The Go Bag aka Hospital bag.
Week 30 is upon us this Wednesday and we are approaching the point of no return. The Nursery is pretty much finished with the exception of a few minor things and now we are just waiting to get everything organized once the baby shower is done. At the 30th week I would venture to say that it might be time to think about the Go Bag. The Go Bag is different from the Ruck Sack in that the go bag is meant exclusively for the Hospital trip.
At any moment between week 32 and the due date, the baby may decide that he or she is tired of being stuck in a watery apartment. I wouldn't blame them, I get annoyed when I step in a puddle left behind from Rocky's post drink drool trail. I couldn't imagine being trapped in a literal bubble of fluids and forced to eat moms odd craving meals. I'd want to break out ASAP.
Your wife or girlfriend will be downloading all kinds of information about Hospital bags from other moms, the internet, books etc. I can almost bet that if you search online for Hospital bags for dads, you will likely find a much smaller list of items that are recommended. So what should you pack?
Clothes/ Toiletries :
You may be stuck at the Hospital for a few days and trust me you will drop food or sweat a lot so having a few extra pairs of boxers and shirts will be a good choice. I'd bet on bringing a small travel kit with soap, toothpaste, etc.
Hospital food sucks and you may not have time to run out to McDonalds to grab an egg McMuffin or a Big Mac. So be prepared to not leave the hospital.
I'm sure you'll be bored at times when you are waiting for the baby to come. I would bring a few good books or magazines to occupy the time between getting to the hospital and waiting for your little trooper. DON'T FORGET THE PHONE CHARGER!
Some Hospitals don't have free parking and don't take debit cards to pay for parking. I'd stash about $50 to help cover parking and any small items you may need. Small bills would probably be the best.
Ok, the car seat isn't really part of the Go Bag. You do want to make sure you don't forget to have the car seat installed and ready to go. If you don't you won't be able to take the baby home until you have it installed. Don't be the guy who forgets cause your wife will ALWAYS remember. Even though we are about 11 weeks away from our due date I plan to get our car seat installed and registered by the local fire department before we hit week 32.
Hospitals don't care if the dad has a headache or heart burn so if you know you need some Tums or Lactaid make sure you bring it with you.
Pillows and blankets:
Some Hospitals will provide these for the dad but trust me when I say they suck. When my wife had surgery a couple years ago, we were stuck in the hospital for 10 days. The sofa thing they have you sleep on is worse than sleeping on the floor. I would have been much more comfortable sleeping on rocks. So, bring your favorite binky and pillow from home. You won't regret it.
These are some of the core items you will need. Feel free to modify to fit your personal wants and needs. The important thing to remember is be prepared ahead of time. Get your Go bag finished before week 32. If you have enough room in your vehicle I would just leave the bag in the trunk so you don't have to worry about searching for it. Plus it will free up your hands to help your wife with anything she may need.