In the rush of getting your wife to the hospital, it’s likely (more like guaranteed) that you’ll forget something. So it’s important that you prepare by getting as much done as possible beforehand and plan for the rest. A good way to start is with lists.
Prepare a list of items you want to bring to the hospital, and keep it with your bag to double check before you head out. Get ideas from the hospital staff and birthing classes or talk to someone who recently delivered. A good place to start is the following list from our Crash Course for Dads-To-Be:
- Folder with important documents – insurance cards, pre-admission forms, birth plan (two or three copies), etc.
- Baby book (many nurseries will put your baby’s footprint in the book).
- Watch with second hand or digital readout.
- Change of clothes and pajamas if staying overnight
- Warm shirt because hospital rooms are kept cool.
- Basic toiletries: toothbrush, shaver, shampoo, deodorant.
- Comfortable shoes — you may do a lot of walking.
- Something to read to mom.
- CD, iPod or other player or small boom box with her favorite music.
- Pain-easing tools recommended at your birthing classes – tennis balls, hot or cold packs, massagers, lotion, etc.
- Bathing suit for you — help mom take a shower to ease labor pains.
- Something for you to eat and drink: sandwich, power bars and juice, in a small cooler. Pack snacks for mom and you for after the birth.
- Cash to have on hand.
- Pen and pad of paper.
- Camera (photos and/or video), with extra film, battery, etc.
- Address book/list of phone numbers to announce birth.
- Cell phone or calling card.
- Champagne — put your name on it, ask a nurse to store it in the fridge.
- Childbirth Coaching Guide from Crash Course for Dads-To-Be.
Can you suggest something else for dads-to-be to consider?