Hospital Bag Checklist for Dads: 17 Must-Have Items for Dads-to-be

Hospital Bag Checklist for Dads: 17 Must-Have Items for Dads-to-be

Looking for a Hospital Bag Checklist for Dads? Being prepared for the arrival of your little one is a shared journey for both parents. While most checklists focus on what mom needs at the hospital, dads are crucial in the birth experience and those precious first days. 

When your partner focuses on what they’ll need, dads often wonder: "What should I pack for the hospital?"

Packing a well-stocked hospital bag will ensure you're comfortable, prepared, and ready to fully support your partner during childbirth and those precious first moments with your newborn. 

Whether you call it a "dad's hospital bag," a "daddy bag," or something else entirely, this handy companion will be your key to a smooth and memorable hospital experience. 

Let's dive into the essentials you'll need to pack!

Hospital Packing List for Dad

Being a supportive partner throughout childbirth and those initial days with your newborn is a top priority. And being prepared for the hospital goes beyond just packing for Mom. 

Here's a detailed hospital checklist for dad to ensure your "dad's hospital bag" equips you to be fully present in the experience  while creating lasting memories:

Clothes (2-3 sets)

Pack comfortable, easy-to-remove clothing for changes. Consider sweatpants, loose-fitting t-shirts, and pajamas. Consider an extra set in case of accidents.

Toiletries

Don't forget the essentials! Pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream (if needed), and facial wipes.

Glasses and Contacts

If you wear glasses and have an extra pair, go ahead and pack it so that you have an extra pair available. We hope you won’t forget and walk out without your glasses, but if caught off guard, it can be easy to forget them. So we recommend you have a dedicated place where you keep your glasses when you’re not using them, so you can quickly grab them when needed. This is also handy for car keys, too!

If you wear contacts, pack a contact case and contact solution. Packing spare contacts or your spare glasses, if you have them, can also be useful.

Underwear and Socks

Pack enough fresh pairs to last the duration of your hospital stay.

Sleep Essentials

Although hospitals tend to provide spare bedding, consider bringing your own pillow and a lightweight blanket from home if it will make you feel more comfortable.

Bring any other items that might be an essential part of your sleep routine to make sure that you make the most out of those moments when you can rest. For example, if you need a dark room to be able to sleep, then consider a high-quality eye mask to block out the light and help you sleep.

Footwear

Plan to wear  a comfortable pair of shoes that are easy to take on and off, like sneakers, and pack some extra footwear like slippers and shower sandals. Note that you might be walking around the hospital and standing up quite a bit.

Bath Towel and Washcloth

Pack a small towel and washcloth to freshen up after a long day.

Hand Sanitizer

Germs spread easily in hospitals. Pack a travel-sized hand sanitizer to keep yourself and your partner clean.

Lip Balm

Hospital air can be dry, so pack lip balm to prevent chapped lips.

Snacks

Pack healthy, energy-boosting snacks to keep you going during potential long labor hours. Granola bars, nuts, dried fruits, and fresh fruits are all great options.

Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is crucial, especially during stressful situations. Pack a reusable water bottle to stay refreshed.

Reusable Insulated Coffee Mug

If you rely on coffee to stay focused, pack a travel mug to keep your coffee warm throughout the day.

Entertainment

Pack a book or magazine, download movies or shows on your tablet, which may help you relax or keep your mind occupied when needed.. . It can be helpful to have something both you and your partner both enjoy available, as well. This can be useful after labor and delivery when you may both need some needed mental relaxation.

Having playlists with relaxing music and your partner’s favorite music, can also be nice to have and can provide some much needed relaxation.

Electronics 

Make sure to pack your phone (of course), and consider taking along atablet, a camera, and a pair of headphones. Pack your phone charger and chargers for any of the electronics you might bring (camera, tablet, etc.). A portable power bank can also be a lifesaver.

Cash & Documents

Pack some cash for vending machines, the hospital cafeteria, or unexpected expenses. Don't forget your insurance card, a copy of your partner's birth plan (if applicable), hospital check-in documents, and any other important documents you might need.

