The birth of your child is a life-changing event- from the moment your wife’s water breaks, to the surreal moment when you get to hold your little one for the first time. It is a special time, but it can also seem overwhelming, especially if it is your first time becoming a parent. Luckily, preparing a hospital bag well in advance of the big day will help ease some of the nerves and ensure that you will have all the essentials that are needed when the big moment comes.
Here are a few items that should definitely be in your hospital bag:
Whether you have one already available on your smartphone, or you prefer an old-fashioned one, this gadget is crucial for timing contractions. Make sure you know how to use it before the big day, since you don’t want to be fumbling around while your wife is in the middle of very painful contractions.
It is important to keep your energy levels up during the entire labor and birth process, whether it ends up taking eight hours or more than a day. Your wife is depending on you as her number one support system, the person who will be by her side through the whole experience. Snacks like dried nuts, protein bars (low in sugar), dried fruit, and beef jerky are ideal options that well help you to sustain energy over time. For her, have chewing gum or mints on hand, with a few bottles of coconut water for re-hydrating purposes.
Hospital bag checklist
In the weeks leading up to your wife’s due date, draft a list of things to pack in your hospital bag to ensure that you do not forget any crucial items. You can make the hospital bag checklist on your smartphone with apps like Evernote. This allows you to make detailed lists and then share them with others easily.
Make sure to pack two sets of toothbrushes, travel-sized toothpaste, contact solution, deodorant and anything else that might make either of you feel refreshed. After spending a considerable amount of time in the hospital, washing up can do wonders for your physical and emotional state. Think of the things that will make your wife feel better; including small items like hair ties and lip balm may seem insignificant, but they could make a world of difference when the day arrives.
Things to occupy your time
There can be a lot of downtime, especially in the beginning of the labor. It is important to bring distractions like an iPad full of your favorite TV shows or a few upbeat movies. It is important to keep the material positive, since you do not want to stress either of you out more than you already are. Genres like comedy are recommended, because having a good laugh together can help ease any anxiety you might have.
Since you do not know how long you will be in the hospital for, it is important to bring at least one pair of extra clothes for both of you. Make sure to pack clothes that are comfortable and warm. Bring quite a few layers as the temperature can vary in a hospital. Make sure to also bring slippers and a robe for your wife that she can wear if it gets too chilly. Do not bring valued items, since you do not know what state they will be in when you leave the hospital.
Basics for the baby
Nursing bras, maternity pads, a blanket, and some baby clothes are important to pack in your bag to ensure your wife and baby both have a comfortable experience after the birth. Make sure to bring extra clothing for your newborn, since they will need a few layers to stay warm.
Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com