When you are expecting a child, your partner will be getting her hospital bag ready. In there, will include everything she needs, both for the baby and her. But what about you? What does a Dad need in his ‘Dad hospital survival kit’? My recommendation is, instead of wedging your stuff into her hospital bag, take your own!
If you pack your own hospital bag, put it next to hers, and you are ready for the call.
It doesn’t matter what time of the night or day!
As an added bonus, you could double up on things, which is great if you have to spend a few days at the hospital.
As soon as you have your kit ready, you can settle down and prepare for the childbirth!
Dad Hospital Survival Kit – The List
- Change of Clothes
- Swimming Gear
- Neck Support
Hospital Survival Kit – The Bag
First up, Dads, if you don’t have a bag for your hospital survival kit, you need one.
My recommendation is actually a laptop backpack! This Sosoon Laptop Backpack is perfect for a Dad hospital bag!
The reason why this is my recommendation is due to the way it is sectioned, and more importantly, it has a padded section for more protection of your technology!
It is high quality, secure from pickpockets(With hidden pockets for valuable) and is fully waterproof, just in case it is raining on your way in…..
What Dads Need In Their Hospital Survival Kit
Use your headphones sparingly. The following reasons for listening to music, or catching up on your favorite TV shows are frowned upon:
- Because your partner is making too much noise due to the pain.
- To drown out the noise the heartbeat machine is making.
- Because you are bored.
You are there to make sure your partner is as comfortable as she can be during the childbirth, so get involved, and buy into the job role!
The only time I listened to music was when the pain from childbirth had subsided, and my wife was getting some well earned shut eye. Although I only managed 2 or 3 songs, the break was magic.
Sometimes, there is a lot of sitting around, waiting. Having some music or TV to watch on your phone or tablet is a great time killer. Also, after the birth, your partner and child might be asleep, but you are still buzzing from the adrenaline! You will need something to do.
Headphones also need to be in your partner’s bag too!
We are MEN, we need to eat!
There are some food choices in most hospitals. They may have a restaurant, they may have a shop….or even a few snack machines scattered about.
In the event that birth is ‘not far away now’, you want to be right where the action is. Imagine it, you pop over to the restaurant for a bite to eat, and it all happens when you are away!
I would be devastated.
A recent study has linked tiredness to bad eating. Basically, when your body and mind is tired, it craves the worst kind of foods. My advice is to listen to your body. It knows what it needs, so feed it.
Every hospital bag MUST have Chocolate or candy in. The sugar is your friend! Unless you are diabetic of course.
You will pay a small fortune in the snack machines if you are there for 3 days with very limited sleep!
3. Change Of Clothes
For me, I needed 3 lots of clothing to change into! For some Dads, you won’t even need another pair of underpants…
You never know how long you will be in the hospital for, and it is best to be prepared.
Unless you live pretty close to the hospital, you are going to want to take at least 2 days worth of clothes with you.
Some births take a while, some are quick. Some births, although they are quick, may be difficult and your baby and/or partners needs to stay in the hospital for a few days after childbirth. That is a good time for you to disappear to get more clothing….and to get a good nights sleep!
I mentioned above, I needed 3 days worth. That was just for the ACTUAL birth. They both had to stay back for 8 days before being released. Luckily, as I lived within a few miles from the hospital, I was able to go and get some rest and a change of clothing, knowing I wasn’t going to miss the birth.
4. Swimming Gear – For a Pool Birth
If you are going for a water birth, you will need clothing for it!
Stepping into the birthing pool in your underwear is frowned upon.
Leave the snorkel, flippers, and wet-suit at home though, that is taking it a bit too far!
5. Painkillers For You
Why do people pay a lot for painkillers? You have branded pain relief and non-branded pain relief.
IT IS THE SAME INGREDIENT!
The first day of my wives childbirth session, I was hit with a heavy cold, the symptoms were; a sore throat, blocked nose, headache. I needed some pain relief….and they wouldn’t give me an epidural for my head, despite my begging for one!
I took a stroll to the shop – what was the only option? Branded tablets, awesome. Not only that, the mark up was even higher than the supermarkets. Even still, I needed them, so I bought them.
It isn’t a great deal of money, but you can still save some cash by packing some in your hospital bag. That way, you can keep the change for the snack machine!
If your house is anything like mine, there will be at least 4 cables in each room, including the toilet….and at least 2 plugs!
