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Often when we begin to consider packing the hospital bag for childbirth, we become so busy planning what to bring for the mother (and baby!) that we can quite possibly forget the fact that the dad has to pack a bag, as well! In addition to the fundamentals, there is also a division of who has to carry what with them to the hospital, as we have covered in the following paragraphs.

First of all, it’s critical that you get started packing your bag long before the birth date – since babies arrive on their very own schedule.

Just ensure your bag is filled with baby items and the additional extras you’re in charge of, and you’ll be well prepared for the birthday! Following, we’ve sketched out our full checklist of items dad needs to pack in his bag, along with a rundown of all the essentials you’ll have to consider when packing.

The primaries of father's hospital bag

But before you go into the finer business of dividing the completely necessary from the absolutely freaky – as well as the knotty pick in between – here is a pack of more common issues to bear in mind.

Timing is key

  • Keep your clinic bag ready at the time your partner is nearing 36 weeks gestation, which is a couple of weeks ahead of your delivery date. Better yet, have it ready earlier if possible.
  • Ensure that you have things in your bag for two days, yet plan for the unexpected too
  • There is no harm in an additional bag for storing in the car or at the home of a trusted friend when you have an extended stay.

In charge of three

  • Figure out what last-minute stuff you can fit in your partner’s bag in case she leaves it behind during labor.
  • You will be in charge of your partner’s bag when you arrive at the hospital, which means consider how you can manage and avoid missing things.
  • Assuming you have a separate bag for the baby, keep it in the automobile. Another option is to agree to send someone to get it and deliver it to you later.

Be a cartographer

  • Map out the route (and alternatives) leading to the birth center or hospital, and be all set for check-in.
  • Be sure to plan to leave your car parked for a minimum of 24 hours, as well as search for places to park ahead of time.
  • Understand where you will be able to enter the hospital. The entrances might be different during busy times and off-hours, so make certain to check. You may need to walk through the emergency room during the night and use the front door in the daytime.
  • In order to familiarize yourself, consider walking through the obstetrics department if one is present. Being acquainted will lead to peace of mind in this case.

Pick a robust, multi-purpose hospital bag

  • Be sure your bag has many pockets and can accommodate a portable travel pillow.
  • In order to keep costs in check, pick a bag that can be used again once the baby is born – a gender-neutral changing bag is ideal. It’s even better when it can also be repurposed as a laptop bag.

What's in my hospital bag

  • Snacks

Primarily, you will need to maintain your energy throughout the childbirth process. Therefore, think carefully about the healthy snacks you would like to carry with you.

Trail mix is a great option, as well as granola bars or crackers.

Try to refrain from snacks with onions or garlic – your partner will really appreciate that – and bring things that aren’t perishable. You could always grab a couple of pieces of fruit on your way out the door. But in case you forget, consider putting a couple of dry snacks in your bag.

  • Bathroom items

Be sure to pack a toothbrush, tooth floss, oral wash, peppermint candies, and gum that freshen your breath. Clean teeth and fresh breath really make a huge adjustment and will keep you feeling better overall.

You also should include deodorant, facial tissues, disinfectant for your hands, and extra contact lenses or contact lens solution – all things you could possibly need when you can’t take a shower but need to freshen up.

  • Medicines

You will need to pack antacids and some of your own analgesics just in case you get a headache, a sore back, as well as gastric distress. The hospital personnel might supply you with painkillers, though at $4 per pill, it may be a bit costly.

You also need to create a checklist of things you’ll need at the last minute, including any medicines you need to take on a daily basis that you won’t be able to pre-pack. Once you’re finished with packing, pin this checklist to your bag to prevent you from going out of the house with no items you’ll need.

  • Keep some small bills and spare change

Having a bit of cash on hand always seems like a great notion, but in this case, you probably will value it more than you might think. Access to some small bills and a couple of coins might be helpful if you need to get something from the ATM or need to feed a parking meter that won’t take cards.

  • Phone and music

While you can’t pre-pack your phone, you may want to take additional charging cables and power banks that you can connect your phone to. You might also wish to include a list of phone numbers as a backup to your smartphone contact list. There will be grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and close friends who will be eager for updates on the baby’s arrival and the status of the mother.

Also, if you or your partner have music that can help you get through the process, be sure to set up a special playlist.

While certain couples enjoy smooth jazz, some want classical music. Some might even go for rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, or rap. Whichever will work for both of you, bring it with you.

Add your phone to the checklist of things to pack at the last minute once you’re finished packing. Keep in mind you may get a bit anxious once you enter labor and your partner goes into labor. Creating a list that you can reference will be helpful in avoiding forgetting anything, particularly something as essential as your phone.

  • Other electronics

You may also want to think about what extra electronics you might need, like Bluetooth speakers, earbuds, headphones, tablets, e-readers, and so forth. You might also like to include a camera or video camera if you aren’t planning on using your phone to capture those first few moments and hours.

