The Best Hospital Bag Checklist for New Dads: What You'll Definitely Need
Packing a hospital bag isn’t only a job for moms-to-be. Dads and other support partners need to get prepped ahead of time also. Labor, delivery, and recovery can be a long process, and partners will likely be at the hospital for the entire experience. Being prepared will help make the event even more enjoyable.
Take a look at our complete hospital checklist for dads and other support partners, as well as a few tips to consider when preparing.
A Few Prepping Tips for Partners
You may not be able to pack everything ahead of time so create a list of what you’ll need to toss in the bag at the last minute. Once you're done packing, attach this list to the bag so that you don't walk out of the house without things that you need.
A backpack or duffel that’s easy to sling over your shoulders will leave your hands free to help your partner. Pack it at least six weeks before your partner’s due date.
The Wayb Ready To Roam Backpack is the perfect hospital bag for support partners. With a vertical side zip for easy packing and quick side entry along with four external pockets, you’ll have easy access to anything you or mom may need. It also features adjustable padded shoulder straps and wipeable, water-resistant exterior fabric. The best part? This bag transitions easily into a diaper bag you can use for the baby! For park play dates, weekend getaways, and everything in between, this backpack is full of thoughtfully designed compartments to keep you and your family organized while you’re on the go.
If you have a vehicle, be sure you and your partner safely install the car seat base about the same time you start packing your hospital bag. Car seat installation can be challenging at first so it’s better to attempt it while you’re not under too much pressure.
Keep your gas tank at least half full (or with ample charge if it’s electric) as you approach your partner’s due date. You won’t want to have to stop for gas while timing contractions.
Save the hospital or birthing center’s address in your GPS or in Google Maps so you can pull it up quickly when you’re ready to head that way.
What to Pack
Childbirth and recovery can take a lot longer than you may expect. There are a few supplies you’ll want to have on hand to stay comfortable so that you can be supportive and encouraging for the birthing parent.
Clean undies, a fresh shirt, and some warm socks should be plenty to keep you feeling refreshed. You may consider packing a sweatshirt or hoodie too, as the birthing parent will probably want the room to be cold (labor is really hard work). Stains are possible so don’t pack a favorite. Some dads like to add a pair of slippers or pajama pants to their bag as well.
Include whatever you need to feel fresh – deodorant, a toothbrush and toothpaste, contact lens solution, facial wipes. You may not have an opportunity to take a shower so pack whatever you need to get you through a couple of days without one.
Designed for babies, but they’re handy for grown-ups, too! Mustela Stelatopia® Replenishing Cleansing Wipes gently and effectively clean your baby's face, body, and diaper area. Mustela’s ultra-soft, fragrance-free baby wipes are specially designed for eczema-prone skin and are 47% thicker than Mustela's classic wipes. Stelatopia® Replenishing Cleansing Wipes will relieve and moisturize delicate eczema-prone skin while leaving your baby’s skin feeling soft and comfortable. Perfect for quick clean-ups -- no need to rinse with water!
Your phone is one of those items you probably can’t pack in advance, but go ahead and throw an extra charging cable and maybe a power bank into the bag. Take a few minutes to sit down with mom and put together a contact list so you’ll know exactly who you need to update about her (and the baby’s) status.
Don’t forget to include earbuds, a tablet, or your camera (if not using the one on your phone), along with the chargers for those devices as well. Talk to your partner about her preferences. Keep in mind that your job is to be her cheerleader and advocate, so you won’t need many electronic devices. But they’re great to have around to browse during downtime or for catching sweet moments.
Be sure to add any items you can’t pack in advance to your checklist of last-minute supplies and keep it on or near your hospital bag.
Pack your own acetaminophen or ibuprofen and perhaps a pack of antacids, just in case you have a headache or upset stomach. Even if the hospital staff is able to provide it, meds from the hospital can be a little expensive. Add any daily medications that can’t be packed in advance to your last-minute list.
Hydration is important for both you and your partner during the childbirth process so pack a reusable water bottle. You may want to include a few powdered drink mixes as well. Though your partner may have restrictions on what she can consume, you might enjoy an assortment of flavored drinks.
The Life Factory Onyx Glass Water Bottle is a classic glass water bottle paired with a simple screw cap that just plain works. At 16 ounces, it’s the perfect size to keep you hydrated and fit in your hospital bag.
Add a few healthy, non-perishable dry snacks, like trail mix, whole grain crackers, or granola bars. For your partner’s sake, avoid snacks that have garlic, onion, or other strong smells.
You’ll definitely want to have your ID, insurance card, and credit card. It’s also helpful to have a few small bills and some coins on hand in case you need to feed a parking meter or the vending machine doesn’t accept cards.
Labor can be an arduous process, to say the least. As the support person, you can help mom by packing a few things to help her handle the pain. Massage offers soothing relief to many laboring parents. In fact, research shows that massage during labor can significantly reduce pain intensity. Pack some massage oil in a sealed bag to avoid any messy leaks in your bag.
If you’re a dad-to-be or support partner, grab a bottle of Zoey Naturals Soothing Lavender Body Oil to moisturize and comfort your partner’s skin while they’re doing the hard work of labor. Zoey Naturals entire line of family products is free of harsh chemicals and gentle on the environment.
Dads and other support partners should plan early and be prepared. Thoughtfully packing a hospital bag in advance will help you stay comfortable and ready for whatever comes your way. Keep your bag easily accessible and ready to go at least six weeks before the due date (and remember in include your “last-minute list).
Want to help mom with her birth bag as well? Save her the time and trouble and order a pre-packed bag for her! Take a look at these gorgeous options from Baby Boldly.
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