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What to Pack for a Hospital Stay

By Edited Feb 20, 2016 2 6

Know What You Need

Have you ever spent the night in the hospital? If you have, you know there are certain items you should bring. If you haven't, you should know that hospitals are not hotels and they do not provide the "essentials."

If you must stay in a hospital for more than a night, and if you are able to prepare ahead of time, here is a list of items you should consider packing. You may not need everything on this list, but you will find most of these items come in handy.

What To Pack For A Hospital Stay


Robe: During your hospital stay, you will have to leave your room for tests, procedures and sometimes just to take a walk. You will want to wear a robe whenever you leave your room. Also, a robe is great if you get chilly.

Slippers/Socks: These are a must; you do not want to walk barefoot in a hospital! You may have a difficult time bending over, so you want something easy to slip on. Wear them whenever you get out of bed to go to the restroom or to get tests and/or procedures done. Bring some socks if your feet tend to get cold.

Pillow and Pillow Case: Hospital pillows are not the best. If you have a favorite pillow, bring it along; it may just be the key to having a restful stay. If you will be staying in the hospital for an extended period of time, ask a family member or friend to bring a fresh pillow case every few days.

Loose Fitting Pajamas, Sweatpants, or Shorts: Some patients cannot wear anything under their hospital gowns because of the type of procedure they are having. Ask your doctor ahead of time if you can wear something under your gown. Wearing your own comfy clothes not only feels better but it helps keep you warm when the room is too cold. If your room is too warm, you can remove the blankets and sleep in your gown and PJs without worrying about exposing too much.

Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Mints: Some medications will give you a dry mouth or leave a bad taste in your mouth. If you are able to get-up and walk around, you can brush your teeth. But if you are not, you can use mints.

Make-Up Remover Wipes: While you probably won't be wearing make-up, you will want to use these wipes to clean your face. You can also use them to clean other areas of your body if you cannot take a shower.

Face and Body Moisturizer/Chapstick: Your skin and lips tend to get dry so use moisturizer and chapstick in the morning and the evening, or whenever needed.

Hair Brush/Comb/Rubber Bands: You may not be able to wash your hair so you may want to brush or comb it out. If you have long hair, you may want to put it in a pony tail.

Hat or Scarf: You may get to a point where you just want to cover your head because you have not been able to wash or comb your hair.

Books/ Magazines/Crossword Puzzles: There will probably be a lot of "down time" when you are alone. So if you are able to sit-up and concentrate, you will appreciate having a good book, magazine, or a crossword puzzle to help pass the time.

Pen and a Pad of Paper: You may think of questions when your doctor is not around and you can use a pen and pad of paper to write down your questions. You can also use it to doodle or write down your thoughts, as in a journal.

Having to stay in the hospital is not fun but having some of the comforts of home may make the time a bit better.


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Dec 30, 2010 2:16pm
Excellent information! The idea of having familiar clothes to wear and being comfortable is a wonderful suggestion!
Dec 30, 2010 5:44pm
Great advice! This will help many people who are nervous about an upcoming hospital stay. Sometimes it is hard to think clearly about what you need when you are nervous and scared!
Jan 6, 2011 8:04pm
Excellent suggestions. Hospital stays can be scary and having the comfort of your own things can really help.
Jan 10, 2011 9:41am
great ideas for packing for the hospital although that is something we all do not really want to think of having to do but we all will some time in our life. thanks for sharing
Jan 17, 2011 2:19pm
Great list. Being in the hospital can be a stressful experience. And all the moreso if you're the patient! Having the things you need right at hand can make it go more smoothly.
Jan 20, 2011 11:59pm
Never would have thought of a hat or scarf...great idea!
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