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The Birth & the Hospital

Your big day is finally here! With so much to do and so little time to do them, we’ve put together some helpful checklists, must-haves and quintessential essentials to make your trip to and from the hospital as smooth as possible.


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How to Be a Dad Blog: Things You Should Bring but Will Probably Forget

We can all remember what it was like when we first became parents, sort of.

Actually, only some of us can. The rest of us might only recall a fragmented series of half-remembered blurs. It's pretty exciting, so it's understandable that you might forget a few things in the flurry of the moment. Sure, we remember the important stuff like seeing and hearing our little one for the first time, but from then on out, memory can get a little iffy for things like the straw for your kid's juice box, their shoe size, or even the kid's name for a second.

I've personally lost count of how many times I've lost count and I've forgotten... um... something?

Maybe it's their adorableness that makes a grilled cheese sandwich of our memories, or the loss of sleep and sudden, complete change of our lives. Who knows, but it's totally normal. So, don't worry about things slipping your mind or break dancing on the tip of your tongue forever.

Here are some things you might want to try and remember to bring when the baby starts to come and before you become parents. If you already have kids, consider this short list a reminder of some things you can't even remember that you might have forgotten to bring the first time around.


The baby is coming, however long it takes, but having your ID, insurance and medical papers with you will actually ease the process. You might want to write your birth plan on your body if you've made one, just in case you lose or forget it in 10 seconds.


Wherever you're having the baby, bring a change of clothes. Several. Okay, just grab suitcases stuffed with your entire wardrobe. It can take a while and sweating is not an uncommon occurrence during delivery. For goodness sake at least bring underwear! Double-up if you have to. Yikes.


The amount of nervous energy even dad-to-be will expend tapping a foot or gripping an armrest is close to 1,000 calories per centimeter of dilation. Bring a satchel of food, but avoid strong-smelling ones. Follow the elevator/movie theater rule on smells and loud crunching sounds. (The sound of cattle munching on pop rocks is not a fitting background noise for the birthing area.)


Why isn't this just "cellphone?" Because it's the charger we always forget, right? Plus, the charger acts like a reminder rubber band for the phone. You should probably bring a portable generator as well just in case you get stuck in an elevator or stranded on a desert island.


It's up to the mom. If she wants you to put your phone under a car tire, so there isn't even the slightest chance it could go off and capture anything during delivery, then put it in reverse, bucko. If your phone can't take pictures, you probably need to say goodbye to your flip phone or pager and say hello to this century; you're going to want to document all the amazing things your new baby does without a tripod or a camera that needs a shoulder strap.


If you are having a baby naturally, there is no cooler thing than emailing all your friends a record log of your wife's contraction history. They'll absolutely love it and so will she. Come to think of it, post it on Instagram, too! Fun for everyone, on the entire planet...right? But really, this app can come in handy when you are deciding when exactly to leave for the hospital, and you won't want to be bothered with the old school method of counting and reading time.


Nothing says 'I love you, champ, you're doing great' like getting a gift after each big push. There are, however, a lot of pushes, so keep it simple and cost-effective. Even if it's just cheesy puffs or her favorite candy. If she wants, you can make a game of it and she can try to catch them in her mouth.


Labor can take a long time, so relaxation and stress relief is important. Everyone loves a puppet show, so dad can keep mom and the nurses/midwives entertained. Throw a couple of extra tube socks and a magic marker in your bag and you're set.


You're probably going to forget some or all of these, so print this out and make a hat out of it or something, just in case. And, maybe even add a bunch of other useful points not listed here. Check out Huggies Mommy Answers [link] for more information and articles, it's a great resource for new parents.

About How to Be A Dad

How To Be A Dad (HTBAD) is a not so much a "how-to", but a "how-not-to" entertainment website for parents... or anyone who's ever had parents really. Follow Andy Herald and Charlie Capen, two sleep-deprived friends with nothing left to lose but their sanity as they learn to be dads and try to look smart doing so. They're not experts, but that isn't gonna stop them from pretending. You've been warned.

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