The birth of a new baby is an exciting time for mom and dad, but it’s also a time rife with stress. Well-meaning relatives often spoil the new mother, knowing that she will be laboring to bring a baby into the world. Unfortunately, this often leaves the father unsupported as he tries to keep calm for his wife while stressing about her health and the health of their child. One nice thing friends or family could do to alleviate his stress would be packing a gift bag with him in mind. Packing a gift bag for the dad of a newborn baby to present to him in the hospital can show that you’re thinking of the family unit as they head into labor, not just of the mother. By packing the bag with care, you can also alleviate some of his stress—which will, in turn, help mother and baby as well.
Not sure what to pack in dad’s gift bag? Here are our tips.
If the mother is planning to give birth in a hospital, it can be nice to pack some comfort items for the dad. Hospitals are sterile environments, and while that’s medically great, it can also make them feel cold and intimidating, especially in an already stressful situation. Giving the new dad some of the comforts of home, such as a luxurious shaving set, can help him feel pampered and relaxed. Other ideas for comfort items for the dad include thick socks to walk around the hospital in or a neck pillow so he can try to relax during the long hours of early labor, as well as the long hours after delivery.
The parents-to-be will have already packed a hospital bag to take with them, packed full of what they think is necessary. They may even have a list of last-minute items to throw into the bag. Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to forget some of the last-minute necessities they meant to grab. Be dad’s hero by packing him an extra phone charger, a couple of toothbrushes, and a disposable camera to capture all the magic moments.
Unlike in the movies, labor is rarely a quick process. It can take up to a couple of days to complete, and that’s not counting the time the parents may stay in the hospital after delivery. Though Dad will likely remain by Mom’s side during active labor, in the early stages of labor it may be better for his sanity—and hers—that he has something else to do. Packing entertainment for the dad can help keep his mind off of his stress.
One option would be to pack a portable DVD player and a couple of his favorite movies. He can watch them with mom if she’s in the mood or, if she’s trying to sleep, he can enjoy them alone with a pair of neatly wrapped headphones.
Other options include puzzle books with pencils, a deck of cards, or even a parenting book for new dads. While he may not be one for reading parenting books outside the hospital, as time seems to stretch and expand in that setting, it may be just what he needs to take his mind off of the stresses of labor and put it towards his exciting new future.
Dad’s not a patient at the hospital, which means that, while mom’s needs are being met by nurses and doctors, his are often neglected. As the hours of labor stretch, he may become hungry but not want to leave his wife, especially if either of them is particularly nervous. Packing some of his favorite snacks in his gift bag gives him an option to satiate his hunger without leaving the room. Include a couple of different options, as well as a six-pack of water or soda so that he can quench his thirst as well.
When all is said and done, the new parents will be bringing home a brand-new baby. Mom likely already attended a shower, which may have been all about her and the baby without paying much tribute to dad. If you’re giving him a gift bag anyway, it can be a great time to offer him something special to bond him and the baby, like a onesie or a bib proclaiming the baby is “Daddy’s little one” or something equally sentimental. This special touch can be a great way to round off the gift bag for the new dad.