The Night of the Newborn
Your partner is feeling strange feelings. Not THOSE kinds of strange feelings, but the kind that indicate she’s about to go into labor. Even worse, you’re frantically rushing from one room to the next in an attempt to get your things together. What you don’t know is that you’re going to get to the hospital without anything you, the dad, need. If only you knew what to pack in the hospital bag for dad.
What to Pack in the Hospital Bag for Dad
Your partner is likely on top of things right now. There are likely bags packed and sitting by the door – one for them, one for the baby, and if you’re lucky, one for you. If there aren’t any packed yet, GREAT. This is your time to shine, future super dad.
Packing hospital bags is probably pretty far down your list right now, as you’re currently contemplating your future, wondering if you’ll be a great dad, and so on. Right? Well, lucky for you I’ve got a hospital packing list for dads.
With this list, not only can you help your partner pack their bag, you can pack your own bag ahead of time and look like a damn pro. Furthermore, your bag will contain some secret weapons that make you look like a hero in the hospital. You’ll also have a more enjoyable time while you’re there, so that counts for something, too.
Without further ado, here’s what an expectant father (that’s you, fella) should pack for the hospital to stay clean, happy, and at least a little sane.
Ideally, you’ll be in the hospital for a day or two. The average hospital stay for natural childbirth in the United States is roughly two days, with a Cesarean section adding a day or two. That’s still two days away from home, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve got your toiletry essentials, and then some:
- Toothbrush (with cap or toothbrush saver)
- Shaving Cream (If using non-electric razor)
- Body Wash
- Face Wash
Go ahead and pack the equivalent for your partner if they haven’t tackled this already. They’re going through enough right now. (They are carrying a human around. I hear that’s a little exhausting.)
Tip: If you’re in a rush, run to Walmart and grab a travel kit like the one above. I snagged a his and her’s for $6 each and they were a total lifesaver!
Comfortable Clothes (And Lots of Them)
Even if you’re like me and you won’t leave the house in anything less than blue jeans, bring some sweatpants, gym shorts, or track pants. Why? You’re going to be spending a lot of time sitting in hospital chairs, sleeping on hospital couches, and being generally uncomfortable. I can attest to the lack of sleepability a pair of slim jeans have when coupled with a vinyl hospital couch. Bring comfortable clothing.
While you’re at it, pack her favorite slippers and pajamas. If she doesn’t have any, go buy some. She’s going to have swollen feet, a back that’s killing her, and all kinds of problems we’ll never understand. Rumor has it comfortable slippers make life just a little more bearable during all of this.
Clothing for Photos
There’s a chance you’ll have photos taken by a photographer in the hospital. If not, you’ll still wind up in some taken by family and friends visiting. You really don’t want to be in those aforementioned sweatpants and comfy clothes when someone snaps a photo of you and your newly-grown family.
Bring something simple but snazzy for picture time. A polo, a nice button-up shirt, or a sweater if it’s chilly outside. You and your partner will be grateful when you don’t quite look the part of a couple that just had a child.
You’re both going to be exhausted during your time at the hospital, but her a little more than you. If you don’t feel like napping when she naps, bring a book or something else to keep you a little entertained and preoccupied before the baby arrives.
If you’re lucky you’ll roll into the hospital, she’ll be in labor, and the baby will just fly on out. More realistically, you’ll be there for hours and hours and wishing you had at least a little something to read. Sitting and stressing won’t do you any good, so bring something that will help you relax a bit during nap time.
You’ve likely got numerous phones floating around your house, so make sure you bring all appropriate chargers. Wireless headphones? Bring the charger. Nintendo 3DS because you refuse to let go of gaming? (Right there with you!) Bring the charger.
You’ll also want to bring a camera if you have one, along with the charger and spare SD card. The last thing you want is for your SD card to be full or corrupted while you’re trying to snap some pictures of the hospital experience. We were in the hospital for four days, and hundreds upon hundreds of photos were taken. Enjoy the moments as they happen, but don’t hesitate to take a boatload of pictures. You’ll be glad you did when your brain goes blank from sleep deprivation.
The Ultimate Hospital Checklist for Dad: Free Download
If you’re like me, you forget most of what’s not written down or right in front of you. Then again, I have a toddler and I forget a lot of everything at this point.
Ladies love a guy that’s prepared, so make sure you’re prepared for the big day with this printable hospital packing list for mom dad and baby. Print it out, tack it to your wall, hang it on your fridge—just make sure it’s somewhere you can see it. Cross each item off as you get it, and look like a seasoned pro when you get to the hospital!
The birth of your child is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll want to enjoy in all its glory. With the essentials, and a few extra items, packed and ready to go, you and your partner will be able to focus on enjoying the experience. Before you know it, you’ll be chasing a little wild version of yourself around, hunting for their next favorite toy, and telling them to get that out of their mouth.
Now go forth, dad-to-be, and let this be the start of your journey as a kickass father that’s totally prepared!