My poor husband was still in his work clothes, covered in dirt while I was in labor for my first baby. If only I had bothered to pack him a hospital bag, he wouldn’t have had to deal with hours of hospital time in dirty old work clothes. I packed myself a hospital bag, and one for baby too, but I didn’t even know that Dad needed a hospital bag as well.
I learned my lessons for babies 2 and 3.
Even though Dad isn’t doing the extra hard work of giving birth, he still has a very important role to play, and wouldn’t it be better for him to do his part in clean clothes?(This post contains affiliate links. Our full disclosure policy is really boring, but you can find it here.)
What To Pack For Dad
- Food. Food is huge! You don’t want him to have to leave the hospital to have dinner or get snacks while you’re in labor. You’ll need him by your side. Pack high energy foods like beef jerky and granola bars.
- Clean clothes. This includes t shirt, underwear, socks, pants. You never know if you’ll be out and about while you go into labor and you might be in labor for a long time, so he might just need a full change of clothes.
- Toiletries. Dad will want a toothbrush and some toothpaste at the very least. You never know if your hospital stay is going to get extended. Don’t forget deoderant.
- Blanket and pillow. The hospital does not always have blankets and pillows for dad. Bring a light blanket that rolls tight and a pillow that can also be squished down into a backpack.
- Cash.You might need cash for parking, vending machine snacks or coffee.
- Insurance Information. Dad can fill out the paperwork after birth, mom doesn’t need to be bothered with this. (I filled out paperwork for my first baby and I had the epidurral. I made some huge mistakes on the paperwork, and it took a long time to get everything sorted out.
- Phone and charger.
You can pack all of Dad’s things in a gender-neutral diaper bag too!
Helping Dad Prepare For the Big Day
My husband wasn’t prepared for the big day for our firstborn – and neither was I. We had just moved to a new province. I had just graduated from my post-secondary classes. It was a busy time, and the baby decided to come early. Neither of us knew what to do.
We didn’t take any classes. I didn’t have a birth plan. In fact, after my waters broke, I called him (he was just finishing work) and told him to go get a cup of coffee from Tim Hortons and take his time coming home. To be fair I wasn’t having contractions, but I had no idea the waters could break before labour even started.
It’s a good idea for daddy to be aware of what’s going on in labour and to be able to communicate with the physicians if you can’t (or if you’re simply too exhausted).
It’s also a good idea if dad knows where the LABOR necessities are in mom’s bag and how to locate them quickly. (Chapstick, hair ties, water bottle, and so forth.) Pack these items at the TOP of your suitcase or in the side pocket of his backpack so he doesn’t have to dig through everything to find them.
Get Car Ready
Dads job should be to get the car ready to go about 3 weeks before the baby is due to arrive. If you live in a cold environment, it might be a good idea to get a remote start on the vehicle so that when it’s baby time you’ll have a few minutes to warm it up from inside the house while helping momma get things together.
His job is to also make sure the car is gassed up at all times prior to birth.
Know Where Stuff Is
Dads other job is to know where stuff is. By stuff, I mean…mom clothes, packed diaper bags, car seats and other go bags. I say this because with my second baby, I was in labour at home for hours but it wasn’t bad enough to go to the hospital yet. With all this labour I wasn’t wearing any clothes, so when my waters broke, my husband dressed me in his clothes and got me to the hospital in the nick of time – literally minutes after arrival baby was born.
Covering All The Bases
Regardless of how you divide the packing list, you and your spouse should sit down ahead of time and double-check that you’ve covered all of your bases. When it’s apparent who’s in charge of what, things go a bit more smoothly. It’s nothing like arriving at the hospital and discovering you forgot to bring the camera charger!