Alex/Fotolia

9 Hospital Bag Essentials You Need If You're Giving Birth During The Holidays

Ad failed to load

Giving birth during the holiday season? Worried about missing out on the annual festivities? Why not bring the holiday spirit with you to the hospital room? You can't pack tradition in a bag, but you can bring a few cheerful supplies to brighten the room — and the hospital staff's day. And as far as baby things go, what's cuter than holiday newborn clothes and swaddling things? Probably nothing — except for your baby herself, of course. Packing your hospital bag for the holidays doesn't have to be overwhelming, trust me.

I loved packing my hospital bag. In fact, I packed it several times. (I still forgot my toothbrush.) In a moment of supernatural foresight, I packed a few bags of kettle corn, which turned out to be a big hit with everyone. I still have the socks I bought for walking the cold hospital floors — they say Ready, Set, Push, and yes, I know that's terribly corny. Some of what you put in your hospital bag will be evergreen — your insurance card and the like — but with Amazon selling everything in a handbag, there are lots of fun, holiday-themed options for hospital gowns, baby hats, and more. Here are nine hospital bag essentials you need if you're giving birth during the holidays.

Ad failed to load

1A Holiday Focal Point

Giphy

Hypnobirthing practitioner, doula, and author of Feng Shui Mommy Bailey Gaddis recently attended a birth the day after Thanksgiving. "The mom had me set up a mini Christmas tree in her hospital room with a 'Baby's First Christmas' ornament hanging on it," Gaddis tells Romper.

Sounds cute right? In fact, the Christmas tree served a powerful purpose during the birth. "She used the tree and ornament as her focal point during the birth, saying it helped her look beyond the pain of birth and focus on the joy she would feel sharing her first Christmas with her daughter," Gaddis explains. "And, because this mama is such a lover of the holidays, she had me run out to buy candy canes she could suck on for a jolt of refreshing energy."

2Holiday Treats

Giphy

Speaking of candy, what's better than peppermint to refresh you after you give birth, or popcorn to string on a needle and thread while you wait for your baby to arrive?

Many hopsital bag essentials list — like this one from the impeccably stylish Lauren Conrad — suggest whipping up some cookies for the nurses. Make them holiday cookies, and you're sure to get a cheerful smile (also, super-quick ice chip delivery). Baking cookies is also a great way to pass your early labor before you head to your hospital or clinic.

3Holiday Decorations

Giphy

Dr. Megan Davidson of BrooklynDoula has seen mothers bring all sorts of special decorative notes into their holiday-season births: an electric menorah if the birth falls during Hanukkah, tiny knit Santa hats or tiny Santa outfits for the baby, and lots of holiday treats, like cookies baked by grandma, are some examples she cites. She's even seen Christmas lights to help set the mood, and small wrapped presents (now that's some serious advance planning).

As far as decorations go, you should check with your hospital to see what they'll allow. My hospital allowed electric candles, but not actual ones, as well as air fresheners and diffusers. Lots of air freshener brands make holiday scents, so test out a few to bring with you. If you're timing contractions in early labor, try simmering cinnamon, allspice, oranges, and cloves on the stove and bringing your homemade potpourri in a jar.

Ad failed to load

4Seasonal Hospital Gown

Pretty Pushers

No, you don't have to wear that scratchy green thing this season. Thanks to the internet, labor gowns abound. Order one in a festive color (with ruffles) from boutique Pretty Pushers. It's hospital-approved.

Don't forget a warm flannel robe, slippers, and other comfy wintery things.

5Holiday Newborn Hats

Three Bears/Etsy

Newborns need hats to regulate their temperature in the early weeks, and that's even more true in the winter season. If you have a friend who knits, get them knitting. Otherwise, there are lots of adorable holiday newborn hats for sale. On Etsy, you can even get them personalized with your baby's name.

6Winter Baby Clothes & Swaddle Blankets

Burt's Bees

There's a special place in my heart for the iconic swaddling blankets they use at the hopsital — and there's actually an interesting story behind them, according to Quartz. But these too you can make more festive, with your favorite holiday colors and themes.

Remember that besides swaddling, you'll also need a going-home outfit for baby. Something soft and cozy will fit with your holiday birth theme, like this sleeper from Burt's Bees.

Ad failed to load

7Holiday Lotions & Creams

Burt's Bees

It's winter — and it's dry out there. After giving birth, you can expect chapped lips and hands. Pack cinnamon spicy hand creams to soothe dehydrated skin, like the Burt's Bees Mani Pedi Holiday Gift Set.

8Holiday Music

Giphy

Bring a phone speaker dock, or even your Alexa or Google Home device, and create a holiday playlist to keep it merry. (Consider bringing an alternate playlist in case the holiday music winds up annoying you during labor, because, well, you never know.) My favorite is Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas album.

9Baby Headbands For A Photo Op

Jane

You'll be taking plenty of (non-flash) photos of your newborn, so bring something to dress them up, like this holiday-sweet infant headband from Jane.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}