Go on any baby, pregnancy or parenting website and you’ll find an article on what mums-to-be should pack for a hospital birth. But what about dads? Although mum might be doing all the hard work, waiting for the baby to be born can be a difficult time for dad. Babies keep their own time schedule, so you never know when they’ll decide to make their appearance. It could be a quick process, but more often than not, you’ll both be waiting a while before your baby is born. If you’re a dad-to-be, here are a few things to have on hand in your hospital bag.
- Mobile phone – fully charged, of course! Make sure you fill it with all the contacts you’ll need for letting people know when your baby has arrived (forget the in-laws at your peril)! Not only will you need it for keeping everyone important up to date with what’s happening during the birth, but you can also record the important moments on video. And it’s always useful for playing games as a distraction if you’re in for the long-haul.
- Small change – you never know how long you’ll be at the hospital, so you’ll need to make sure you have enough change to keep the parking meter happy! You’ll also probably be making a fair few trips to hospital vending machines for drinks or snacks, especially during the night when the hospital cafes are closed, so having enough change is a must.
- Spare clothes – you could be at the hospital for a few hours or even days, so having a change of clothes is a sensible plan. Make sure they’re loose and comfortable – you might find yourself having to rest or sleep in interesting places. You’ll probably be wandering around hospital corridors a fair bit too, so comfy shoes are a good idea.
- Toiletries – as with your clothes, if you’re in hospital for a while, you’ll want to freshen up at some point. A small bag with toothpaste, a toothbrush, some wet wipes and a mini deodorant is a lifesaver when your baby is taking its time.
- Your own pillow – OK, so you could roll up a spare sweatshirt and rest your head on that, but a travel pillow is great addition to your birth bag. If your baby is reluctant to make its appearance any time soon, you’ll want to try and get some rest at some point. Having a pillow can make a big difference to being able to catch forty winks.
- Drinks and snacks – although cafes and vending machines are usually available, having a few supplies of your own is a good plan.
- Something to pass the time – your baby’s birth can be a bit of a roller coaster, all action one minute and then quite boring lulls in between. Have something quiet you can do when your partner is resting, like a book to read or puzzles to take your mind off things.
- Useful information – bring any helpful birthing notes with you or download useful apps onto your phone like contraction timers, breathing exercise etc. That way you’ll feel more able to help your partner during the birth.
The more you’re prepared, the more you’ll be able to support your partner and enjoy the birth of your precious baby. So, come on dads! Pack that hospital bag!
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