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Packing the Mom Bag

Some moms may be super organized and have their hospital bag all packed and ready to go early in their pregnancy. For most moms in their first pregnancy, trying to figure out what to pack and when can be a bit overwhelming. We asked some of our pediatricians, who also happen to be moms, what they recommend and we’ve put their suggestions together in a list to help make it easier for you to get prepared for the big day.

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When to pack

Because babies, especially multiples like twins or triplets, sometimes show up early, a good time to pack your bag is around the last week of your 7th month, or the first week of your 8th month. Here are the things you’ll want to include in your bag to help you through labor and make your stay after delivery more comfortable.

We've also provided a quick checklist for you to download so you can check off the basics as you gather them.

Download Mom Bag Checklist

While this list covers the essentials, there are a few other things you may want to pack as well ... so read on!


  • An extra set of car and house keys – in case your partner mislays them in the excitement of the moment.
  • Personal ID, your insurance card (or cards if you and your partner have insurance), and all hospital paperwork. Putting everything in a clearly marked envelope helps to make them readily accessible.
  • Phone
  • Charger for your phone


Labor, especially for first-time babies, can take awhile. These items will help make you more comfortable.

  • Birth plan, if you have one.
  • Comfortable bathrobe because you may want to walk around a bit, and hospital gowns can be a little gappy.
  • Socks – the kind with nonslip soles are best - your feet may get cold.
  • Slippers for walking around - be sure they have nonslip soles.
  • Lip balm because your lips can get extremely dry, especially during your breathing excercises.
  • Massage oil or body lotion in case a gentle massage helps you to relax during labor.
  • Hand-held fan, cool packs, or facial mist for cooling off.
  • Your favorite comfy pillow.
  • Entertainment – a book, magazines, a tablet with a couple of your favorite movies downloaded (don’t forget to pack a charger for your tablet).
  • Chewing gum or small mints – if your doctor says it’s okay to have them.

After delivery

Whether you're staying in a hospital for a day or two, or recovering at home, you'll be glad you have these items those first two days.

  • 2 nightgowns, in case one gets soiled – if you’re breastfeeding, be sure they’re made for that.
  • Heavy-duty feminine pads - the hospital will probably provide some, but it's good to have plenty on hand for the first few days, both in the hospital and at home.
  • Several pairs of roomy, comfortable underwear. Even with heavy-duty feminine pads, accidents are bound to happen.
  • Comfortable bras – nursing bras if you’re planning to breastfeed.
  • Nursing pads will help prevent your breast milk from leaking through to your bra and clothing. It's much easier to change nursing pads several times a day than it is to change clothing.
  • Burp towels - babies spit up ... a lot!
  • Hairbrush and/or comb.
  • Hair ties or clips.
  • Shampoo/conditioner.
  • Blow dryer.
  • Deodorant.
  • Laundry bag for dirty clothes.
  • Moisturizer.
  • Makeup - you may want a few basics to capture that first picture for the family album.
  • Glasses and/or contact lenses.
  • Contact lens solution.

Going home

  • Comfortable shoes.
  • Dress or loose fitting pants and top. Dress or top should have a front opening (buttons or snaps) if you’re breastfeeding. We recommend drawstring or elastic waist pants.
  • Depending on the time of year, you’ll also need a sweater, jacket or coat.

More Questions? We've Got Answers.

Preparing for Parenthood
Your Pregnancy
Newborn Care