Packing a Bag for the Hospital

My wife and I have a calendar dry erase board in our kitchen, and when she redid it recently the baby's due date was on there!  I had another "Oh crap this is real moment".

Even though the baby is pegged to arrive on March 3rd, she could make an early arrival as soon as February 1st and still be full term.  With that frightening notion at hand, my wife and I put the finishing touches on the nursery and started to pack a bag for the hospital.

My wife is extremely organized and very resourceful so she of course had a spread sheet set up with suggestions on what to bring that she had downloaded from somewhere.  We went down the list filling a suitcase and making notes of things we needed.  I guess I didn't even think about it, but there was a special section just for me!  It suggested I bring:

  • a change of clothes
  • toiletries
  • a magazine or book to read

I also high jacked some of the things from the list for me to be in charge of:

  • Being the audio/visual dork in our relationship I put myself in charge of the video and digital cameras.
  • change for the vending machine / money for food

This seems like a very short list, but I assume that I will be busy calming my wife, massaging her back, getting her ice chips etc and won't have time to read or worry about anything else.  So I am turning to my loyal readers (all 5 of you) for any suggestions on what to bring to the hospital with me.

What did you have that was a life saver?  What did you forget that would have been great to have?

Thanks in advance,

Comments

14 Responses to “Packing a Bag for the Hospital”
  1. Susanne says:

    Hi - I found your blog via a comment link on Frugal Dad. Great idea to document the journey of becoming a parent!

    You already said this, but my husband was glad he brought a change of clothes… The labor went longer than expected, and then I had a c-section…we were there for what seemed like forever. A toothbrush might be a good idea, too.

  2. Adam says:

    Thanks for the comment! Now I have 6 readers. . . .

    Yeah, I packed over night stuff (toothbrush, tooth paste, deordorant etc). The list suggested bringing a cooler with snacks and drinks. Is that something worth while?

  3. Daniel says:

    As for things in the actual, physical bag, we packed an outfit or two for the baby and obvious newborn supplies, since my wife nursed both kids we packed her nursing stuff (pump, ointment, nursing pads, etc), I made sure to pack travel sized toiletries and a disposable razor for myself since we would be there for a day or two.

    You might want to bring an ipod/mp3 player if you have one. You don’t want the TV to keep her awake in her post-labor, well-deserved sleep.

    With both of kids, my wife and I sat down and wrote up a “Birthing Plan”. It sounds very hippy-ish, but it included things like who could be in the delivery room besides the doctor(s), if the baby was to be separated from the delivery room who should go with it (myself, a family member, etc), any worst-case scenarios that aren’t fun to think about but are still important to have a plan for, Emergency contact information. We even included things like what testing/procedures we did/did not want to be performed on our baby, what types of drugs my wife wanted or did not want, etc.

    Then we gave a copy to her doctor, I kept a copy in my wallet for the possible “race home from work in the middle of the day unprepared for the actual labor” situation, a copy in the overnight bag, etc. On top of that, we also gave a copy to a family member who was likely to be in the waiting room just in case.

  4. Adam says:

    Thanks for the tips.

    We’ve covered our bases on the birthing plan thing. We filled out a bunch of papers, she knows, I know, the midwives know. . . We also decided it just be me and her mom in the room with us.

    The Ipod is a good call. She packed hers, and I will have my Iphone on me. And thank god for that; my wife might have the worse taste in music possible (pop / top 40)

  5. Otter Thomas says:

    Be sure to bring warm clothes. Our room had its own thermostat and pregnant women like to give birth in meat lockers so be ready. Bring something decent for sleeping since there will be people in and out of your room all the time. I had no use for reading or TV or anything else. I stayed busy. The only thing that I forgot was to keep breathing as the moment arrived. The nurse said I turned green and I had to sit down to avoid passing out. Don’t do that. Good Luck.

  6. Adam says:

    Warm clothes. . .I didn’t even think about it. I had jeans and y-shirt packed. I will do some layering and strip accordingly.

    Breathing is probably a good idea too. That reminds me of the movie “Blow” when Johnny Depp’s character has a heart attack right after his daughter is born “It was the greatest feeling in my life, followed shortly by the worst feeling in my life”. Then again I don’t plan on doing 10 grams of cocaine before I take my wife to the emergency room.

  7. Al Bundy says:

    I really enjoy your site. It takes me back 9 years, when our first son was born.
    You have two real good suggestions - MP3 and Warm Clothes. Think about your address book - if your wife is like mine, she doesn’t have all her friends numbers on it yet. Also, think aout her favorite drink (i.e. flavored water, etc). You can’t count on having these as the hospital.
    If you have pets, line someone up to take care of them for a day. Labor can be 3 hours or a full day.
    And lastly, bring your unwavering positive attitude and support for your wife. This is more important than what’s in your bag!
    I’ll drop by again soon -

  8. Adam says:

    My wife is crazy-organized. She spent today making a spreadsheet of who to call, what order to call them in, and phone numbers. We do have two dogs though. . . and we haven’t discussed what they will be up to. Thanks for the tip and for commenting!

  9. Tyler @ Building Camelot says:

    After doing this 2 times I would highly recommend comfy clothes, a comfy pillow and some Advil. Those beds they have in the room are terrible and although you won’t get too much sleep, you’ll want to be comfortable when you can.

    For our second child the hospital had free wi-fi so I made sure to bring my laptop. That way my wife and I could do email and just kill some time during the day.

    Finally, I would take your patience pill everyday. Everyone is concerned about mommy, rightfully so, and nobody asks if you need anything. Between nurses, doctors, family and friends, you’ll feel like your room is grand central station and it really gets old when your tired and grumpy.

  10. Nikki says:

    I’m so proud of you guys and how organized and everything you are. I enjoy reading all about your journey to father hood. I know you’ll do great. You’ve already done more than most dad’s I know by reading so much, and being so involved. Stay that way and both Kelli and your darling little girl will always be happy.

    I think you’ve pretty much got everything covered to bring. Your way ahead of me because I have nothing packed yet!! And I’m due before her. Yikes, I better get on it.

  11. Adam says:

    Hey big sister, thanks for leaving a comment!

    Don’t feel bad, Kelli is super organized (since I am definitely not, one of the reasons I married her). This is the same woman that makes sure a thank you card is in the mail no less than 24 hours after a gift is recieved.

  12. Super Mega Dad says:

    I’m going to concur with warm clothes and a good pillow and add a nice warm blanket. MP3 player, laptop, books/magazines are also good to have. A pack of snacks and some bottled water would also be nice to have as well.

    I think what made it hit home for me was when we started to get clothes for the new baby. Looking at those little outfits really scared the crap out of me.

  13. Adam says:

    Thanks for the tips. I didn’t even think about a blanket. I’m going to be loaded with electronics of all kinds; during our hospital they told us that we may not want to bring a laptop. My wife looked at each other and just smiled. We both plan to be emailing, surfing the web and I will probably do a post or two.

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  1. [...] docs arrived as I was returning from picking up our bags we packed for the hospital stay (yeah we really didn’t see this coming) and just said “So we’re going to have a [...]



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