Just be sure to speak with your partner in advance to figure out what they prefer. Keep in mind that you’ll be assisting your partner in the heat of labor and moving through the labor process, so you probably don’t need any electronics. But they can be neat to keep on hand to record those particular moments or to use in quiet periods.

  • Massage oil

There can be periods throughout labor and birth when an expectant mother may value a calming massage. Having a bit of your partner’s preferred massage oil with you can actually help make a big difference in the experience. Diffusing their preferred essential oils is one more way to aid them in relaxation. Be sure to put them in a sealed bag to prevent leaks.

  • Clothes

If you are a lightweight or a minimalist, clean underwear, a fresh shirt and a clean pair of socks ought to be sufficient to keep you feeling clean and prepared for whatever comes your way. It might also be a good idea to throw in a warm sweatshirt in case it’s a bit cool in the room.

Moms in labor quite often may feel warm and turn down the temperature control to keep cool. If this is the situation, you’ll be thankful to get some additional clothing to wear. Certain partners may also find that it is helpful to keep comfy shoes and pajamas available.

You might also consider putting in a specific shirt to use for photos. Keep in mind that there will be many pictures of you, your partner, and the baby. The last thing you want is photos of you in a shabby old shirt to be posted online.

Be creative in your clothing options and include a shirt reflecting your favorite sports team or a favorite place. Consider how you would like to be represented in the photos, and take that shirt with you.

Pre packed maternity hospital bag

  • Reusable bottles and drinks

You and your partner must both keep hydrated throughout labor and delivery. For this reason, bring several reusable water bottles with you. You may want to take other refreshing bottled beverages as well. While your partner may only be permitted a certain amount of drinks, you will certainly appreciate having some variety.

  • Cushion and quilt

Bringing a portable pillow or neck pillow and an additional quilt is beneficial. While the hospital will sometimes supply partners with a quilt and pillow, having one ready to go is a great option. Plus, if you favor a bigger, comfier pillow, include it in the checklist of last-minute items pinned to your bag. By doing so, you can carry it with you anytime on your way out the door.

A lot of partners tell us that a good, comfortable cushion does all the difference when you’re sleeping the night away on a cot or simply napping in a bouncer or lounge chair in your room. A couple of partners may even pack a lightweight sleeper bag in the car, just in case the room is really chilly and they want something warmer.

  • Push gift

The push gift is a newer trend that the partner makes to the mother just after the baby is delivered. Push presents could be jewelry, a piece of art, a gift certificate, an e-reader, or something else that will be treasured by your partner for the event. You know your partner better than anyone, so pick out something that shows your feelings of love and appreciation.

What to pack in an overnight hospital bag?

  • The Basics

Just like mom-to-be, consider packing a fresh set of clothes for a hospital stay, as well as a nightwear and personal hygiene items. As opposed to the mother who will dedicate much of her time to feeding and cozying up with the baby, you could indeed be out in public (perhaps buying your partner takeaway soup?), so consider that while packing.

  • Homing

Any hospital will set up a different labor and delivery room. While some provide a convertible couch, some will expect you to nap on a settee. Going on a tour of the hospital before the birth will allow you to know exactly what kind of room you can expect to sleep in. That way you’ll get to decide if you need to pick up a few necessities from home to stay comfier on a great day (cushion, comforter, house shoes, etc.)

  • Snacks, Change, and More

A lot of hospitals do not offer food for dad, and even if they do it’s still a smart idea to have basic, nutritious snacks to take with you. You really don’t know whether hunger will hit at midnight while the hospital kitchen is off ( nobody actually does catch a complete night’s sleep while in the hospital – not even Dad!).

Also, be sure to include some small bills and loose change for paying for parking and/or the ATMs, and a bottle of water to keep filled. Also, if your partner has no doula, and you are going to be her main labor partner, you should plan to bring items that could be useful during prolonged labor, including massage products and oils as well as a portable fan (to cool your partner down).

  • Bathroom Items for Men

Yes, sir! If you’re going to plan to spend the night at your baby mama’s place, then you’re going to get the essentials of men’s bathroom items. Because you have to feel and look presentable. All of them are needed, in our opinion.

Book – 50 Ways to Comfort a Woman in Labor

Below is a shortlist of the top toiletries you need to pack:

  • Shaver.
  • Toothbrush.
  • Toothpaste.
  • Deodorant.
  • Cologne perfume.
  • Hairbrush/Comb.

Alternatively, you can just get one of those ultra-convenient bathroom essentials sets

What to pack in hospital bag for c section?

Hospital bags that are packed particularly for a C-section birth have a slightly different look than the ones that are prepared for spontaneous labor. You understand that a scheduled C-section is a long time in the hospital, and therefore you are going to get more items. You will also want some extra items to assist you with the inconvenience that normally comes with a cesarean section.

Keep these two separate bag checklists to use as a starting point, and then adapt them to your specific circumstances.

