Congrats! She’s pregnant and the big day is approaching. If this is your first time becoming a dad, it’s going to be an overwhelmingly happy and scary experience. There will be lots to prepare before the big day, including getting the crib, changing table, and clothes ready. Through all of the preparation you’ll be doing, don’t forget to prepare for your time in the hospital, because waiting until the last minute will leave you scrambling. Don’t worry, Entering Manhood has you covered so you know how to pack your hospital bag before baby arrives.
Whether it’s a vaginal birth or a c-section, you’re going to likely spend at least one night overnight in the hospital with mom and your new baby. So, this requires you to pack a hospital bag in preparation for the big day. Knowing you’ll be there awhile, here are some of the essentials you can consider when putting together this bag.
The Actual Bag
This isn’t a vacation, so you don’t need a suitcase. However, make sure the bag is big enough to hold the essentials, while also being small enough to carry around with ease. You don’t want to be lugging this monstrous luggage through the hospital as your lady is experiencing contractions
Change of Clothes in Your Hospital Bag
Accept the fact you’re probably going to be sleeping on an uncomfortable hospital bed, but it doesn’t have to all be bad. You’re going to want comfortable clothing to sleep in, and another outfit to wear the day when you leave. Two days worth of clothes should do the trick, but if she has a long labor remember that the hospital stay could be up to four days long.
Toiletries in Your Hospital Bag
At some point, you’re going to need to freshen up. You’ll likely have access to a bathroom, so ensure you can do it by coming prepared. Include a toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, deodorant, vitamins, aspirin, comb, hair gel, and a razor.
After a long day you’ll want to kick off the shoes and relax a bit. Packing slippers or sandals and a change of socks is crucial. Walking around a hospital room barefoot is not ideal.
This is a big moment, and you’re going to be taking lots of pictures and video. On top of this, you’ll be exchanging texts and phone calls with family and friends, so you’ve got to be sure you have enough juice to last the twenty four to seventy two hours. Bring a second charger as a backup in case your lady forgets hers.
Snacks and water / beverages
Sadly, you won’t be able to run to the local pizzeria to grab a bite, and labor could last many hours. Some protein bars or trail mix should do the trick. Pack two days worth, and if you need more you could always hit the vending machine.
Cash or credit card
As with everything else in life, get ready to spend a little money. You’ll be grabbing coffee and picking up snacks from the vending machine, so some cash is essential. If you opt for it, the hospital usually has a photographer on site who can take newborn photos, so bring a credit card. I can tell you from experience, these pictures always come out great, and you’ll be glad you have them. Also, if you have another child waiting at home for their new sibling to arrive, you might want to grab something from the gift shop to bring them. This will help them ease into their new reality of sharing the spotlight with a brother or sister.
Baby clothes and car seat
Don’t worry, you won’t have to take the little guy home naked, but be sure to bring a few outfits for him so he’s looking fresh when he gets home. The hospital should supply diapers and wipes, and they do give every baby one of those cute little hats and a blanket to swaddle them in.
As for the car seat, it’s a good idea to understand how to install it beforehand. Hospitals generally won’t discharge mommy and baby without seeing the car seat you plan to take baby home with. The last thing you want to worry about is fumbling with the installation when you’re about to bring your baby home.
Optional – portable speaker
Pre, mid or post labor may be a time for music, depending on her mood. Ask her what she wants to hear and play it from the Bluetooth speaker. She may just tell you she wants quiet. Better to be prepare
Optional – blanket and pillow
The hospital will likely provide this, but if you’re particular about what you sleep with, bring your own. Sleeping on a hospital couch or chair is never comfortable, so you might as well pack something to ease this discomfort.
You’re going to want to have this bag packed and ready to go by the time she’s six months pregnant at the latest. Remember, she can go into labor at any time, and you want to be ready to go straight to the hospital instead of scrambling to find your toothbrush. Keep it somewhere easy to remember, or even leave it in your car.
Good luck at the hospital! You’re going to do great.
– Your Big Bro