When you’re getting ready for the arrival of your new baby, most Moms-to-Be have their hospital bag packed weeks before the big day. But what about Dads? Many new Dads can get caught up in the excitement of baby’s arrival and forget to pack the essentials for themselves. Check out the list below for tips on what to pack in your “new Dad” hospital bag.
1. Money, Especially Coins
Bring plenty of money along so you can buy snacks, coffee, water, and meals in the cafeteria. You never know how long the labor process may take!
You may also need money to pay for parking, or to pick up a gift or forgotten items for your partner in the hospital shop.
This is essential to feeling like you are still a human and not a gross monster if you have to stay in the hospital overnight. A toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and deodorant will help you freshen up so you look and feel great for those New Dad photos with baby.
3. Change of Clothes and Comfy Shoes
You never know where you will be when baby decides to make his or her debut, so be sure to have an outfit of comfortable clothes and shoes packed in your hospital bag. Pack comfy, but not sloppy clothes, and bring a sweater in case it gets cold in the hospital.
Supportive shoes are also important. You may be pacing the hospital halls or standing on your feet for hours while your partner is in labor, so bring a pair that won’t kill your legs and back.
4. Snacks and Drinks
Though the hospital will provide all the food and water that Mom needs, new Dads have to feed themselves. Pack a refillable water bottle, some Gatorade or energy drink packets, and high-energy snacks like protein bars, nuts, or granola.
This will save you money and get you more nutritional value than eating out of the vending machine. Plus, you can stay in the room with Mom this way!
5. Birth Plan and Labor Tips
Bring along any helpful literature you may have received in your prenatal classes to help keep you and your partner on track during the labor process.
And don’t forget the birth plan! The Mom-to-Be probably worked hard to craft it and you will need it to inform the doctors and nurses about her decisions when she is too deep in her labor pains to do it herself.
It is important to your health that you pack your daily medication. Also be sure to bring over-the-counter things you might need, like pain killers, cough drops, and eye drops to combat the aches and pains of staying awake for a long time.
7. Watch With Second Hand or Timer App
Because your partner will not be able to focus enough to take down data, it is up to you to time her contractions. Pack a watch or use a cell phone app to help you time them accurately.
You can also pack a notebook and pen to jot down the frequency and duration of the contractions. This will really help when you are falling asleep and can’t remember what happened five minutes ago.
Labor can be a long process. Bring things to keep you entertained during the slow times or when your partner is sleeping.
Books, puzzle books, game apps, a music player, or even just a journal are great distractions when Mom is tired and doesn’t feel like chatting.
9. Your Pillow From Home
Chances are, you will have to grab some sleep sitting up in a hospital chair. Make it a little more comfortable (and homey) with your own pillow.
10. List of Phone Numbers
Before the big day, either sync your partner’s contacts to your cell phone, or have her write down the names and numbers of all the people she wants to contact about baby’s arrival. She will be way too tired to call everyone, so it’s up to you to let people know that baby has finally entered the world!
11. Contacts or Glasses
If you wear contacts, it’s a good idea to bring along an extra pair plus solution or your glasses. Your eyes will get tired and dry, two annoying things you definitely will not have the time or energy to deal with while Mom is in labor.
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget things in the heat of the moment. Besides money, you’ll need your driver’s license for getting to the hospital, your credit cards, and most importantly, your health insurance card.
13. Video Recording Device
If Mom has said she wants the big moment to be captured on video, be sure to pack a recording device. It can be a camcorder, digital camera, or your cell phone, and don’t forget the charger and extra batteries!
Ask the nurse or doctor before breaking out the camera, though. Some hospitals don’t allow them in delivery rooms.
14. Gifts for Mom and Baby
In order to celebrate this exciting occasion, consider buying a gift for both your partner and your new little one. A good “push present” for the new Mom would be a sentimental piece of jewelry, while a cute toy or book is perfect for baby.
15. Spray Bottle or Handheld Fan
The new Mom will be hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable during labor. Bring something to fan or mist her with to keep her cool.
16. Massage Oils and Tools
During labor, your partner will feel like she hurts all over. Help relax both her muscles and her mind by giving her a massage. Pack oils in soothing scents (like lavender) and a massage tool for when your hands get tired. Moms-to-Be put so much thought and effort into packing their hospital bags, but new Dads should too! The list above contains all the essentials you’ll need for a comfortable hospital stay while you welcome your new little one into the world.