How To Pack a Hospital Bag Like a Veteran Dad
What every dad-to-be should pack for the big day.
They say practice makes perfect, and over the course of watching my three children born in the hospital I’ve definitely honed the art of packing a dad’s hospital bag. If I could go back in time and talk to myself before the birth of my first child, I would strongly suggest packing the following items.
The day your child is born is long, stressful, and largely spent on your feet. I suffered from a stress headache on each of my children’s birth days, but luckily I was able to relieve the last one quickly because I’d remembered to pack a bottle of Advil.
After a long day at the hospital there’s nothing better than being able to change into a pair of comfy sweat or track pants. I suggest packing a new, attractive pair because you’ll be meeting a lot of people in them, not to mention taking photos you will keep forever.
Back Up Battery
It’s easy to run down the battery on your phone with all of the texting and calling you do on the big day. Instead of risking your battery going dead at the worst possible time, bring a back up battery.
I’ve heard horror stories from dads who say they lost every photo they took of their new baby because their camera malfunctioned. This never happened to me, thankfully, but by my third child I made sure to take photos with a digital camera I was familiar with, as well as my smart phone, just to be safe.
Just about all hospitals have Internet access available to its patients, so bringing a computer is a good idea. Not only can you get online to tell your family and friends the good news (and to share a photo or two), but you can even Facetime with far away relatives to show off your baby!
If you have older children who will be coming to the hospital to meet their new sibling, it’s important to realize they will be there for hours at a time. To keep them entertained (and to avoid a melt down), it’s wise to have some toys or games on hand.
There’s lots of down time while at the hospital, but instead of passing it by playing yet another game of “Angry Birds” on my phone, I read a book on parenting to brush up on how to care for a newborn. This felt like a better use of my time, and made the entire experience more special.
From doctors and nurses to family and friends, you will be interacting with a lot of people in the close quarters of your hospital room. Since it’s hard to feel very fresh after a day or more in the hospital, being able to pop a mint will make you feel more confident.
Dad’s birth plan
The birth experience can pass in the blink of an eye. To keep your memories from becoming a jumbled blur, I suggest spending a little time the night before making a list of the moments you most want to savor. Put the list in your back pocket, then review it from time to time on the big day to keep you focused on making the memories you want to remember for a lifetime.
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