Has a flashy ring to it doesn’t it?
You know, the team of elite personnel assembled, bags packed, and ready to go anywhere at a moments notice. Once the phone rings, the alarm sounds, or the lights flash, they’re ready to be whisked half way around the world and air drop into some dangerous forest with duct tape and a spoon and can take care of anything.
Yeah, we were nothing like that, in fact our baby was nearly two weeks late and my wife had to be induced. However, we were packed and ready to go just in case. There was a part of me that was hoping we’d be weaving through the streets channeling my inner Jason Bourne on the way to hospital. Instead, we casually drove to hospital and then waited another 32 hours before the fun started.
There’s a lot of packing lists out there for moms-to-be and things not to forget. So we thought we’d offer up a few tips for dad on what to remember. It’s pretty basic, but nonetheless it’s worth packing and having ready at a moments notice.
Here’s our recommendations:
Pillow - You’ll be staying a few nights at the very least, using your own pillow will dramatically reduce the uncomfortableness of whatever resembles a bed you’ll be sleeping on. It will be a small but nice luxury from home.
Clothing - Depending on the time of year you’ll need varying amounts of clothing. The important thing to remember is they should be comfortable. You’re going to be doing a fair amount of sitting around. Pack clothing that is cozy and versatile. Also, remember something to sleep in. Nurses will be coming in and out of the room every hour, you’ll want to be at least a little bit presentable if you have to get up to help with something. Finally, add a little extra in the bag. Bring enough clothing for an extra day or two. We thought we’d be at the hospital two nights, it ended up being five. So plan for a few unexpected surprises.
Bathing Suit - This one is optional. If your wife is having a water birth you may want to bring a bathing suit.
Shoes - My wife delivered in late summer so flip flops were my preferred choice. Again, depending on the time of year yours may be different. However, like above, bring something comfortable, you’ll be wearing them a lot. Also, bring slippers if you’d like. They’re great to wear while in your room.
Toiletries - Don’t forget the basics! Tooth brush, toothpaste, razor, hair products (if needed), deodorant, contact solution, etc. You’re not going to a hotel but it’s kinda the same thing. Remember to pack those necessities so you can feel fresh during the day.
Medications - Similar to above. You may not know exactly how long you’ll be at the hospital, so bring any medications you or your wife may need while there.
Devices/Chargers - Whether it’s for work or entertainment having your devices and chargers with you helps you stay connected. This also includes a separate camera if you choose not to use your smartphone. We brought a camera with us and it worked out great. One of the nurses even offered to take photos for us while delivering (PG ones of course.)
Snacks - Hospitals aren’t known for their great or cheap food. Pack a few snacks along so you don’t have to buy everything you want to eat. Your wife will be fed through the hospital (and may be on some diet restrictions) so you have to feed yourself. Bring a few things with you to keep costs down and you know you’ll like.
Extras - Music, playlists, journal, books, magazines, anything else you and your partner have specifically talked about wanting to be part of your birth.
Bonus Tip: Once baby arrives it can be overwhelming and exciting letting everyone know. If you have family or friends at the hospital, you can ask them to help spread the word. Many people post to social media to let everyone know your little bundle of joy has arrived. We didn’t want to post immediately after our son’s birth, so I set up two group texts that would go out to those closest to us. One for family and the other for friends. It worked great and was super simple.
You may have no time to think or all the time in the world to make it to the hospital, as no two births are the same. Getting your “Go-Bag” ready ahead of time will make sure you’re prepared no matter what. Of course, don’t forget the diaper bag and car seat!
Did you pack something unique? Leave your Go-Bag must haves in the comments below!