To do: Remind husband to pack his own hospital bag. ✔️
We polled our Motherly mamas to see when and what their husbands packed for the big trip to the hospital. Some had their bags packed and ready to go at 35 weeks, while others were scrambling last minute. They had big bags, small bags, no bags.
Help your husband be the most well-prepared dad-to-be on the planet by sharing this with him.
Here’s the best advice we received, including the top 10 things Dad should pack in his bag.
When to pack
ASAP. You don’t want to be the dad packing his bag while your wife is in labor. Trust.
What to pack
The men we surveyed packed everything from shirts and boxers to Cheez-Its and Gatorade to phone chargers and cameras. So far, so good, dads!
10 items to consider:
1. Clothes 👕👖🧦
Something to sleep in, underwear and two outfits should be good. If your hospital stay is longer than you originally thought, you could either run home and get more clothes or simply deal with what you have.
(I mean, we just gave birth... you can wear the same outfit twice in one week. P.S. Love you.)
2. Cash 💵
When you’re starving and the cafeteria is closed, you’ll be grateful for those small bills in your wallet so you can stock up on snacks from the vending machine.
3. Important papers + cards 📄
You will need to have your insurance cards to fill out paperwork and all that jazz, so be prepared with those. It may be best for Dad to hold onto a copy of your birth plan if you’re using one, so mama doesn’t have to worry about keeping track of it.
4. Cell phone + chargers 📱🔌
This one may seem obvious, but how many times have you forgotten your charger when you needed it most? Make sure chargers are packed and ready to go so you can be fully charged to shout from the rooftops that your little one has arrived!
Pro tip: Surprise your partner by bringing an extra-long charger cord so her phone can be plugged in while she’s in bed and she doesn’t have to get up and down for every ring and ding.
5. Snacks + drinks 🍎 🥪
Now that the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) has given us the okay to eat during labor, it’s important to pack some energy-boosting foods for both of you. Suggestions from the ASA include: fruit, light soups, toast, light sandwiches (no large slices of meat), juice and water.
Even though you’re provided with meals in the hospital, it’s always good to have some of your favorite snacks on hand in case you’re hungry at non-meal times. You will each need a water bottle to stay hydrated, so keep that in mind.
6. Pillow + blanket 💤
The hospital won’t leave you hanging if you’re staying the night; however, you’re probably not going to have the most comfortable sleep setup in the world. Bringing your own pillow and blanket could be a very good idea in order for you to get some decent shut-eye.
7. Toiletries + medications 💊
You’ll most likely want to shower if you’re staying over, so soap and shampoo would be a good idea to pack. Other toiletries to consider: toothpaste, toothbrush, razor, deodorant, contact lenses, solution, glasses, any prescription medicines you take... you catch our drift.
9. Special gift 🎁 💐
The term “push present” seems to conjure images of diamond earrings and Escalades these days. While we’re not knocking either of those as gifts, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to make your partner happy. Something simple and sweet could be the perfect way to show your wife how much you love her and that you appreciate her hard work during the birth of your child.
Some of our favorites include flowers, a thoughtful note or card, a gift certificate, an e-reader, a Netflix subscription, jewelry or pretty pajamas and a robe to wear in the hospital. (See more of our favorite new-mama gifts here.)
10. Encouragement + positivity 👏
The most important things you can remember to “pack” are your encouragement and positive attitude. Labor and delivery is extremely hard work.
Be sure you’re there by her side encouraging her, reading her cues and getting her anything she needs. Be her advocate—speak up for what your wife needs or if you both need to make an important decision.