Most moms-to-be are pretty clued up when it comes to packing for hospital and what to wear after giving birth.
But often the dads-to-be or partners aren’t as sure about what they should include in their hospital bag, assuming they are even thinking about packing one in the first place.
For dads, it’s a good idea to take your own hospital bag so you know where all your supplies are and to ensure you have access to everything you may need to help support your partner during labor.
So to help you pack what you really need, we’ve created a complete pregnancy hospital bag checklist for dads and partners.
Hospital Bag Checklist For Dad (What To Pack)
At this point it’s worth mentioning that moms and dads should pack their hospital bags well ahead of time, particularly as you don’t want to be caught out if your baby decides to make an early arrival.
It might also be a good idea to plan your route to hospital if you are going to drive, and also to make sure there’s enough gas in your car at all times – after all, as the old saying goes, failure to prepare is preparing to fail.
So without further ado, here is our complete list of what to pack in a hospital bag for dads.
1. Comfortable Clothes
The first item on our checklist is a change of clothes.
We often forget that hospitals can be quite cold, so it’s worth packing a warm sweater, in addition to essentials like underwear, a clean shirt or t-shirt and a pair of socks.
And talking about socks, if you have any pairs with non-slip soles it’s worth taking those, as dads and partners will probably find themselves walking around a fair bit so they can bring things to mom and baby.
If you are planning to take a family photo to send to friends and family, then you might also want to pack a smart shirt or some other smarter items too.
2. Comfortable Footwear
Many dads find that comfortable shoes such as sneakers are the ideal footwear to wear in the hospital.
But if you’re not a fan of sneakers, then you may prefer to pack slip-ons with a good grip, as these types of shoes are both comfortable and easy to take off and put back on.
Giving birth can be a slow process, and all that waiting around is bound to make you (and mom) hungry.
While hospitals do have vending machines and cafeterias, you will definitely want your own selection of snacks to keep your strength up during the birthing process, so you can give your partner the best possible support.
Some of the best hospital snacks for dad include:
- Granola Bars
- Tail Nix
- Potato chips
- Chocolate Bars
4. Water Bottle
It’s very important for your partner to stay hydrated throughout the labor and delivery process, as well as while breastfeeding.
But staying hydrated isn’t limited to only moms, so dads should be sure to pack a reusable water bottle.
If you’re someone who gets bored of water easily, then for some variety you may also want to pack some other refreshing drinks too.
5. Insurance & ID
Not the most exciting of things, but be sure to pack your insurance papers, identification and any other documents you may need to show the hospital.
iPads, books, magazines and music are all great ways to keep yourself entertained during those periods where there’s nothing to do.
It’s worth remembering that there might be times when you’ll want to keep mom entertained and distracted too, so having some relaxing music or TV shows that you’ve downloaded to your device can be very useful in this regard.
7. Phone & Charger
Your cell phone and charger are something you’ll need to throw in there at the last minute, but definitely things you won’t want to forget.
Pack essentials like a toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, deodorant and hair styling products, especially as having clean teeth and fresh breath will probably make you feel much better if you’ve missed a night’s sleep.
If you wear contact lenses, then remember to pack your glasses and contact solution too.
9. Travel Pillow & Blanket
A good, comfortable travel pillow can make a massive difference if you end up spending all night in hospital.
Given hospitals can be chilly as mentioned above, you might want to pack your own blanket too, or at least have one in your car as a backup just in case.
Many people around the country rarely use cash nowadays, so this might not be something you’ve considered adding to your hospital bag.
But having some cash on hand is always a good idea, particularly small bills and coins which you may need for vending machines and parking meters that don’t accept cards.
11. Car Seat
As an extra item we’ve added a car seat to this list, because if you are planning to drive home from hospital, your are obliged by law to use a car seat.
If possible you should install the car seat well before your baby’s due date, and for piece of mind you could get your local police or fire station to carry out a check and to check your safety seat has not passed its expiration date.
For Your Partner
1. Push Present
A push present is a gift that a partner gives just after the baby is born.
Common examples include jewelry, clothing, gift certificates or anything else that you think your partner will like.
Depending on the value of the present and safety concerns about leaving your hospital bag unattended, this present may be something you’ll want to pack in your hospital bag.
If dad is lucky, he might also receive his own push present, which really is a thing and as is becoming more popular every year!
2. More Snacks
Typically labor can take anything from 4-24 hours, so it’s advisable for moms to pack a range of snacks for labor.
But the longer labor goes on for, the more appreciative your partner will be of having some extra snacks available.
Things like dried fruit, crackers, granola bars, protein bars and other high-protein snacks are all excellent snacks for labor and delivery, and can all be stored ambient in your hospital bag.
Keep in mind however that some popular snacks like beef jerky are not suitable for pregnant women, because the drying process used to prepare the snack may not kill off all harmful bacteria.
Hospital Bag Summary
- Comfortable Clothes
- Comfortable Footwear
- Water Bottle
- Insurance & ID
- Phone & Charger
- Travel Pillow & Blanket
- Car Seat