Preparing for Baby's Arrival

Preparing in advance for your baby's homecoming can help make you and your baby more comfortable. 

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You’ve spent months of imagining your baby’s arrival, and it’s finally here. The maternal health experts at El Camino Health offer a few tips to assure you have everything you need at the hospital and on your ride home.

For You

A few weeks before your due date, pack a suitcase with a few items to make your hospital stay more comfortable, including:

  • Two nightgowns (with front openings if you plan to breastfeed), a bathrobe and slippers.
  • Two nursing bras with pads, underwear and socks.
  • Personal care items, including toothbrush, toothpaste and other toiletries.
  • An outfit to wear when you leave the hospital.
  • Birth announcements and a pen.
  • Books and magazines.
  • Headset music player with soothing music.

For Your Baby’s Trip Home

You may have purchased all the items you need for your baby at home, but make sure you pack a few items for the ride home from the hospital, including:

  • Infant car seat (required by California law).
  • Two cloth or disposable diapers.
  • Undershirt, hat and blanket.
  • Baby sleeper (make sure it has separated legs so the car seat’s seatbelt can be fastened).

We highly recommend you purchase a new car seat, rather than used. Car seats are frequently recalled for safety reasons. When you buy new, you can register with the manufacturer and you'll be notified of any recalls. In addition, you have no way of knowing if a used car seat has been in a car accident, which could affect its safety.