Greg Bishop, founder of Boot Camp for New Dads, a non-profit orientation program for fathers-to-be and author of two books on fathering shares the 19 Essential Items to Bring to the Hospital that are listed in his most recent book, Crash Course for New Dads: Tools, Checklists and Cheat Sheets.
When your baby's birth is imminent and you are rushing to get to the hospital, it's likely you'll forget something. Being prepared beforehand is key, and one of the best ways to start preparing is by making a list.
Greg Bishop, founder of Boot Camp for New Dads, a non-profit orientation program for fathers-to-be operating in more than 260 hospitals, clinics, schools, fire stations and churches around North America and internationally, and author of two books on fathering, advises parents who are expecting to prepare a list of items to bring to the hospital, and keep it with the hospital bag to double check before heading out.
Below, Bishop shares the "19 essential items" listed in his most recent book, Crash Course for New Dads: Tools, Checklists and Cheat Sheets:
1. A folder containing important documents including insurance cards, pre-admission forms, birth plan (two or three copies), etc.
2. Baby book (many nurseries will put your baby's footprint in the book).
3. A watch with a second hand or digital readout.
4. Change of clothes and pajamas for mom (and dad, if staying overnight)
5. Warm shirt because hospital rooms are kept cool.
6. Basic toiletries such as a toothbrush, shaver, shampoo and deodorant.
7. Comfortable shoes, as you may do a lot of walking.
8. Something to read to mom.
9. CD, iPod or other music player with mom's favorite music.
10. Pain-easing tools recommended at your birthing classes such as tennis balls, hot or cold packs, massagers, lotion, etc.
11. A bathing suit for dad to help mom take a shower which eases labor pains.
12. Something to eat and drink such as sandwich or power bars and juice, in a small cooler. Pack snacks for both of you for after the birth.
13. Cash to have on hand.
14. Pen and pad of paper.
15. Camera (photos and/or video), with extra film, battery, etc.
16. Address book and/or a list of phone numbers to announce birth.
17. Cell phone or calling card.
18. Champagne to celebrate. (Put your name on it and ask a nurse to store it in the fridge.)
19. Childbirth Coaching Guide from Crash Course for New Dads.
According to Bishop, "When you're trying to get out the door and to the hospital, it's guaranteed that you'll forget one or more important items. Being prepared ahead of time is half the battle. In addition to considering our list of 19 essential items, expectant parents should talk to staff at the hospital, other attendees in birthing classes or someone they know who recently delivered a baby to get even more ideas for their list. Time is of the essence and you don't want to have to drop Mom at the hospital then rush back home to retrieve insurance papers or something else you must have. Every moment counts."
Tips, advice, instructions and more
Greg Bishop offers strategies from more than 200,000 new dads that have gone through the Boot Camp for New Dads program in his second book, Crash Course for New Dads: Tools, Checklists and Cheat Sheets. His first book, Hit the Ground Crawling, covers work balance, being a dad, caring for a new mom and much more. Both books are available online at www.DadsAdventure.com.