You’ve almost made it, dad to be. The big day is near. You’ve read all the books, taken all the advice, decorated the nursery and installed the car seat. But, have you packed your “dad bag”? You know, the bag that dads need to bring to the hospital with them. If you haven’t, you need to, and here are the items you need to make sure you bring with you when it’s time to head out the door and into fatherhood.
When my wife and I found out that we were going to be having twins, to say it shocked us is an understatement.
However, after the initial earthquake of excitement, I immediately went into planning mode.
Would we need to find a new place to live or buy a bigger car?
I had plenty of time to think about those things. But one thing that didn’t cross my mind until almost the last minute was, what do I need to bring to the hospital when my wife goes into labor?
Luckily, I had a friend at work mention that I needed to pack a “dad bag” with me for our hospital stay.
I’m glad he did because I would’ve been totally unprepared if I didn’t.
What Do Dads Need To Bring To The Hospital?
If you’re wondering what does a father need to bring to the hospital, this post should give you some good ideas and serve as a pregnancy hospital bag checklist for dad.
Any duffel bag or backpack you have should work fine.
- What Do Dads Need To Bring To The Hospital?
- Dad’s Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist For Mom
- What Do Dads Need To Bring To The Hospital For The New Baby?
You can’t leave your house without your cell phone and you most likely won’t forget it when the time to go to the hospital comes. So let’s assume you have your phone in your pocket.
But what else are you going to need?
First, you’re going to need to bring your charger. If there’s one thing that happens after a baby is born, it’s that pictures will get taken, calls will have to be made and texts are going to be sent.
If you have a backup battery bank for your phone or laptop, pack that up too.
If you don’t like the pictures your phone takes and want to take your camera, make sure it’s in the bag.
Another thing to think about is a laptop or tablet to watch shows to entertain you while you wait.
Change Of Clothes
Most people aren’t in the hospital after giving birth for too long if there are no complications.
But sometimes labor can take a while.
When my wife gave birth to twins, we had to be in the hospital for 3 days.
You’re going to need to plan accordingly.
Make sure you have comfy clothes.
You’ll need comfortable shorts or jeans or sweats, t-shirts, hoodies, hat and sneakers.
As a new dad, first day on the job, you’ll be up waiting on mom and baby. You’ll be greeting visitors and getting stuff to eat.
Don’t get fancy. You don’t need to be the dapper dad. You need to be the comfortable dad.
The plus side of wearing these things is that if your baby spits up on an old sweatshirt, it’s no big deal.
Don’t forget to pack socks and underwear, too.
Forget about pajamas. I slept on the couch in the room in my hoodie.
Hopefully, you won’t need to stay in the hospital for long, but you’ll want to have comfortable clothes as long as you’re there.
Don’t forget deodorant, toothpaste, razor, and hair products. You might not take a shower, but you will want to stay fresh and presentable.
Even if you’re only going to be there for one night, be sure to take the bare essentials. A toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant.
If you think you’re going to stay there longer, plan accordingly
After your baby is born, life is going to get hectic. You might not have time to sneak out to grab something to eat. Because of that, you’ll need to throw a couple of healthy snacks into your dad bag as well. Decide if you want trail mix, some protein bars, or a couple of Snickers and pack them.
The same goes for fluids. You’ll need them. Most people carry a water bottle or a tumbler with them. That should be about all you need.
We’ve already talked about the importance of carrying cash. (If you haven’t read it, be sure to check it out)
The main reason to cash is one thing dads need to bring to the hospital is to make sure you’re prepared.
The two scenarios I think of when it’s good to have some cash on you are for parking and vending machines.
You may not need to pay to park, but if you do, it will be nice to have it covered.
I’ve already suggested bringing snacks just in case, but if you decide you don’t want to do that or run out, it’s nice to walk down to the vending machine and get something you or mom wants.
One important piece to remember to pack in Dad’s hospital bag is paperwork.
Make sure you have your insurance card on you. You might need to show it at the hospital, so make sure you’ve got it on you.
Do you have a birth plan? If so, make sure you have it too.
You might also have some hospital paperwork or a list of medications that mom is taking.
The hospital might also request information on the pediatrician you are going to be using.
Put all that stuff in a folder now and pack it in your bag, so you have it.
Something To Read
It’s not a bad idea to bring a book with you too. You might wait for a while for your baby to decide it’s time to be born.