Things to put in the bag before the surgery

  • A folder or binder containing your most essential health documents, a list of current medications, health insurance card, etc.
  • A credit card and a small sum of cash.
  • Printed copies of your delivery schedule.
  • A list of essential phone numbers (unless these numbers are on your phone by now).
  • Your mobile phone.
  • Chargers for electronic gadgets – consider carrying an extra-long phone charger so that you can keep your gadget charging close at hand at the bedside.
  • A camera.
  • A book or something else to do – in case your hospital assignment is postponed or you have to wait an unexpectedly long time for surgery.
  • A music playlist.
  •  Comfortable, slip-resistant socks.
  • Lip balm and moisturizer (it can become dry in the hospital rooms).
  • Hair elastics.
  • Glasses, if you need them (keep in mind that some anesthesiologists may ask to take your contact lenses out before surgery).

Things your partner has to pack in his bag

Make sure you remember your partner’s bag. Be sure he has all he needs so he will be able to provide full assistance to you and your baby during your stay in the hospital.

  • Several clothing items to change into. If you are having a C-section, you will stay there for a couple of days minimum.
  • Bathroom items. Put a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, along with any other care items that your partner will need.
  • Snacks and cash for the drink dispenser. The hospital is going to supply food for the mom, but not for the dad.
  • Books or magazines. Only for when there is downtime.
  • Medicines. Be sure to bring any over-the-counter medicines, like ibuprofen. Your husband may have a severe headache and the hospital will not be able to provide him with anything because he is not a patient.
  • Cushion and quilt. the hospital is supposed to provide some, yet it’s always great to get conveniences from home.

A couple of extra tips when packing your hospital bag for a C-section

  • Hospital rooms are fairly small. The last thing you want is to have big pieces of baggage taking up precious room. Be sure to pack only the necessities and keep things you do not necessarily use in the car. Your partner could always bring them in case of need.
  • If you have forgotten something and really need it, have a friend or family member pick it up when they come to see you and your baby. People are always glad to help a new mom!


Any partner going to the hospital with the mom of their baby has to be prepared and ready. The items in your hospital bag are going to help you stay at ease and ready for whatever is coming your way. Simply ensure that your bag is prepared for use and readily available by the 36-week mark.

Finally, don’t overlook your last-minute things checklist. That list will prevent you from heading out the door with no equipment, medicine, or everything else you cannot pre-pack.

Checklists c section hospital bag

  • The birth plan.
  • Folder or small bag for paperwork.
  • Glasses, if needed.
  • Slip-resistant socks.
  • Lip balm.
  • Hairbands.
  • Phone.
  • Camera.
  • Charger cable for all electronic devices.
  • Music.
  • Snacks.
  • OTC medicines for the birth partner.

Big sister hospital bag

  • Little game or toy.
  • Solly Dolly Wrap.
  • Travel size hand sanitizer.
  • Basic baby care products.
  • A book.
  • Foods.
  • Drink.

Hospital bag for twins

  • Loose, comfortable clothing.
  • Toiletries.
  • Books or magazines.
  • Snacks and drinks.
  • Lip balm.
  • Earplugs and perhaps an eye mask.
  • 10 to 15 pajamas and undershirts per twin.
  • Diapers.
  • A scarf or blanket for each of your babies.
  • Clothes for both twins.
  • Car seats.

Hospital bag for baby girl

  • Car seat.
  • Cozy blankets and swaddles.
  • Clothing to wear at home.
  • Hat and socks.
  • Burp cloths.
  • Nursing pillow.
  • Bottles and baby food.
  • Diapers.
  • Baby wipes.
  • Diaper rash cream.
  • Baby lotion.

Hospital bag for baby boy

  • Car seat.
  • Cozy blankets and swaddles.
  • Clothing to wear at home.
  • Hat and socks.
  • Burp cloths.
  • Nursing pillow.
  • Bottles and baby food.
  • Diapers.
  • Baby wipes.
  • Diaper rash cream.
  • Baby lotion.

Minimalist hospital bag

  • Birth plan.
  • Bathroom essentials (with hair ties, lip balm, and lotion).
  • Bottle of water.
  • (2) Nursing-friendly bras.
  • Slippers.
  • Socks.
  • (2-3) Pajamas or bathrobes with open button front; nursing friendly (think also about soft and breathable fabrics – cotton/modal/bamboo).
  • (2) T-shirts.
  • Long sleeve or sweater.
  • Relaxed sweatpants.
  • A cozy outfit to wear on the way home.
  • Yoga ball (your center may have them, check with them first).

Natural birth hospital bag

  • Your birth plan and clinic notes.
  • Casual, comfortable, and cool clothes for childbirth.
  • Other comfy clothing items.
  • 2 or 3 comfy and supporting bras.
  • Breastfeeding pads.
  • A couple of packages of nursing pads.
  • 5 or 6 pairs of pants.
  • Your wash bag.
  • Towels.
  • Stuff to help you kill time and unwind.
  • Front opening or loose-fitting nighties/tops.
  • Wholesome snacks and drinks.
  • Bathrobe and slippers.
  • Spare cushions.

Mom vs Dad Hospital Bag - Video

Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams

Hi! I'm Vanessa! I keep this blog about babies' products.

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