No doubt your partner will have had her labour bag packed for weeks. She’ll have all her new mum essentials, like nursing bras and breast pads, as well as nappies, clothes for the baby and an outfit for her to go home in. But what about you? You’ll be the one who is waiting around, not really doing much, and trying not to get in anyone’s way. Therefore, you’ll need your own bag of tricks to keep you entertained and also so that you are prepared for any long stays that you may incur.
What To Pack
- Mobile phone - Make sure it stays turned off inside the hospital, but this is your number one necessity for keeping waiting relatives updated via text or phone. Bring your charger too as the volume of “congratulations” texts you will receive will undoubtedly run your battery down very quickly.
- Camera - For taking those all-important first precious snaps of your baby and perhaps even documenting the labour. Ask your wife’s permission first though - not every woman is comfortable with this. Again, make sure to pack spare batteries and film if it is not a digital camera.
- A change of clothes - The labour could take over 24 hours and you may not want to leave the hospital to change for fear of missing anything. You don’t want to be wearing last night’s clothes in your first picture holding your son or daughter. Consider packing a hoodie or sweatshirt to keep you warm overnight.
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, a razor and deodorant - Perfect for freshening up before your entire entourage arrive to meet their new niece/nephew/cousin/grandchild/godchild.
- Plenty of snacks - Hospital food can be pricey and not to everyone’s tastes. Pack your own healthy high-energy snacks to keep your blood sugar levels steady and avoid fainting. These can also win you brownie points with any waiting relatives, so pack lots!
- Anything you may need to aid the labour - For example, massage oil or music that your partner has picked to listen to during the birth.
- A book or magazine - Labour can be a waiting game so consider bringing something to keep you entertained and take your mind off of your nerves. Avoid noisy portable computer games and keep iPods turned down low so only you can hear them.
- A supply of any medicine you require - If you have a daily prescription then ensure you have a couple of days supply packed just in case. Also consider packing painkillers for any joint pain from pacing those corridors or headaches from the long ordeal.
- Contact lens case and glasses - If you usually wear lenses you’ll know how uncomfortable they can get if you leave them in for too long. Make sure you pack your glasses to relieve dried-out eyes and ensure you can still see your new baby.