Making a check list helps dads.
When the time comes and baby is insistent on making his/her debut, frantically running around, packing your belongings and saying goodbye to your house for the next few days, is not the time to add a quick “Baby Time” playlist to your iPod.
Preparedness is the word when your delivery seems imminent. Now, surely your wife has been packed since her second trimester after some bad Chinese. You, on the other hand, have not given a thought to who will walk your dog or pick up your newspapers.
Truth be told, unless you have a scheduled delivery, you will not have much advanced warning on when to head to the hospital. Many women experience labor contractions days before actually going into active labor. The best way to not be caught off guard is by having your personal items packed and your responsibilities accounted for.
1. Who is taking care of the animals? Maybe you are lucky and have family or a trusted neighbor in or around Kansas City to help with this responsibility. But if not, there are several pet care facilities that allow you to simply drop your dog or cat off for overnights. Overnight rates can run from as low as $15/night for boarding to $50/night for open boarding care.
2. General house maintenance. Of course you’ll need someone to pick up your newspaper if you are one of the ten people who still subscribe to The Star.
3. Am I staying at the hospital? Depending on when your wife delivers, you may have the option of going home at night. What good does it do for two people to sleep uncomfortably? Be sure to check with your spouse ahead of time to see what they prefer. Pack a comfy pillow and blanket if you are “shacking.”
4. Did you bring the camera? You will never be forgiven if you forget the camera, bought specifically with this day in mind. Whether it be video or photo, be sure to have a fully charged battery and compatible tape/memory card ready for the trip.
5. Reading material. Honestly, you could be waiting for a while. Bringing a magazine, book or newspaper can’t hurt.
6. Spare change for the vending machine. You’ll want a caffeine break at some point during your stay. Often times a hospital may make a hospitality room available for families, consisting of snacks, light meals and drinks. But if not, the vending machine could become your quick meal.
This list is obviously void of the stuff your wife has already packed, like clothing for she and new baby, scrapbooks and car seat for ride home. If you remember your items, the transition to becoming a new father will only go more smooth.
I am probably forgetting several things, but that is why you are allowed to leave comments beneath. Add your own suggestions so new dads can focus on the big picture and not sweat the small stuff.