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Whether it's a vacation, a business trip or giving birth, every woman encounters the same question: What do I pack?
After all, going to a hospital to have a baby isn't the "throw something in a bag, we'll buy what we need when we get there" type of situation. You will need to take a few essentials and some items for convenience to help you through labor and the rest of your stay.
Odeedoh has a fresh look at what to bring for your hospital stay—from the obvious (nursing bra, toiletries, baby going-home outfit) to the not-so-obvious (thank-you treats for the nurses, or maybe Fit Pregnancy's labor music playlist). From preconception to registry, we've also got checklists to help you get through the next nine months as stress-free as possible.
How to start looking for these items? Check out our list of 5 things to look for in a nursing bra—after all, a well-fitted, comfortable and easy-to-use bra can be a mom's new best friend. Plus, our editor-approved nursing essentials to get you off on the right foot for breastfeeding.
Your bags should be packed when you're ready to head out to the hospital. In fact, you should pack a few weeks before your due date—that way you'll be prepared if the baby comes early.
And don't forget the car seat! The hospital won't let you leave the hospital with your baby in tow unless you have one securely placed in your vehicle. So parents, be prepared, and browse through our car seat picks for safe travels with your little one!
BABY'S OUT, NOW WHAT?
Chances are most new moms are unclear on what the hospital stay will be like after the baby makes his or her big entrance. We offer you an inside look at navigating your post-delivery experience so that you know what to expect.
And once your baby is here, there's always the oh-so important diaper bag. The Bump has a concise rundown on what should be in your baby's bag. It also talks about 10 essentials to have on hand for baby's arrival—and, more importantly, why. Whether your stylish or no-frills, we have a diaper bag to fit your style!
Or you can be like dad Ryan Marshall of Pacing the Panic Room, who is all about going light when it comes to baby gear. He writes about the less-is-more approach to carrying around his baby's essentials.
Having a baby means making a lot of buying decisions. We cut through the clutter to find you 149 of the best parent- and baby-tested products in our annual 2010 Buyer's Guide.
Our Fit Pregnancy editors also put together lists of baby essentials for every type of mom-to-be out there. So whether you're a minimalist or posh mom-to-be, we've got a checklist for you (and it's printable).
And last, but not least: Don't forget to bring your camera! It's time to start making new memories.
Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.