Most articles out there focus on packing a hospital bag for moms, but all dads need to bring some essential items too. It works out better to pack your own bag, keeping it separate from mom’s hospital bag. This method will avoid any confusion on who brought what. Trust me – you won’t want to complain to your partner that she forgot to pack your ‘I’m a New Dad’ shirt.

Here is a list of essential items that expecting dads should pack in their hospital bag:

  • A change of clothes. If you’re at hospital for a long time, with no chance of a shower, some fresh clothes will help you feel like new.
  • Sweatshirt. It can be cold in the delivery room. Chances are, your partner will like the room cooler as women on average burn upwards of 50,000 calories during labor. This will be the only time that she will prefer a cooler room then you.
  • Comfortable shoes.  Labor often takes between ten and 20 hours, the last thing your partner will want to hear is that your feet have an owie.
  • Travel size toothbrush & toothpaste. Yes, plaque still exists in hospitals. You may be in the hospital for a few days, especially if there are any complications during delivery.
  • Deodorant (fragrance free). See above.
  • Snacks. Many dads faint due to lack of food. Avoid fish, garlic, onion and anything really stinky. Go for foods like nuts, trail mix and granola bars.
  • Mobile phone & charger. I presume you will have a few people to call once the baby(ies) arrive.
  • Digital camera. Be sure to keep fully charged when the due date approaches.
  • Timer. Most cellphones have timers build in, be sure to know how to use it before the ‘big’ day.
  • Tylenol. It might will be a long night.
  • Coins/Change. Use for vending machines, parking or coffee.
  • Helpful tips for labor. Any printouts that you have to help your partner with breathing, or positions to help ease labor and birth.
  • Massage aids and oils. You can help provide some natural pain relief for your partner. Under no circumstances request a massage from your partner.
  • Water spray, hand-held fan, hand-massager. These will help mom relax during labor.
  • Copy of birth plan. This is referenced by midwives, doctors, and nurses who care for your partner in labor. It tells them about the kind of labor you would like to have, what you want to happen and what you would like to avoid, if possible.
  • Wallet. Credit cards, medical insurance information and everything else. Yeah, don’t forget your wallet.