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A Dad’s Essentials for Labour and Birth

a dad holding his baby girl - Dad's essentials for labour

When you are pregnant of course the focus is on you. Well you are carrying the child. You are the one who has been suffering with sickness, aches and pains, tiredness and a huge change in your body. Of course it’s all about you!! But what about the Dad or your partner? Where do they fit in in all of the craziness pregnancy brings? My husband came along to NCT classes. He learnt about labour and what could happen. He learnt about breastfeeding and how to support  me. I learnt about what to pack in my hospital bag for the birth but what about a Dad’s Essentials for labour and the birth?

You may find my hospital bag checklist useful here!

baby clothes for a Dad's essentials for labour

I often think the Dad’s are a little forgotten in pregnancy and birth. I was very lucky to have all my three births in a midwife-led unit and after my babies were born, my husband could stay over. I was never left alone and I think that benefitted us both immensely. It was bonding time for my husband to his children and helped to make me feel dafe after the births. He could have skin to skin time, cuddles and help with the first nappies. However, I have friends who have had their husbands forced to leave after giving birth. They couldn’t stay over and this was not ideal for either of them. It can be scary and an extremely anxious time for both parents.

I felt I had a good idea of what I would need when I went into labour and I instructed my other half a lot but what does a dad need for labour and birth? Would should your partner bring for the hospital, if you are planning birth there?

If you want a good birth story here are mine:

Dad’s Essentials for Labour?

I asked a group of bloggers as well as my husband what the Dad’s essentials are for labour and birth and was given a brilliant list.

My husband remembered to pack me fizzy Haribo each time, as each time I was sucking on these between contractions and pushing! Sugar high and a little treat.

If you are a Dad and will be packing your bag for your partner’s labour and birth this is the list for you:

“We were in hospital for 2 weeks straight after Erin was born. Make sure Dad takes in spare clothes because the hospital won’t let him use the shower!” Lyndsey from Me, Him, The Dog and a Baby.

“Chocolate! Each time I’ve asked for chocolate after the birth & Misery Guts has duly trotted off to locate some. Will be packing it in the hospital bag this time.” Natalie from Confessions of a Crummy Mummy.

“Toothbrush. Snacks. Money for food. Plus pyjamas, duvet, sheet and pillow for if they are able to stay over they won’t be provided with bedding.” Sarah from Arthurwears.

“My husband had drink, snacks, his phone charger he said if he needed anything else he would get it when he went home.” Tina from The Neary Diaries.

“Make sure he has all the necessary contact numbers. We realised my partner didn’t have the numbers for my parents and close family until shortly before I went into labour.” Kate from Counting to Ten.

“The camera! Put him in charge of capturing those first memories (and if he’s braving enough, some of the early Labour bits).” Hayley from Devon Mama.

“I’m not sure this is quite what you mean, but honestly, the most important thing: your back! Labour has to be about the most vulnerable time of our life. It’s *essential* we can trust that our partner will advocate for us when we’re not able to for ourselves.” Kate from The Less-Refined Mind.

“Spare change for the vending machines! Coffee and snacks will be essential!” Vicky from The Mummy Bubble.

“Some ideas of ways to help with the pain such as distractions. He could maybe have some special photos or sentimental items that he could whip out when the contractions get intense and you’re struggling.” Rebecca from Northamptonshire Mum and Kids.

“A comfy pillow for when he needs a little nap after your third day in labour. I’m not bitter, honest, it’s only been 4 years… On a more serious note, your birth plan – or at least your birth wishes so he can support you when you lose your mind in labour, and help you make the right decision for your birth.” Aby from Something About Baby.

Thanks girls for the list!

What’s Dad’s Need to Pack for The Hospital

So to summarise this list, Dad’s this is what you need to be packing, if your partner’s birth is imminent.

  • Spare clothes and toiletries
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Duvet, sheet and pillow
  • The camera
  • Phone charger
  • Snacks, chocolate, sweets and spare change
  • Distractions to help you partner during labour. This could be music, pictures, anything
  • Contact numbers loaded up on your phone
  • The mindset ready to be an advocate for your partner. Your support and voice is vital!

To all of you preparing for the birth of your child, I wish you all the luck in the world. It is an amazing, exhilarating experience and being prepared just makes it so much easier for you!

Dad's essentials for labour and birth


  1. February 17, 2020 / 8:05 am

    We definitely didn’t think enough about what John might have needed. I wish we’d taken more for him.

  2. February 17, 2020 / 10:27 am

    It’s so important for the dads to be remembered in labour and birth. We was in a week after Theodore was born, and Brad had to sleep on a chair all week. This time I’m going to make sure I bring a pillow for Brad, and some more snacks and comforts! Caitylis x x

  3. February 17, 2020 / 11:20 am

    My husband was in charge of ensuring we had plenty of drinks with straws. During labour he was able to hold these and ensure I kept drinking! He was also in charge of changing the music according to my mood. The labour was long so this was quite an important job for keeping spirits up!

  4. February 17, 2020 / 11:45 am

    Having a ‘dad’s list’ is a great way to share the sense of responsibility too. It’s inevitable that women feel the bulk of the burden (excuse the pun!) since not only is it your body, you’re also the one going to all the appointments and being the main recipient for all the information and advice… My other half was a tad over prepared, to be honest though, and it actually stressed me out a little bit seeing how much he brought!

  5. February 17, 2020 / 5:30 pm

    Great ideas here! It’s so nice that some hospitals are accommodating.

    My poor dad wasn’t even told when I was born! It was only when my grandparents arrived at the hospital and saw him that he knew because they rang them instead of finding him!

    February 17, 2020 / 7:05 pm

    That’s quite an extensive list. Having done it 3 times myself it looks like the essentials are covered there. I would probably add wet wipes and hand sanitiser.

  7. February 18, 2020 / 10:39 am

    When my niece and nephew were born, my brother had a similar essentials list but we forgot the chocolate.

  8. February 19, 2020 / 8:14 am

    My husband had a wee hospital bag both times. I can’t remember exactly what he had in it, but definitely spare change of clothes, toothbrush, cash for the coffee machine, snacks, book, charger for the phone.

  9. February 19, 2020 / 9:07 pm

    Ah lovely to write a post for what Dad’s want, lots of fab ideas too