Packing the Daddy Go Bag
By Daddy Nickell
If you are nearing your wife’s due date you will absolutely want to be prepared and ready to go at a moment’s notice. There are certain items that all daddies need to bring to the hospital on delivery day. Keep in mind that Mother Nature does not always consider your plans. You should have a backpack ready to go, so you can get up and get moving – no matter when Baby decides to arrive.
The bag you pack for the hospital will be your toolbox for the incredible and unpredictable delivery of your baby.
You never know how long it is going to take. All women are different, and just because you’ve heard stories about a few moms squeezing their babies out before daddy can even put his scrubs on does not mean this will be your experience. Use the following list to create your perfect “Daddy Go Bag”.
- Bag – First and foremost you’ll need to obtain a bag. Make sure the bag can be dedicated solely to the birth of your child, so it can sit by the door or in the trunk of your car and be ready to go; the bag should not have a dual purpose at this time.
- Reading material – Get your Kindle loaded with a new book to read, or pick up a paperback from your local bookstore that you would like to read and pack it away in your Daddy Go Bag.
- Music – An iPod, or similar music device is essential, and a portable speaker system is even better in case your wife wants to listen to music. There are travel size speaker systems that work very well. Also pack headphones in case mommy does not want to listen music at the same time you do.
- Toiletries – Don’t forget your toothbrush and toothpaste. Of equal importance are deodorant, a shave kit, personal shampoo and conditioner, face wash, contacts, solution, etc.
- Medications – If you take medication on a daily basis don’t leave this at home. I also suggest Advil or Tylenol for any aches, pains or headaches you may get from sleeping on that impossibly hard and uncomfortable hospital chair all night long. Throat lozenges are good, as the hospital air can be dry, and you do not want to get sick. I also suggest packing a bottle of personal hand sanitizer; there are machines all over the hospital, but it is always nice to have your own bottle to use whenever you want to or need to. Lip balm will also help combat the dry hospital in the air so pack a tube or two.
- Nutrition – Pack plenty of water and snacks. Protein bars, nuts, cookies and fruit are always great go-to snack foods that you’ll be glad you have accessible when hunger strikes.
- Money – You’ll need change for parking, change for vending machines, possibly a Starbucks card as well as about $20 extra for that emergency run to the hospital cafeteria. Make sure you’re prepared for anything.
- Clothing – I highly recommend packing a set of DaddyScrubs for the big moment. They are doctor inspired scrubs that are super comfortable for the new dad to wear throughout the entire hospital stay – from labor to delivery to post-partum. Pack a few extra t-shirts, socks and underwear, too. And take my advice on this one and pack a hat; you might not get a chance to shower and a hat will at least hide your crazy hair.
- For Her – Although she will pack her own hospital bag there are a few things you can pack in your bag for your wife that may come in handy. Preselect and sign a card to give to her after Baby arrives. Additionally, I suggest a “push gift,” which is a special something (necklace, earrings, bracelet, etc) that you give to your wife once Baby arrives to share in the excitement and give her something extra to remember the day by.
- Most Important – Bring your “A-game”; be alert, awake, attentive, and ready to help and support your wife wherever and however you’re needed. Remember, she is having the baby and you are there to help. So bottom line: do not complain about being tired or hungry or express your reluctance to sleep on a chair. She is having a baby – cater to her every need!
Good luck guys – and welcome to fatherhood.
Daddy Nickell, father of 6, founder of Daddyscrubs.com and the Daddyscrubs parenting blog offers his "5 cents" worth of advice to expectant and new parents.