Ah, the hospital go-bag. This zipped bag of necessities for a stay in the maternity ward is standard practice for pregnant women. The contents are arranged and poured over weeks before the big day, with items added and subtracted until the perfect balance is met: this hair tie or that? Sweater or sweatshirt? But the dad’s version is not really considered with the same energy. This makes sense. But it often results in forgetting items a dad will want — and need — so he and his wife are comfortable and prepared when the baby arrives. To help you out, here’s a list of some hospital go-bag necessities for fathers-to-be, including a few of our favorite tried-and-true products that will make the next few days easier — and last for years after.
Nisolo Luis Weekender
A good go-bag requires a good bag. If you need a new one, try the Luis Weekender, which combines classic menswear materials in one great-looking bag. Waxed canvas is a historical stain- and water-resistant fabric that gets better with age, while the leather handles and shoulder strap are rugged and robust. Treated with care, this bag will last until your baby graduates college.
Mack Weldon Ace Crew Neck Sweatshirt and Sweatpant
Don’t overthink it: for the long days and nights in the hospital, you’ll need comfortable sweats that won’t make it look like you’re trying to lose weight for a wrestling match. The Ace Sweatshirt and Sweatpant more than fit the bill — and it’s French Terry has a twist: a touch of stretch in its thick cotton fabric.
Topo Designs Dopp Kit
At some point in the small hours of the morning, you’ll notice the fuzz on your teeth and the crud in your eyes and want to rid it before the next round of contractions. So you’ll need a good Dopp kit in which to place your most trusted toiletries. This one is roomy enough for your essentials and, thanks to its unique tetrahedron shape, balances perfectly on narrow bathroom sinks.
Glerups Shoe with Rubber Sole
No, you shouldn’t wear flip-flops to the hospital. Half slipper, half Norwegian art project, Glerups makes the ultimate hospital shoe. The super grippy rubber sole, cross-hatched for extra traction, is perfect for tiled floors, while the laceless design and thick wool felt upper is non-restrictive, breathable, and secure.
Anker PowerCore II Slim 10000
During your time in the maternity ward, the only thing working anywhere near as hard as your wife will be your phone — you’ll take video, family will FaceTime, friends will text, likes will pour in after you upload the news to Facebook. When the battery drains you won’t want to be anchored to a wall outlet. The PowerCore II Slim 10000 is smaller than the average phone and, on a full battery, can charge a phone three-and-a-half times before needing a refill itself.
Sony a7R III Mirrorless Camera
Documenting the birth is a must. Might we suggest something like the a7R III, which leads the industry when it comes to the latest camera tech? Mirrorless cameras allow for smaller, lighter bodies that take as good or better photos than their bulky DSLR cousins, and Sony dominates this market. The massive 42-megapixel photos are tack-sharp and easily enlarged for the grandparents, while 4K2 video is so vivid that stills can be pulled directly from it.
Brave Era Silk Travel Sheet
The Silk Travel Sheet is a lifesaver when it comes to a catnap on a grungy hospital couch. Packing down to the size and weight of an iPhone, it’s simple to stuff in a bag just-in-case. Sliding inside it for a quick 20 minutes makes any surface better—and much cleaner.
Icebreaker Anatomica Rib Boxers
Before and after delivery, you could be spending upwards of three days in the hospital, likely without a shower and wearing the same clothes. That means your nethers are going to get funky. The Anatomica Rib Boxers are made of wool, and combine its superfine fabric in a mid-thigh cut that doesn’t ride up. They wick sweat, fight bacteria and odor, and regulate temperature, cooling in the summer and warming in an AC-cranking room.
Badger Ginger Deep Tissue Massage Oil
Massage oil? That’s right. Massage oil. Because your wife will be sore and lying on an uncomfortable bed for hours and you’ll think Man, I wish I could give her a good massage. That’s when you’ll be glad you packed this oil, which combines the pleasant spice of ginger, cardamom, and lemongrass. Her lower back will thank you.
Bellroy Work Folio A4
You thought you had a lot of stuff to sign following that ER trip after pickup basketball. Just wait until after the baby. Parenthood comes with a lot of paperwork. And you need a safe place to put it, not some manilla file folder. Store it all in the Work Folio A4, which has a soft leather cover, and can always fit a legal pad, pen, six cards, and a tablet. It’ll serve you well for decades after you purchase it.
Hydro Flask 32 oz. Wide Mouth
You will be thirsty. Your wife will be thirsty. This bottle, with its stainless steel guts, double wall vacuum insulation, and wide mouth for bleary-eyed filling, can handle any liquids you’ll need over the coming days.
Most hospital pillows have less filling than a lettuce wrap. The Zenbivy Pillow inflates with a few breaths, but its plush cover is so soft that you’ll forget it’s air-filled. When not in use, it packs down to the size of an orange.