When preparing a hospital bag for the delivery room, it goes without saying you’ll pack all the essentials for the mom-to-be. But what about the hospital bag for dad?
Being prepared is crucial if everything is to go smoothly. And since the new dad is a part of the process as well, he needs his own hospital bag for dad, too.
His role in the labor might be small, but by ensuring he has all the important things packed that the new mom doesn’t have time to worry about, he’ll make the experience much easier for her.
So ladies, if your due date is nearing and your hospital bag is packed and ready to go, there’s just one more thing left to take care of – Dad’s hospital bag!
I’ve been through the drill so trust me when I say you’ll feel better knowing your man has every little thing you could possibly need in the delivery room.
There won’t be any last-minute panicking about forgetting your hair ties, nursing pillow, a much-needed home outfit, or those comfortable shoes that you’ll definitely need.
Below, I share all the new dad must-haves for a comfy hospital stay while you impatiently wait to meet your new baby.
Hospital Bag For Dads Checklist
1. The electronic essentials
This includes a camcorder, charger, cell-phone (or a smartphone), or any other electronic device of your liking.
You want to make this moment one to remember, and this is how you’ll do it.
Memories like this are treasured forever, so packing a quality camcorder to capture all the emotions of the day is truly important.
Just be sure you are on the same page as your partner about what you’re allowed to videotape.
She might not want any full-frontal exposure so concentrate on everything else.
Oh, and one more really vital thing. When the time comes, and your baby is ready to come out, put your electronics aside and hold your wife’s hand!
You don’t want to be so preoccupied with taping it that you forget to be in the moment.
Be your wife’s rock and when the baby’s out, there’s plenty of time to capture the happy moments.
You’re likely to spend a few days in the hospital so you’re going to need some toiletries. First and foremost, bring toothpaste and a toothbrush.
The last thing anyone has time for is bad breath, am I right?
Secondly, for an overnight stay, you’ll need shower gel, shampoo and conditioner, and of course, your favorite deodorant.
Just because you’re in a hospital, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel as clean and fresh as if you were in the comfort of your own home.
Plus, looking (and smelling) nice will definitely make you feel ten times better.
3. A car seat
After a few days, you’re going to be leaving the hospital with a brand new baby. It’s daunting but it’s also really exciting.
So don’t forget to bring an infant car seat. This is by far the best and safest way to carry a newborn. Just make sure to install it in time!
You don’t want to get to the hospital and realize your car seat hasn’t been properly placed. It’ll be a little annoying realizing this on your way out.
So install it around the time you’re going over your hospital bag for dads checklist.
That way you won’t forget it, and you’ll be ready to roll when you’re finally out of there and ready for the real world.
Trust me, this is not something you want to leave to the last minute. Being prepared will save you lots of unnecessary worrying.
4. Snacks and water bottles
The birthing experience will be exhausting for your partner but also for you.
You’ll need all the strength you can get to be the best support system for the new mom. And staying hydrated and full is part of that.
Bring some healthy snacks (stay away from garlic-based stuff, trust me) and a couple of water bottles to have on you at all times.
You’ll feel more energized after having a granola bar or some trail mix and you never know when your wife’s cravings might come back.
You can’t depend on the vending machine the whole time and eventually, you’ll run out of loose change.
Once you get to the hospital, you’ll see what I mean.
If you’re prone to headaches or have any (minor or major) health conditions, do not forget your medications. They will be your savior.
Bring pain-relievers for sure, as you’ll need them when the stress of it all kicks in.
I mean, sure, the hospital could provide it for you, but at 4 bucks a pill, you’re better off bringing your own.
Your partner will be extra grateful to know you’re fully stocked just in case she needs anything.
6. Change of clothes
Okay, so while you’re there, you’re aware that you’ll be sleeping on a couch or a chair near your partner’s bed, right?
So bring comfy clothes that you’re also okay with getting dirty.
A hospital bag for dad must contain a comfy sweatshirt to relax in (but also to doze off in), as well as an old tracksuit, and flip flops.
This is not the time to be dressed to the nines, as babies are infamously known for not being very considerate about where they poop and spit.
All jokes aside, pack only comfortable, practical clothes that you’re okay with getting crumpled. For both you and your better half.
7. The birth plan
That is if you have one of course. My advice is to print it out beforehand and pack it a few days before you expect to leave.
