What does the new mother/family need nowadays?

  1. Many years ago, hospitals used to give out gift packs that took care of essentials for about the first month after having a baby.

    I've heard things have changed.

    What does your hospital give now, if anything, and what, in your opinion, should the new parents have for mother & baby before they get home from the hospital?
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   htrn
    We no longer do the formula company gift bags - interferes with BFing (I will say no more). Parents basically go home with a bulb syringe, any diapers and wipes that may be left over (usually not too many), a pacifier if they wanted their baby to have one (and the BFing pros didn't convince them that pacifiers were evil), remains of a small tube of petrolium jelly (if circ'd with a gomco) and a few sterile 2X2's, a baby book and certificate with baby's foot prints, a canvas bag with hospital logo, and a fleece baby blanket and knitted hat. We may send them with 1-2 bottles and nipples if they have a long ride home.

    Shopping list: Diapers, wipes, vaseline, good rectal thermometer, onesies, receiving blankets. If BFiing, a boppie pillow and possibly a foot stool to put feet on while sitting in rocker and nursing. If bottle feeding - bottles, nipples, etc and both powdered formula and even some ready made formula for occasional use. Alcohol and q-tips for the cord. Hooded towels are nice to have. Baby Bath (can also be used as shampoo) and lotion - NO powder.

    Are you broke yet? If not, could always get the carseat/stroller combo that converts into an umbrella stroller when they get older. Baby monitor, although they tend to scream loud enuf to wake the mayor of the next town over when they need/want something.

    Is this for you personally or just in general?
  4. by   prmenrs
    That's a pretty good list. My hospital is terrible @ giving moms the formula co. gift bag (it's a diaper bag @ least). And we have a little bath basin that has surgilube, a mini tube of Aquaphor, bulb syringe, baby wipes, thermometer (I can't believe the # of multips who say they don't know how to take a temperature.), comb and tape measure.

    My standard baby gifts for friends: a Shape-O toy (give it early so Dad can play w/it for a while)

    and some lullaby tapes.
    Last edit by prmenrs on Oct 19, '06
  5. by   midwifemamma
    Quote from obrnheather
    Alcohol and q-tips for the cord.
    just wanted to add that we do not advise women to use alcohol anymore on the cord.
  6. by   chelli73
    A few years back, at a hospital in my area, they were giving out new carseats along with a diaperbag filled with neccessities already mentioned here!!!! Cool, huh?! Well that program was for a limited time....
  7. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from obrnheather
    Is this for you personally or just in general?
    This is because I'm totally out of the "baby loop" at this point, and I really don't know what new mothers need any more.

    I wound up getting a "baby first aid kit," a few onsies, and a pretty blanket. I'll get Mom a little something from Bath & Body Works, too, even if it's only a gift card.
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I always treat the new mom to something yummy, like bath/body works things, as you suggested, or a dinner out for her and her s/o. NEVER forget to pamper the new parents.
  9. by   texas_lvn
    If this is not the first child, I ALWAYS get the siblings a little something. Also, I always buy big fluffy towels (white so they can be bleached) and washcloths. Everytime I have done this, I have been told it was the best present and one of the most used.


    Why no alcohol anymore? Sis had a baby Aug 1st, and the nurse gave her the rest of the bottle.
  10. by   midwifemamma
    Quote from texas_lvn


    Why no alcohol anymore? Sis had a baby Aug 1st, and the nurse gave her the rest of the bottle.
    It's been found to not be necessary. The alcohol can kill the bacteria that help the cord dry up and fall off. So they've found that when alcohol is used the cord can end up staying on longer. It's recommended now (at least where I work) to not use anything to clean the cord. We just recommend keeping it dry, keeping the diaper below it, and watching for and reporting signs of infection.
  11. by   Gompers
    Quote from midwifemamma
    It's been found to not be necessary. The alcohol can kill the bacteria that help the cord dry up and fall off. So they've found that when alcohol is used the cord can end up staying on longer. It's recommended now (at least where I work) to not use anything to clean the cord. We just recommend keeping it dry, keeping the diaper below it, and watching for and reporting signs of infection.
    Yep, that's the new research. Cord care has become a thing of the past. It will take YEARS for hospitals to catch on to this, though. YEARS. But as of right now, the current recommendations are as stated above by midwifemamma plus of course no tub baths until the cord falls off.
  12. by   OzNurse69
    Quote from Gompers
    Yep, that's the new research. Cord care has become a thing of the past. It will take YEARS for hospitals to catch on to this, though. YEARS. But as of right now, the current recommendations are as stated above by midwifemamma plus of course no tub baths until the cord falls off.
    That's the way I was taught when my firstborn was born - 15 years ago!

    Obviously things aren't as slow here as I thought.
  13. by   MissJoRN
    My hospital and ped haven't really caught up. Hosp told me cord care q change, Dr told me twice a day. I would have skipped altogether but hubby wanted to do it "right" not the way the know-it-all-nurse-wife said! LOL

    As far as what new moms need, it's such a tough call. There are so many parenting styles and gear to go along with each type. Al ot of other mom's "must haves" were worthless in my opinion and I skipped over them. Some of the "must haves" on the registry list are downright dangerous- car seat accessories, car window suction cup shades, soft foam sleep positioners. I did, however, need several things that can't be found at typical baby stores- usable cloth diapers, natural type sling, well built stroller.

    Fluffy towels were a great suggestion- I hate those little baby towels- too small, I want to bundle my wet baby! And why are they thin polyester blends? Silly me, wanting a towel to be absorbant. I think recieving blankets are always usefull- the bigger the better! I also suggest large size clothing. Simple things they can wear no matter what month they hit that size. My baby is 4 mos and long ago outgrew the last of the gifted clothing! How many 0-3 cute dresses did I need? Someone thought ahead and bought baby foods, nice.

    I did trade in some stuff for bigger sleepers, thankfully, but felt guilty, and many stores (babies R us and target, for instance are getting strict about returns and exchanges.
  14. by   CoffeeRTC
    Ah....the old cord care debate. LOL. SIL had baby at a different hospital they put a purple solution around it? What was that? I'm due with #4 in a few weeks and will be curious to see if they recomment the alcohol.

    As far as the OP question....need or want? LOL. I check in on the babycenter boards for my due date and I can tell you its crazy what people are buying. OBheather covered the basics.
    If nursing...a must have is lanolin. Saved my life. LOL. Spit cloths are always needed too.
    Prmenrs....knock on wood, I've never had to take my baby or small child's temp! But I hear you on that issue.

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