If that’s the case, it will be nice to have something to help you pass the time.
If you take daily medication, make sure you have that too. This is a life-changing day and you’ll want to feel your best.
Glasses / Contacts
If you are someone who wears contacts or glasses, this is something you need to make sure you have.
Also, make sure you pack everything that goes with them, like cases and solution, etc.
A Blanket And Pillow
If you think a hospital bed is uncomfortable, just wait until you try to get a good night’s sleep on the cot or couch they give you.
So, if you are going to be at the hospital overnight or even for a few days like we were, then you’ll want to make sure you have a blanket and pillow.
Getting rest is going to be tough, and a good night’s sleep is almost impossible. But you want to make sure you give yourself the best chance to rest.
Covid adds a whole other level to having a child. One thing you need to be sure you have in your hospital bag for dad during Covid is masks. Depending on where you are and what sort of Covid case counts, hospital policies, and mandates, you might be required to wear a mask at the hospital.
Throw a couple of those in your bag so you’ll have them.
Dad’s Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist For Mom
On the big day, dad is there in a support role. He needs to be there for mom and baby and anticipate what they need.
Dad’s job is to keep mom calm, happy and stress free before and after labor. It’s an important job, so you need to be on your toes.
So let’s focus on some things that dad needs to bring to the hospital for mom.
There will be some redundancy between your list and what she wants to bring, so keep that in mind.
Also, she might want to bring her own bag or just use yours.
Create a hospital bag checklist for mom and hospital bag checklist for dad just to be safe.
Something To Set The Mood
Not that kind of mood.
You need to ask mom what she wants to help her stay calm as much as you can. Especially if she is a new mom.
Does she want a certain type of music or a playlist?
What about scents? Does she want the room to smell like lavender? If so, be sure to bring some essential oils and a diffuser.
What about massage oil?
A hospital room is uninviting and cold, anyway. Try to make it as serene as possible.
We’ve discussed bringing a book or movies to watch, so if that’s what she wants, bring it.
Mom is going to need comfortable clothing to wear home to replace the hospital gown. Just like dad, bring something loose fitting.
Also, make sure you don’t forget hair clips, hair ties or a headband to keep her hair out of her eyes.
Mom will need toothpaste, a toothbrush, hairbrush, and deodorant, too. If she wears glasses or contacts, make sure they’re packed and ready to go to the hospital.
It’s also a good idea to bring some lip balm, gum or breath mints just in case.
A push present is a gift to give mom after delivery. This can be jewelry like a locket with your child’s name on it or an earring with their birthstone. If jewelry isn’t what you’re looking for, think about flowers or a gift card for a spa.
She’s worked really hard. This is just another way of showing you love her and appreciate her.
What Do Dads Need To Bring To The Hospital For The New Baby?
Don’t forget about the most important little person. You’ve been thinking about them for months. Now that they’re here, make sure you need to bring stuff for the baby to the hospital too.
This list isn’t too long, but it is important.
Put your baby seat in the car and get it set up. If you need any help, some fire departments show you how to install it.
The car seat is going to become an integral part of your life. Make sure you know how to use it.
Get it in your car and ready to go at least a week before your due date.
You’ll need a set of clothes for the baby to go home in. Onesies are perfect for this.
You’ll also need a beanie for them. A lot of hospitals send one home with them, but if it’s really cold where you are, you may need a going home outfit that’s a little warmer.
The same goes for a blanket. In most seasons, a regular lightweight blanket will work, but again, if the weather is colder, you might need something heavier to keep them warm.
We brought pacifiers to give our kids, but they were 3 days old and were not interested. You can probably pass on those.
Most likely you won’t need to bring this with you. But you might.
As you’re prepping for the newborn, you’ll need a diaper bag. You’ll need stuff like diapers, wipes, bibs and a change of clothes.
Put that in your car and forget about it. There’s nothing more distressing than your baby having an accident and you need your diaper bag and don’t have it.
You might decide you don’t need some of these items listed.
Talk about what you’re planning on bringing with your partner to make sure you’re covered.
Hopefully, this can serve as a bit of a mom and dad hospital bag checklist to help figure out what dads need to bring to the hospital.
Remember that some things dads need to bring to the hospital differ from what mom needs and wants, but some are going to be similar.
There is a fine line between making sure you’re covered and overdoing it.