You can never predict these things and your wife might end up needing a C-section, but if all goes to plan, you’ll be glad you have it with you.
It’s not a bad idea to have a backup on your smartphone either.
So take a photo of it and rest assured knowing that you have it in both a printable and digital version.
8. ID and insurance card
I’m sure you already have all the important papers in your wallet, but it never hurts to double-check.
You’ll have lots on your minds (both you and the mom-to-be) so bringing all the relevant paperwork and of course, your insurance information should be prepared beforehand.
When you think about packing a hospital bag for dad, the last thing on your mind is paperwork.
But checking this off your list is vital so you don’t have to run home to get it at the worst possible moment.
9. Massage oil
Making your partner feel as comfortable as possible should always be your top priority.
She is going through something you’ll probably never be able to comprehend, so indulge her in any way that you can.
I personally loved that my husband brought my favorite massage oil to the hospital.
Why? Because during labor, every mom is more than happy to get a proper massage. I was elated!
It will relax her and for a moment there, she’ll forget all about the pain she just felt with the last contraction.
This makes all the difference and the look on your wife’s face will say it all.
If your partner wears contact lenses, I suggest packing her glasses.
During the birthing process, her eyes are going to be dry, irritated and the lenses might fall out.
And she actually wants to be able to see the miracle she’s giving birth to. So make sure to bring her a pair of glasses for when this happens.
Don’t leave anything to chance.
11. A playlist
If you’re a music fanatic such as myself, a good playlist will definitely boost your morale during labor.
Think of all the songs you and your partner enjoy – jams that lighten your mood instantly – and download them to your phone.
Music has a miraculous way of getting you lost in the moment.
It’ll calm you both, put a smile to your face, and make those moments in-between contractions a bit more manageable.
12. Your own pillow
Bring your own pillow, just trust me on this one. Hospitals are kind enough to offer theirs, but unfortunately, they’re just not as comfy.
You’ll be dozing next to your wife, and you’ll want a good night’s sleep. And what better way than bringing your own pillow?
Little things like these will make the stay a whole lot easier.
Plus it’ll give you that homey feel that will make you forget you’re sleeping on a hospital pull-out couch (at least for a brief moment).
13. A diaper bag
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Once your little one is out, you’re going to need a ton of diapers.
It might seem too obvious to forget, but it happens!
As a first time mom, I almost forgot to take diapers to the hospital if you can believe it.
I was beyond stressed with all the other essentials and this totally slipped my mind.
Thankfully, I have a hubby that thinks of every little thing, so he thought of it last minute. So when you’re packing a hospital bag for dad, be sure to include a diaper bag.
14. A list of phone numbers
You can write them all down on a piece of paper or memorize them on your phone. Whichever seems more practical to you.
The reason is quite simple really.
Once the baby’s out, there will be so many people to inform. From your parents, family members, close friends, to everyone who’s important to you.
And who knows anyone’s phone number by heart these days?
So definitely have all the important digits with you so that you can send a collective text about the happy news.
It’s much easier to send a group text than to have a hundred individual texts bombarding your phone.
15. Push present
Have you heard of a push present? If not, it’s time to get acquainted.
One of the most important things a hospital bag for dad should contain is precisely this.
A push present is a very popular trend and with good reason. It’s something that a dad gives the new mom after the delivery.
The choices are endless. You know your partner better than anyone, so you’re the best judge of what she’ll love.
You can choose anything from an artsy object, new smartphone, fancy jewelry, or something personal.
My husband actually got me a rocking chair (but he didn’t actually pack it inside the bag) that I absolutely loved and used every day.
Maybe your wife is a bit more extravagant, but so what? She’s about to give you the miracle of life, she deserves the best gift you can think of.
All In All
By now it’s pretty clear why packing a hospital bag for dads is so important.
Firstly, dads are here to provide moral support for their partners who are about to endure something extraordinary.
If you can make the experience easier or more comfortable in any way, do it!
You never really know when you or your wife might need medications, ID, or some music to boost your mood.
She might crave a granola bar or some trail mix, so she’ll be elated that you brought some along.
By checking these things off your list, the hospital stay will be much easier to endure.
The last thing you need is to have to run home for something that didn’t seem necessary but actually is.
Stay ahead of any issues by being fully prepared for any unpredictable situation.
If not for you, then for your partner’s peace of mind.
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