Hello mama-to-be! Congratulations! I’m sure by now, you’re pinning all things baby and getting your nursery decor underway. But do you know what to back in the dads hospital bag? Probably not!
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There is so much to prepare for during pregnancy. You have doctor or midwife appointments. Your body is doing all sorts of crazy things. And your hormones have you not thinking straight.
In general, our hospital bags were not prepared at all. The day I went into labor was the day I was planning on getting everything for my hospital bag. So it goes without saying that we had no idea what to pack for my hubby.
Don’t make the mistake we did. Plan early. Luckily, I’m here to help you!
Be prepared and confident, at least in your packing skills when you’re on your way to the hospital. What to put in a bag should be the least of your worries.
My biggest advice would be to pack it soon. It may sound crazy, but honestly, once you hit that third trimester, start packing. Just in case. You never know when that little one’s going to choose to make their way into the world. In the case of our son, he was 3 weeks early, so yeah. Case and point.
When they tell you that you’re going to go late with your first one. Caution on the side of crazy and be prepared early. With all things really. Don’t be us. That’s all I can say. We didn’t have our bassinet, stroller, to name a few things. It was stupid. We were so naive.
Things like clothes are obvious, but what about towels. Or food? Sure the mama gets those things at the hospital, but daddy? He gets nothing.
I felt so horrible for my husband when we were in the hospital with our little guy. Not only were we needing to stay extra days because he was jaundice but there were other things as well. What our guys have to sleep on in those places is less than stellar and I know I couldn’t have bought a bed for him but there are ways he certainly could have been more comfortable. Which would have made him much less miserable.
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Granted, not all hospitals are created equal. But I can guarantee, the food is always sub-par and that in itself should make you want to start packing.
So what do I suggest you bring? Glad you asked! I took the liberty of making you a handy, dandy printable to help you out. Because I know you probably may not take notes. And you’ll forget, and then hubby will be making trips back and forth from the hospital instead of spending time with you and squishy.
You know, the things that let him feel like himself. Make sure to pack his things, not just some random generic crap from the dollar store. Get those little travel bottles and fill them up with his things so that he is using what he’s used to. Trust me, he’s not a priority for the hospital staff and is going to feel like he’s already out of place. You can at least let him smell like the man you know and love. Except for cologne, leave that at home.
- Face/body wash
- Pain meds
Goes without saying. Make sure to pack extra though because well, accidents happen. That will now be the theme of your life! Always be prepared for projectile… Stuff. Also, in that delivery room, who knows what could happen. So to be on the safe side, make sure he’s not bringing his brand new shoes. Or his favorite jeans. He may end up throwing them out.
- 3 of each – Pants/or shorts, PJs, shirts, underwear, socks
- Slippers/sandals if he wears them
- Swim trunks * these babies could come in handy if you’re laboring in the tub, or if you don’t have a door in your shower area.
- Baggy zip-up hoodie(s) these are great for skin on skin when your baby is small
Food and snacks
Hospital food is the pits. Also, you can end up spending so much money on snacks and such in those places it’s insane. Mom will be fed, and baby, so make sure to pack snacks he likes. And things that will help sustain him through labor, and those numerous wakings. Nothing is worse than feeling hangry. Also, bottled drinks! These will certainly come in handy for dad and mom. Because let’s face it, tap water… Well, you get my drift.
Another tip, be sure to not be eating any highly smelly food around mama bear when she’s in labor. Even if you’re contracting and not in active labor. That egg salad sandwich may just end up flying across the room because your superhuman smell powers are making you crazy. Or it could be your contractions, but don’t admit to that.
- Bottled water/juice
- Nutrient-dense protein bars
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I know, you’re supposed to be focused on this new bundle coming into the world. But honestly, there’s a lot of downtimes while you’re in the hospital. Between him waiting for you to start pushing. To when the baby and you are napping, or when you’re feeding/nursing the baby. Or maybe the little one is having tests done. There’s a lot of downtime for dad. It’s easy for him to start feeling like an accessory. Don’t get mad at him for wanting to fill some of that boredom void with something.
- Tablet and charger
- Phone and charger
- Magazines or a book if he’s a reader
- Bluetooth speaker
- External charger for just in case
While there are some things that can fall into the other lists, there are some things that are just kind of random. Things you really don’t want to forget.
- Important phone numbers list
- Insurance card
- Drivers license
- Any special notes for delivery
The main takeaway I hope you get from this is that while this is a huge event for you as a growing family, it’s easy for daddy-to-be to get lost in the mix. Everything that happens at the hospital is centered around mom and the baby, rightfully so, considering. But it took the two of you to make that baby and it’s important for him to feel like he’s not just cast aside, totally uncomfortable and out of place.
Put yourself in his shoes, he’ll thank you for it. And you will too because it’ll mean you’ll both be properly cared for. If you’re both happy, you’ll be happy with your baby too.
Have fun with packing! Maybe you want to leave little notes between his snacks, little points of affirmation that you love the support he’s given you these past nine months and that you’re so excited to see him holding your new bundle of joy.
Think of it like planning his stocking stuffers even! That may be a good way to put it. I have a post for that as well which you can check out here.
I’m so excited for you and your growing family to be on this journey that so many of us are, it’s a crazy, scary, fun and amazing world. Welcome to it!
Did you have any ideas that I missed? Leave them below in the comments for others to see!
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