Packing a Hospital Bag – for the Dad

There are countless posts on what Mom’s should pack in their hospital bag, so I won’t repeat any of those lists. I DO however want to focus on the Dad list, because it’s unique and different:

  1. You will be driving your wife and freshly delivered, beautifully created, gorgeously designed, unique genetic combination of you and your wife, child home somewhere between 48 to 72 hours after you enter the hospital. You need to get them hope safely, and the car seat will need to be safely installed in your return vehicle. I recommend you do this shortly after your second trimester, since you have no idea when your child will come. We did a lot of research, and landed on a European brand that isn’t sold widely here in the US called Nuna.
    • Few reasons I liked Nuna:
      • Easy of installation with solid LATCH anchors, which most cars have, and what’s awesome is that the Nuna anchors have a red and green setting, so you KNOW if you’ve installed your seat correctly (pictured here in our 2010 Acura RDX rear seat here, where it fits perfectly)
      • If your cars seats, like those in the back of my 2012 BMW 335i (F30 body style) are too sloped to put in the seat with the LATCH anchors, you will have to use the seat-belt lock feature, which allows you to get the seat in relatively flat, and minimizes seat belt movement (no more than an inch)
        nuna1 nuna3
      • Another neat feature I love about the Nuna, and what actually swayed me in the end, was the fact that it has a solid, single foot that braces the car seat against the floor in front – this feature is seen in many european car seats, and hasn’t made it to the states just yet, but makes good common, physics sense (and yes, it click green like the solid LATCH anchors so you know you’ve done it correctly)
      • There are a few other good add ins, like the newborn insert, a built in mosquito vent, as well as a rear flap that vents, that made this seat a no-brainer for me,nuna5 nuna2 Nuna
  2. Your pediatrician’s information – since within 24 hours, the labor and delivery team will need to let them know about the birth of your child, and there can be many pediatric groups with a similar name (last thing you need is to have your wife scream at you for the wrong pediatric office coming to the hospital, or not coming at all if they don’t have hospital rights!)
  3. PJs/socks/shorts/T shirts for lounging day and night in your wife’s room managing your new born (jeans aren’t recommended since you’ll be falling asleep at all odd hours in whatever you’re wearing), along with sneakers/flip flops for the walking in the halls you’ll be doing with your wife (required in order to discharge your wife!)
  4. A men’s Dopp kit – your wife probably packed her bathroom stuff (whatever she uses), but you may want to shave and/or not smell like BO when family and friends are dropping in for photo-op’s with you and her.
  5. Last, but NOT least, is the Operating Room list:
    • Your cell phone (charged and ready as a back up for pictures to send to family members)
    • Your camera with a spare battery (if necessary, also make sure your external mic has a spare and/or new battery if you’re using a DSLR)
    • Your Cord Blood Kit – we used CBR, just keep in mind the kit needs to stay at room temperatures at all times, so don’t throw it in your car and hope that you will remember it on the delivery day, just keep a small bag with it in there, along with the camera and other items.