As the days are counting down until our fifth baby is due I realized I needed to get my bag ready, the bag that I’ll take with me to the hospital when my wife goes into labor. It’s well documented what you need to take for mom and the baby but dad is often overlooked in all of this.
So I have decided to put together my Dad’s Guide to Packing for the Maternity Ward.
It might seem obvious but in order to pack a bag, you first have to have a bag. The good people over at The Honour Society hooked me up with a sweet weekend bag. It’s a nice quality bag that’s perfect for a stay in the maternity ward.
Listen to me very carefully. Take a ton of snacks! You will inevitably get hungry and the hospital is not always the easiest place to get food at. Even if you can find food, it’s not always what you want or very affordable. So just take a bunch of snacks. You can’t take too many. Trust me.
This is about as important as the snacks. Make sure you take your camera. Make sure it is charged with lots of free memory as well. If you don’t have a nice camera you should go get one. Read my Camera Buying guide first.
The beds/convertible couches that dads get to sleep on are not comfortable, so help yourself out as much as possible by bringing some comfortable clothes to wear.
Easy on/off shoes or slippers
You won’t really want to walk around barefoot in the hospital but you probably don’t want to sleep in your tennis shoes either. So make sure you have some comfortable shoes that you can slip on and off easily as you are jumping in and out of your couch bed getting various things for mom and baby and occasionally yourself.
At bare minimum bring a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may or may not be able to take a full on shower but you’ll at least want to brush your teeth after all those snacks.
Change of Clothes
You probably don’t want to wear the same clothes for 3 days so bring something else to change into.
Texting, facebooking and e-mailing all your friends and family with updates is going to drain your phone fast, so make sure you have your charger on you.
All those snacks are going to make you thirsty. The hospital almost certainly will have vending machines and may even have a little lounge for guests staying in the maternity ward but you never can be sure. I like to take Gatorade because it doesn’t have to be refrigerated and tastes fine to drink lukewarm.
Coffee is almost assuredly going to be available. It’s also almost assuredly going to be nasty. But if you bring your own creamer you can doctor it up and it’ll be delicious. You all know how I feel about creamer.
Depending on how much you love your pillow this might not be necessary but if you have a nice pillow you might want to think about bringing it. The pillows I’ve experienced at hospitals are terrible.
Books, crossword, tablet, entertainment
Depending on how long labor goes and how long your stay in the hospital is you might end up having some time to kill. I can remember being the only person awake in the room many times so a book or puzzle was nice to pass the time. If you’re more of an e-reader, then download your books ahead of time.
If you’ve got one, you might as well bring it. You might think about bringing a tripod too if you have one of those. It’s always easier to bring something and not use it than to use it if you didn’t bring it.
So many pictures are taken of your new bundle of joy and of you holding that bundle. You might as well decide now what you want to be wearing in all those pictures. Don’t let it just randomly be whatever you happen to be wearing that day. Something that I decided to do was to wear a Gator shirt for all my kids, births. I’ll save those shirts and give them to my kids when they are older. Something else you could do is pick out a dress shirt and then have it sent off to make a romper or dress out of for your baby. That would create an instant family heirloom.
Well that’s what I’ve got in my bag, I hope you’ve found this helpful. Have a great week. Give me a click on the image below to help me stay a top dad blogger, I sure do appreciate all your support. Ya’ll are the best!