Top Ten Items to Pack for an Overnight Hospital Stay

If you’re going to hospital to have a baby or just a minor surgical procedure, there are certain essentials that you should always include in your overnight bag. Here are a few ideas:

1. Hospitals can be confusing places; medical cables and other scientific paraphernalia will only increase your feelings of alienation. Pack an old teddy or something that you identify with your home in your bag. Photographs are also a good idea.

2. Wet wipes are essential. Despite air conditioning, you may still find the hospital over warm, and you’ll enjoy the refreshing balm of a wet wipe. Aloe Vera tissues are also a great idea.

3. If you’re having a baby, make sure that you include your Ipod with some soothing downloads. The website What to Expect also suggests that you include massage oils and your birthing plan so that all medical staff can be aware of your needs throughout labor.

4. Pack a light book. You probably won’t be able to concentrate so War and Peace isn’t recommended, but an amusing novel will help you get off to sleep and act as a useful distraction. If you have a Kindle, you’ll appreciate its compact design when you’re trying to prop up both yourself and your reading material in a hospital bed.

5. Cell phones are vital for connection to the outside world. Most hospitals do allow these, and even if you don’t use the ‘Call’ function, you’ll find the ability to receive and send texts reassuring. Make sure that you also take your battery charger and tech wipes to clean your cell phone.

6. Clean underwear will make you feel fresh. However many times you wash in hospital, it’s difficult to feel really pristine, so pack your favorite undies in your bag.

7. Mouthwash is essential. For some reason even the shortest stays in hospital can make your mouth feel less than fresh, however many times you clean your teeth. Also, make sure you include your favorite toiletries and a small bottle of scent. The website But you don’t look sick suggests that perfume or aftershave can really boost your morale.

8. If you’re packing a bag for your child and they are at all nervous, then you could always include their favorite games on a hand held games console. Check with the ward first of all that this is OK. Make sure that they come home with the console. It’s all too easy to leave possessions behind.

9. Take some fruit or your favorite juice to help keep you hydrated. The atmosphere in a hospital can often lead you to feel thirsty, and the water in the bedside jug doesn’t always look inviting.

10. Hair products are a great idea for when you are preparing to leave the hospital. Assuming that the surgical procedure isn’t too serious, you’ll want to feel normal as quickly as possible. Make up, if you’re a woman, and beauty products, will help you look smart on the outside, even if you’re still feeling a little weak on the inside.


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