Delivery Time: Packing for the Hospital

By Authors Shannon Duffy and John Zakour for

Packing for the HospitalPacking for the Hospital

A few weeks before the due date, it's wise to go ahead and pack a hospital bag, just in case Mother Nature decides to initiate labor early.

We've come up with a few key things to consider when packing for a stay in the maternity ward.

She Says: You'll need a small suitcase or duffel bag that's easy to open to access your belongings. You really won't need to take much with you, but do make sure that you bring a going home outfit for your new baby and an outfit for him or her to be photographed in at the hospital if you opt to purchase the hospital portrait.

Something to keep in mind, even if you had a sonogram done and found out the sex of the baby, it's wise to also pack an outfit for the opposite sex, just on the off chance the sonogram was wrong.

It doesn't happen often, but it could happen and you probably don't want to have little Henry's first photo to be taken with him wearing a pink frilly dress; so do consider bringing a back-up outfit, just in case!

Related: He Says, She Says: Labored Thoughts

Also, mom will need a change of clothes to go home in, too. Don't think for a minute that as soon as she has the baby that she'll be sliding back into her skinny jeans. Bring a maternity outfit. Something loose and easy to get into and out of will suffice. After just giving birth, mom's body will be sore. She probably won't want to wear tight, constricting clothes.

He Says: The Man's role in packing for the hospital is very easy. You nod your head and say to your wife, "yes that's a good idea." Which means, whatever she wants to bring, is okay with you.

If she doesn't remember little things like a hair brush, tooth brush and tooth paste you may want to drop those in for her. While she is in labor these things will mean NOTHING to her, but after the little one comes out and she rests up, she is going to want to look good for her adoring public

Your other suitcase role comes on the day your wife goes into labor. Here your only job is to remember to put the suitcase in car. Oh, don't forget to make sure your wife is in the car before you take off for the hospital. Don't laugh it's happened.

She Says: It may sound silly to remind you to remember to put the suitcase in the car, but at the time of excitement, 'it's time!' 'You're really in labor?' 'I'm going to be a dad!' it's very easy to overlook grabbing the suitcase. So, keep telling yourself every day, 'don't forget to grab the suitcase!'

John Zakour and Shannon Duffy are co-authors of the book The Couples Guide to Pregnancy & Beyond: He Says, She Says.

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