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Eleven Things Every Expecting Father Should Take To the Hospital

3D Ultrasound of Baby McCarthy

So, there I sat, minding my own business watching my favorite show when she came bursting into the room.

“Have you packed your bag yet?!”

“Are we going somewhere?” I responded.

“Your hospital bag!”

For anyone who has ever seen a movie involving pregnancy, it is no secret that every expecting mother should have a “Go Bag” ready weeks in advance. What only the experienced parents know is that every expecting father should have the same things. My wife and I are expecting our fourth child in about three weeks, so I've been around the block a couple of times. Here are eleven things that every father should remember to take to the hospital when mom goes into labor.

 
Good Book

1

Good Book

 

 
Whether mom is catching a much deserved 40 winks, or you're just hanging out between contractions, it's always a good idea to have a good book standing by.
 
Pen and Paper

2

Pen and Paper

 

 
From the time between contractions to the name of that impossible-to-pronounce painkiller that you'll have to explain to your mother-in-law later, a pad of paper is worth its weight in gold.
 
Clean Socks and Underwear

3

Clean Socks and Underwear

 

 
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know that every now and then it is okay to wear the same clothes two days in a row, but do yourself and everyone else a favor… at least sport some clean undies.
 
One Dollar Bills

4

One Dollar Bills

 

 
I guarantee that at some point either you or mom will be hungry or thirsty for something that you don't have in the room and chances are, you won't feel like taking a walk all the way to the hospital cafeteria. These are the moments when you will be grateful that you remembered to bring some cash for the vending machine.
 
Sweatshirt

5

Sweatshirt

 

 
There's no telling what type of environment mom will find comfortable when push comes to shove. Should she decide that the thermostat needs to be locked in at a frigid 55 degrees, you won't miss a beat.
 
Yummy Snacks

6

Yummy Snacks

 

 
I guarantee that you won't be sorry about this one. Granola bars, fruit snacks, hard candies, crackers, Oreos. You get the idea. Don't forget that these aren't just for you – mom's going to be working her butt off, so be sure to bring along some snacks that can give her a good energy recharge when she needs it most.
 
Hat

7

Hat

 

 
Basically, you absolutely, positively, CANNOT look better than that beautiful woman who is going through hell to give you that little baby boy or girl. Leave the hair gel at home. Wear a hat.
 
Toothbrush, Toothpaste and Deodorant

8

Toothbrush, Toothpaste and Deodorant

 

 
Need I say more?
 
Gift for Baby

9

Gift for Baby

 

 
If you've been looking for a way to earn some bonus points with mom, then don't skip this one – just be sure that she doesn't see you pack it. Now, just wait until mom and baby are having some quality time together, slip your little gift out of the bag and be ready for the waterworks.
 
Cell Phone and Charger

10

Cell Phone and Charger

 

 
Though you might not have to worry about actually forgetting your phone, it's just as important to have it loaded with everything you need to survive the trip to the hospital. For starters, I recommend a stopwatch app for timing contractions and a contact group including everyone you want to notify once the baby is actually born. Make sure that you have plenty of room on your memory card for all of those great pictures that you're going to be taking.

Remember, a phone without a battery is worthless. DON'T FORGET THE CHARGER!
 
 Infant Car Seat

11

Infant Car Seat

 

 
Last but certainly not least is a car seat. Most hospitals won't let you leave without one, and frankly, why would you want to? When installing, be sure to follow the instructions to the letter. When it comes to baby, safe is ALWAYS better than sorry.
 

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