When it comes to packing for the hospital, there are unlimited checklists for moms. But what about their partners?
They often log long hours at the hospital as well, so it’s important they’ve got everything they need for a comfortable stay. And a little prep ahead of time makes it that much easier to focus on what really matters during delivery: supporting the mom-to-be.
First and foremost, pack your hospital bag for dad well before the due date. Six weeks should do the trick! Below we’ve outlined a quick and easy checklist to help you get all set for the big day.
Hospital Bag Checklist for Dad
1. The Right Bag
When selecting a bag, any overnight bag you have on hand should work: large backpack, small duffle bag, work bag, etc. Aim for something that’s durable, has lots of pockets and is big enough to hold a pillow and change of clothes.
This one goes without saying, but a friendly reminder never hurts. Make sure you bring your wallet, along with your ID and insurance papers. Having a little cash is also a good idea for parking meters, vending machines in the hospital and emergencies.
3. Phone Charger
Make sure your phones are charged and pack your chargers. Don’t forget to check that your camera roll has space for all the photos you’ll inevitably take, too!
4. Ipad, E-Reader or Book
Make sure you’ve got something to do to pass hours in case labor goes longer than anticipated. We recommend downloading any books, music, movies and TV shows ahead of time in case streaming doesn’t work at the hospital.
5. Speaker and Headphones
Bringing your own speaker (don’t forget to charge it ahead of time!) and music is a great way to create a more comforting atmosphere in the delivery room. Some parents like making a playlist of their favorite songs or calming music. If you’ve got your own headphones, it’s helpful to pack those in case there’s downtime.
6. Pillow and Blanket
Depending on the hospital, you may be spending the night on a stiff couch or less-than-ideal fold-out cot. Bringing your own comfy pillow and blanket from home can make all the difference in getting a good night’s rest.
7. Clothes and Toiletries
Just like mom-to-be, you should plan to bring a change of clothes, pajamas and toiletries. Unlike mom, who will be spending most of the time feeding and snuggling with the new baby, you might actually be going out in public (and grabbing your partner some takeout, perhaps?), so keep that in mind when packing.
As long as you’ve got a mix of comfortable and functional outfit choices, you’ll be all set. Make sure to bring a cozy hoodie or jacket and warm socks in case your room gets cold at night. And be sure to wear comfy shoes, since you’ll be the one out running errands.
Whether or not the hospital provides food for partners, it’s always a good idea to bring your own. Pack some of your favorite easy, healthy snacks in case the hospital food doesn’t hit the spot or hunger strikes when the kitchen is closed. Nuts and protein bars are a good option since they’re filling and easy to pack, and a few sweet treats are always a fun addition. Don’t forget to bring your own water bottle, too!
9. Extra bags
Having a few extra bags on hand (think canvas totes or even plastic grocery bags) is always a good idea. They can come in handy for all sorts of things like dirty clothes, snacks wrappers, etc.
10. Gift for Mom
Bring a gift for the new mom! A little something like a soft baby blanket she can wrap her new baby in, or get her a comfortable nursery glider she can relax in and enjoy the moments with her new precious little one. A gift can go a long way in helping her feel loved and taken care of. Which is exactly what partners are there for after all.
* Bonus: Gift for Baby
Bonus points if you bring your sweet little newborn a special gift they will always cherish, like a cotton muslin swaddle blanket that can grow with them from infant to toddler, or a soft infant onesie you can dress them in to take them home from the hospital.
No matter how much prep you do, delivery rarely goes according to plan. But as long as you’ve followed the hospital bag checklist for dad and packed your bag about six weeks prior, you should be prepared for almost anything labor throws your way. And besides, prepping now means you can be fully present when your little one arrives.