Prepping a hospital bag for new dad


smiling dad with chin on mom's bellyYour birth partner plays an important role in the delivery of your baby. To help keep nerves calm and focus high—as well as let him know his presence means a lot—prepare a hospital bag full of goodies for him. Gift wrap it and present it two or three weeks before your deliver. Here’s what to include, from Queens, NY, baby coordinator Roselle Andrea:

Contact list that includes numbers for your and your partner’s parents, best friends, and the person who’s watching your older children, if you have them.
Lots of loose change for the parking lot ticket machine at the hospital, meters if he runs errands, and the vending machine, of course.
Chocolate bars and high-protein snacks, like nuts, to keep energy level up, so there’s no need to run to the cafeteria and possibly miss something.
Tissues…a tear or two may be shed.
Clothes and toiletries, including a spare shirt, flip-flops for comfort, toothbrush and toothpaste, a hairbrush, and wet wipes for a quick freshen-up. If you want him with you in the shower or birthing tub—good places to relieve labor pain—add a swimsuit.
Camera and charger or batteries. Give your partner the task of documenting the birth; he’ll be proud to share the experience later. See ”Pictures Perfect” for how to get great pictures.
Books, magazines, or a deck of cards to keep him occupied if you have a long labor.
Shopping bags for carrying home baby supplies and gifts from visitors.
A baby photo or an heirloom, such as a blanket or hat from when dad was a baby, for your child to use; compare the photo of dad as a baby to your little one right in the hospital.
A journal—many fathers-to-be welcome the opportunity to record feelings. Later, it’s a great keepsake for baby.
A thank-you letter, for an unexpected surprise.

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