Preparing a Hospital Bag for New Dads

She’s had her bag ready for weeks. It’s near the door, ready to go when the day comes. But are you? Here are some tips from real dads to get you prepared.

When should you pack? You should definitely be ready to go by week 36. If the mother-to-be is classified as a high-risk pregnancy, be ready by week 32.

Know what’s in her bag – you’ll be a lot more useful by knowing what and where things are.

Have some sort of stopwatch handy to keep track of contractions.

Pack some toiletries. You may be there a while – if it’s a C-Section, it could be days. You’ll definitely want a toothbrush and some toothpaste (she’ll thank you for fresh breath), deodorant, a change of clothes and something comfortable to sleep in.If you wear contacts, bring your glasses. If there’s birthing pool action, a pair of swim trunks. Now’s the time to pack that travel pillow too.

Gas up! Keep your tank full so you’re ready to drive off when the time comes.

Pack some change for vending machines and parking fees.

A snack and something to drink will go a long way. The hospital cafe might not be opened, the food might not be recognizable, you may not be up for what the vending machine has on offer. You’ll be glad to have something to keep you going. Get something you both like too, and avoid anything with a strong aroma.

Ask beforehand whether your partner wants to be photographed or filmed and at what stages, or if she’d prefer to wait (Seriously, ask).

Plug in. Keep your mobile phone charged and in credit. Make sure your cameras are charged up, as well and pack any plugs and batteries with you.

Have a list of phone numbers/emails so you’re ready to share your special news.

Have some things to do, especially in the early stages of labor. Pack some music, a book, your iPad, maybe some games, have something you can do together too. (This is a great time to flip through those new father guides!)

Bring your A-Game. This is a memorable day and your life is about to change. Think ahead. Stay calm. All that’s left to do is be supportive and wait!

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