What to Pack for the Hospital

Make your stay comfortable

man staying in hospital
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When you are planning a stay in the hospital, whether it is for inpatient surgery, childbirth, or another reason, it is important to be prepared. A well-packed bag is essential for having a comfortable stay in the hospital. If you are someone who can't sleep without your very own pillow from home, plan on taking it. If you can't stand to walk around without your bathrobe, put it on your packing list!

Think about what you would normally take on a weekend trip where you would be staying in a hotel, removing anything that could easily be misplaced as well as any valuables that you would not want left unattended including jewelry and electronics. So keep the comfortable clothes, but leave the wedding rings and credit cards at home, or have someone you trust hold on to them while you are in surgery. After surgery, once you are awake and alert, you can watch over your own valuables, but you are still safer leaving them at home.

If you must take valuables to the hospital-and that includes your phone and other small electronics-be sure to leave them with a trusted friend or family member during your procedure.

What to Pack for the Hospital

  • Comfortable pajamas (loose fitting is best)
  • Your home medications, including prescriptions, preferably in their original container
  • Socks and slippers
  • Glasses (contact wearers are usually more comfortable with glasses during a hospitalization, contacts can become dry if the patient is dehydrated or dozing)
  • Outfit to wear home (something loose is best, also make sure it won’t rub on your incision)
  • Underwear
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste, deoderant
  • Hairbrush
  • Shampoo, soap (if you prefer to not use what is provided by the hospital)
  • Your pillow (if you don’t sleep well with a pillow other than your own)
  • A list of your current medications
  • Your cell phone and a charger (some hospitals still charge for phone calls)
  • Entertainment such as books, music, Ipod, portable DVD player, magazines
  • Special needs such as denture cream, tampons or sanitary pads

Additional Items to Pack If You Are Having a Baby

  • Camera
  • Birth plan, if you have one
  • Batteries
  • Baby’s going home outfit
  • Maxi pads
  • Nursing bra-If you will be nursing
  • Breast pads
  • Baby bag
  • Car seat, hospitals will not permit a newborn to be taken home without an appropriate car seat

What Not to Take (Or Leave Unattended)

It is tempting to take electronics with you to the hospital, especially if you expect to be bored during your hours or days of recovery, but remember that it is easy for these things to go missing while you are in surgery or sleeping off your anesthesia. If you must have them, leave them with an individual you trust until you can be responsible for them yourself. 

  • Electronics
  • Jewelry
  • Wallet
  • Purse
  • Cash
  • Checkbook


Hospital Packing Checklist For Labor. Sure Baby. 2008 http://www.surebaby.com/pregnancy_hospital_packing_labor.php