If you do not have any spare, then order some more in preparation. Here are the two most common cables:
What is the difference between Micro USB and USB-C? Well, if you can only fit the cable in one way, then you have a Micro USB. If you can turn the end of the cable over and it still goes in, that is a USB-C.
In the build-up to the big day, slip a couple of cables and a couple of charging plugs into your hospital bag. While you are at it, slip a couple into your partner’s hospital bag too!
What about other chargers? Do you have a smartwatch? Are you taking a laptop? Do you need a charger for your camera?
Make a checklist for chargers and make sure you have one of each in the bag before the waters break and you need to rush off quick.
Do not rely on having ANY time to prepare on the day.
Although most mobile phones and tablets have excellent cameras, you may like me, have an entry-level DSLR prepped, ready to record any special (or funny) moments in better quality.
Make sure it is packed, and make sure you have packed enough memory cards and spare batteries (including chargers!) too.
If I were to find myself with the need to prepare a hospital bag again, I would take my laptop with me, along with my DSLR. Why? Because I would like to be able to back the photos up, or maybe edit them on the fly so I can send them off to family members!
You might not have a lot of time when you get home, so take advantage of any downtime you have in the hospital.
8. Neck Support
This is totally for comfort! The 15 minutes sleep I got during childbirth was on a hard leather seat. I had nothing to support my neck!
Thinking back, it was lucky that I only managed 15 minutes of sleep! Any more than that and I may have woken up with a sore neck….take one of these support pillows with you, they are small and cheap.
You could go full on and take a blanket with you too, but I just stole one from my wives bed, she had plenty.
When I say money, I am talking about change more than notes. You may need change for the:
- Snack Machine
- Car Park
When you are hungry, and you have run out of the food you already packed, the options are the restaurant or the snack machine.
A snack machine is going to be closer, and you don’t want to miss out on any of the action!
Car parks can be a spare change draining machine. Seriously, if you spend long enough at the hospital, the money will be hemorrhaging out of your pocket!
Make sure you have enough change, or better still, invest in a day ticket if your hospital does them. Then you will have more change for the snack machine!
10. A Present
I made a HUGE error when my Son was born.
I never bought my wife a gift – called a Push Present – for when the baby arrived!
Worst. Husband. Ever.
To make matters worse, I suggested my Son was enough of a present, why should she need anything else?
Looking back on it now, and as I remember her laying on the bed, looking like she has gone through 12 rounds with Mike Tyson, followed by a 6-year stint in World War 3 (on the front line), I maybe……possibly…….potentially should have bought her a push present.
I truly hope my wife isn’t reading this.
I was very tempted to write an article on the best push present gifts to buy a new mother, but she would actually castrate me. So I thought I would sneak it onto the back of these tips, in the hope she will never read this far down the page.
You have headphones….it is the first in this list….now you need something to plug them into.
In reality, this is probably the first thing you think of putting into a hospital bag for Men! Just…..because we are Men!
Your phone is likely to be in your pocket, so there is no need to put that in the bag, but you will need to put your tablet in there!
If you do not already have a tablet, I thoroughly recommend you buy one! Not only will it be extremely useful at the hospital, where you can both relax and watch a movie (if you have time), it is the perfect time to buy a tablet.
Let me explain:
Buy a tablet for the hospital bag, then in 1 1/2 to 2 years, you will want another one….how do you convince your partner that you need another tablet? Simple….you give this tablet to your Son or Daughter!
They will absolutely love it.
When you eventually give your Toddler the tablet, make sure their time is limited on it. Although it is a very good tool to teach your kids technology, counting, reading and conversational skills (It is amazing what they pick up from YouTube!), they need to be spending more time with manual toys, like building bricks. Toys that are going to use their imagination.
Anyway, I digress…..put a tablet in your hospital bag!
Your child’s first impressions of this world are very important. Once they get past the look of the midwife, he might get passed over to dear old Dad!
You don’t want their first smells of this world to be from your armpits!
Be clean and fresh! Make sure you load you bag up with the essentials:
The basics, but they are needed…..
So there you have it, those are the 12 things I would add to a Daddy hospital survival kit.
I have been through it, and I know the kind of things you need to keep you entertained, relaxed and maintained throughout the birth, as your partner screams in agony.
I’ll say it again, it is very important to remember number 10 on this list! It scores you some serious relationship points!
Can you think of anything else that should be in this bag? Did you take something that really helped you out during childbirth? If so, then please contact us, or leave a reply below and we may even add it in!
Good luck with the birth! Look after each other……