Being Dad New Dad

The Man Bag: what should you pack for the labour room?

The Man Bag
Avatar photo
Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

When your partner goes into labour, don’t make her wait. Learn how to have your man bag packed and ready.

Mums to be are efficient planners. They have their bags packed by the door well in advance. Be sure that you’re not one of those fathers who’s left packing his bag to the last minute.

Labour can be a beautiful, yet long journey. To avoid being the tired father: plan. What you take with you can determine if you will be a helpful birth partner or a hungry and cranky one. We know which one your spouse wants you to be!

Are you prepared?

There are a few checklists available online. These lists will cover the necessities like a change of clothes, healthy snacks, towels and toiletries. But what are those hidden tools you should have in your arsenal?

Push present

Surprise your partner with a push present, it will not only lift her spirit, but it will also make her feel super appreciated. She just went through a life altering experience and would love the thought you put into the gesture.


You don’t know what you or your partner will crave. Be sure to carry some cash and coins in case either one of you needs a sugar hit or some tea at an odd hour – the vending machine will become your best friend.


Always, and I repeat, always pack some entertainment. You don’t know where the day will take you. You could be there for longer than planned, so pack some entertainment to keep your nerves in check and your mind busy.

Camera & charger

You are responsible for documenting the most important moment in both your lives – do not miss it! Charge your camera well in advance and don’t forget to pack the charger as well.


Hospitals pillows and sleeping space for fathers is not the most comfortable. Take your own so when you do get the opportunity to rest (wherever it maybe), you’re slightly more comfortable.


I cannot stress how important these are for both you and your partner. For fathers they come into play when the baby has been transferred to your room and both mom and baby are asleep. You are in charge of night duty. You must stay awake, be it through blasting your music or Netflix. Either way dare you not wear headphones. Waking up your new born could possible be the end of you.

The suggestions given to you by friends and family can be overwhelming and excessive. You don’t really need to pack everything and anything people tell you, if you do that, you might as well shift your bedroom to the hospital! The key to having a pleasant experience is to pack light and pack sensible – thus I hope my suggestions prove to be practical and helpful. Best of luck!