There are all kinds of lists and even pre packed labor and delivery kits that you can buy if you are a mom heading to the hospital to deliver your little bundle of joy. Little tougher to figure out what if anything dad should be rolling in with. Luckily the stuff dad needs to pack is a little more exciting than organic nipple cream and super absorbent jumbo pads. I will give you my advice on a few things that I thought was really great to have.
- Camera (DSLR/mirrorless) that you are comfortable using. You could borrow one from a friend or family member or you could do like we did and say that we would just buy a camera instead of buying all the labor pictures and doing baby photoshoots. I know smartphones take great pictures these days but they still aren’t as good and you can’t be nearly as fast with smartphone. I took a few hundred photos and videos and we are both so thrilled to have them all. Whatever you go with just take tons of photos you can always edit down your album or slideshow when you get back home.
- Bluetooth Speaker. It was super nice having some relaxing background music playing while we were in the delivery room. It just helps to have that background noise to make you feel more comfortable coaching and to make mom feel more comfortable pushing. There is a lot going on in that room and dead silence isn’t really a good thing. All of the nurses and doctors seemed to like it too.
- Cooler. Don’t go rolling in with your Yeti 65 but a simple little lunch cooler will do. Bring whatever clear liquid (ginger ale, sprite, gatorade) that mom might want to sip on, some water and 100% bring some caffeine (energy drink / iced coffee). Bonus for the cooler is a single serving, tiny bottle of champagne to celebrate with afterwards.
- Healthy Snacks. Bring some protein bars, nuts and fruit. We were in active labor from 9:00pm to 3:00pm the next day. If you are feeling up on nothing but vending machine food you are going to feel like crap quick.
- Comfortable Clothes. I pretty much stayed in gym clothes the whole time I was there. The nurses and doctors will be in and out all day and night. If you are always in gym clothes and a hoodie you can more easily take naps. They also don’t take up much room in your bag. We were there 3 nights and I changed clothes once. I would recommend an extra T shirt in case your new addition makes a mess of one.
- Cash. Doesn’t have to be much but you might need some if you get hungry after cafeteria hours and have to settle for the vending machine.
- Bonus – A Gift for Mom. Mom has just been through a lot and a small memorable gift would be a fantastic thing to give her at some point when you are alone. If you aren’t an amazing gift giver might I recommend just getting something engraved with the babies name. Picture frame would probably go over well. Just don’t forget to give it to her while you are there like I did.
And that is pretty much it for the dad’s. Much easier list to tackle than the 50 item lists you will see recommended for the expecting mom. Honestly the most important thing dad’s can bring is energy and a positive supportive attitude. If she is awake and dealing with contractions than so are you. Keeping telling her how great she is doing, remind her to relax (give specific body parts to focus on relaxing as it gives the mind a target), how proud you are and how she is just the most incredible woman on earth. Massage her while she is in there but don’t just nervously rub one spot of her arm raw. Enjoy the day and be flexible.