The second most important thing you need to bring with you to the hospital, besides your pregnant wife that had her water broke, is the specific hospital bag that you are bringing with you. The bag contains a lot of items in it that will come in VERY handy when you or your wife need it.
What should you pack?
Here is a checklist of things you should pack for yourself, your wife, and your soon-to-be-born child.
For your wife:
- Extra comfortable clothing, your wife is doing a lot to bring this new life to this world. She definitely deserves it.
- Nursing Bras, baby’s gotta eat and mom’s gotta feed.
- Slippers and socks, the hospital floor isn’t exactly clean.
- Extra toilet stuff, like toothbrush and toothpaste, even toilet paper.
- The Birth Plan, a step-by-step plan that lays out what decisions do both you and your wife want, what you and your wife would want the ideal birth to be like, and what your wife would want to happen if something unexpected were to happen.
- Something that keeps them entertained, a book, magazine, smartphone, video game, etc.
For your new baby:
- The baby car seat. (Super important! You might not be able to leave the hospital without showing you have one and know how to use it)
- Your pediatrician’s contact information. (A lifesaver when I have any medical concerns about my baby)
- Going home clothing for your baby.
- Somewhere to store those freebies for your baby from the hospital!
For yourself, dad:
- Snacks, food, or money to buy them.
- The food that the hospital provides is for your wife, not you. So you gotta find a way to keep yourself fed for this hospital visit too. You can always just go and buy the cafeteria or McDonald’s food as a backup if you need it.
- Something to keep yourself entertained and awake.
- A light video game, a novel, a learn something with audiobooks or podcasts.
- For myself, I just kept moving around, stood up and walked around, drank water to stay hydrated, and just gone outside to get some fresh cold night air.
- A camera, video camera, or your phone. You gotta capture those special moments!
- Directions to the nearest hospital or birth center. Your job is to get your wife that is in labor there, safe and efficient.
A rule of thumb is the more you have prepared (without going overboard), the less stress and panic you will feel when it actually counts.
When should you pack?
You should start packing this hospital bag as early as you can, but at least start to pack it before your wife’s third trimester or around 28 weeks into the pregnancy.
Why pack so early? Because that gives you enough time to see what items are you missing from this checklist and what items do you still need to go out to buy. I thought I had enough time since we packed around 30-32 weeks, but the weeks just flew by and this just kept getting pushed back and when the 38-week mark came along, we were going crazy trying to get the hospital bag ready, checked and double-checked.