Camera

Capture those precious first moments as a family with your new baby! But don’t forget to check the hospital's policy on personal cameras before packing yours.

Personal Medication

If you take any regular medications, don't forget to pack enough for your hospital stay.

What to pack for your baby

While most hospital maternity wards provide some basic supplies for newborns, it's always best to be prepared with your own essentials for your baby's comfort and well-being.

Newborn Outfits (3-4 sets)

Pack comfy, easy-to-put-on outfits like onesies, sleepers, and side-snap shirts. Choose sizes suitable for newborns (typically 0-3 months).

Hats

Pack soft, breathable hats to  protect  and keep your baby's head warm.

Socks or booties

Bring along socks or booties to keep your baby's feet warm and comfortable.

Mittens (2 pairs)

Consider packing soft baby mittens to prevent your baby from scratching themselves. These are especially important for newborns with long fingernails. 

Swaddle blankets

Although hospitals should provide you with baby blankets, you can pack  extra lightweight and breathable swaddle blankets to help soothe and comfort your baby.

Going-Home Outfit

Pack a cute and comfortable outfit for your baby's big debut! Consider the season and weather conditions when choosing this outfit.

Outfit for Pictures

Some hospitals have photographers that offer photo packages for your baby. If your hospital offers this and you plan to have pictures taken, then plan for some extra outfits for pictures.

Diapers

Pack plenty of diapers in the appropriate size for your newborn.

Wipes

Bring along a pack of gentle, fragrance-free baby wipes for diaper changes.

Bottles and Formula

If you're planning to bottle-feed, pack several baby bottles, nipples, and baby formula to ensure you have enough for feedings. Do discuss this with your doctor and hospital staff, as different hospitals may have different policies and may provide the baby bottles and formula during your hospital stay. Either way, do take your trip home into consideration as well, especially if you have a long trip home and may need to stop for feedings.

Car seat

Install your baby's car seat in advance and ensure it meets safety standards for the journey home from the hospital.


5 Tips for packing a hospital bag

Now that you have a comprehensive dad hospital checklist of items for your hospital bag for Daddy, here are some valuable tips to ensure smooth packing and a stress-free experience:

Start early

Don't wait until the last minute! Ideally, pack your bag around your second trimester or whenever you feel prepared. This prevents last-minute scrambling and ensures you have everything you need.

Double-Check Essentials

Review this checklist or your own personalized list before finalizing your bag. Ensure you haven't forgotten important documents, medications, or chargers.

Discuss with Your Partner

Communication is key! Talk to your partner about their needs and preferences. Coordinate what they've already packed for the baby to avoid bringing unnecessary duplicates.

Consider a Backpack

A backpack can be a comfortable and convenient option for dads, especially if you often plan to walk around the hospital. It allows for hands-free movement and easy access to your belongings.

Keep it Simple

While being prepared is essential, try to pack your hospital bag sparingly with necessary items. Focus on packing only what you'll need during your hospital stay and leave any non-essential items home.

Conclusion 

Feeling prepared and comfortable during your partner's hospital stay is essential. Utilize this comprehensive 'Hospital Bag Checklist for Dads' to ensure you have everything you need to support your partner and welcome your newborn with confidence and joy. 

Don’t forget to explore our Swaddle Tote two-in-one diaper bag – the perfect companion for all your baby adventures, starting from day one! 


FAQs

Do dads need a hospital bag?

Absolutely! Dads play a key role, and a packed bag shows you're ready to support your partner and embrace fatherhood from the start. Having a dad packing list for the hospital will help make sure you are ready and prepared.

When should I pack my hospital bag?

Aim to have your bag packed and ready at least a few weeks before the baby’s due date.

Can I bring food to the hospital?

Yes, pack healthy snacks and drinks to keep your energy levels up. Hospitals may also have a cafeteria or vending machines.

Should I pack a gift for my partner?

It's a thoughtful gesture! Pack a small gift to show your appreciation for their strength and love.