crazy titles of people who don't really do much, but she was instrumental when it came to reassuring my wife that everything was normal. We discussed renting a breast pump, and she even delivered a few "pieces" that would fit onto any pump we ultimately either rented or purchased. If you plan on breast feeding, and don't have someone approach you with this title, be sure to ask if they have one on staff as she was an awesome resource for both of us.

Actual Picture of Celebratory Meal
Actual Picture of Celebratory Meal

Day Three - The Home Stretch!

On the third day we felt like we had been in the hospital for a week! Although our stay was very pleasant, we could both feel the walls closing in, and were ready to take our little guy home. With a few exceptions it was relatively uneventful.

That morning, our nurse had asked if we had received our celebratory meal.. We had not, and we didn't think this was a perk available at this particular hospital. It turns out many of them do, so if you aren't asked, don't be afraid to ask someone if they offer one. We had the most amazing lunch that consisted of steak for me, and chicken gourdon bleu for the new momma. It was the most wonderful meal we have had in a long time. A complete 4 course meal on trays that was topped off with a winder full slice of cheesecake. This definitely was not your typical hospital food, and was worth saving for the last day when we could really use a pick me up!

Oh and we got to bring him home! It wasn't until very late in the day, or early evening for that matter that we were able to bring him home, but it was finally a reality. We strapped him into his car carrier and whisked him away to his new home. That is after, his ankle monitor had been removed. No SWAT response for us! Overall we had a beautiful experience, but we had no clue to to expect. Each and every facility is different, but don't worry about it, while you are there you are given expert advice, assistance when needed, and reassurance that everything will work out beautifully.


No article could be complete without a list of things not to do! Take a few words of advice to make sure your stay will be pleasant:

  • Remember Dads, the hospital caters to the new mother in your life, not you. Don't be asking for things for yourself. This includes drinks, food, or other supplies like toiletries. If you are asked, politely decline them. You are able to leave and get these things for yourself.
  • Bring at least $50 cash with you. Some hospitals do not accept credit cards in their cafeterias, you'll want to eat as well as buy a few energy drinks during the first few nights.
  • Remember the manners your mother taught you, "Please" and "Thank You" go very far when working with medical staff.
  • Don't press the call bell for every little thing! - It's ok if you really need a nurse, but remember they didn't forget about you, and they will come in when they need to. Making the nursing staff happy is the key to a pleasant visit.


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    • RichardPac profile image

      RichardPac 5 years ago from Sunny Florida!

      My pleasure! I find I'm generally trying to write things that new dads might find interesting. All the books I have read don't really cover the real life scenarios, only the "text book" versions.

    • Joan King profile image

      Joan King 5 years ago

      Brings back memories! Thanks for sharing

    • RichardPac profile image

      RichardPac 5 years ago from Sunny Florida!

      You're right, preparation was definitely the key here.. I had my trunk packed for over a month!

    • jdavis88 profile image

      Joseph Davis 5 years ago from Florida

      Good Hub! The whole birth week can be quite a blur, but if a couple is prepared it can become a truly memorable and enjoyable experience. Understanding that nothing happens immediately in a hospital is imperitive...