Whether your stay in the hospital is planned or unexpected, there are a few must-have items you should take with you to make your time there as comfortable as possible. I’ve learned that while the hospital can supply you with the essentials, that doesn’t mean what they provide is what you’d choose to use.
Recently, I had my third baby and I shared what I like to pack in my hospital bag. Two weeks ago, we went back to the hospital unexpectedly because she had developed RSV. I literally had about 10 minutes to throw some things in an overnight bag and drive to the hospital with my husband and kids so we could be admitted to the pediatric unit. The whole event had me frazzled and emotional and it was hard to take a breath and think through what I’d need for our stay, especially since I had no idea how long we’d be there. Ultimately, I grabbed my toiletries bag, an extra pair of socks, my pillow, my computer, chargers and a few snacks.
After getting settled in our room and realizing that our stay was going to be longer than just an overnight observation, my husband went back home with our older kids and returned later that night with a few more items and then again the next day with a few more. In all, we were there for 5.5 days. When we were finally able to come home, I thought about the items that helped me feel most comfortable during my stay and wanted to share them with you.
Robe, Slippers, a Change of Clothes
My sweet husband thought to bring me my robe to have at the hospital during our stay and it was such a comfort to me, especially since I was getting up periodically throughout the night to nurse, talk to doctors and nurses and then again in the morning before I got dressed for the day. Slippers were also nice since I spent most of my time in the hospital room and wearing shoes seemed unnecessary. Having a change of clothes on hand that I could put on helped me feel more refreshed and ready to face the day.
Pillow and Blanket
If you’ve ever stayed in the hospital, you know the pillows and blankets they keep on hand are not comfortable. When you have to stay in an unfamiliar place, one of the best things to have with you are your pillow and blanket. Even as a grown woman, my own pillow and blanket helped me sleep more comfortably and gave me an added sense of security. (I also always bring my own pillow when I deliver my babies.)
Air Mattress and Pump
My husband was the genius who came up with this. The first night I was in the hospital, I was lucky enough to be able to sleep on the extra bed they had in the room, but after that, they needed it for another patient. That left me with the option to either sleep in the recliner or on the fold out bed (both super uncomfortable options). Since we knew I’d be there for a few more nights, my husband brought our twin air mattress and portable pump to the hospital for me to sleep on. We got comments from all of the doctors and nurses about what a smart idea it was to have brought it.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m having a hard day, I like to eat a little piece of chocolate to boost my mood. My husband and I did swap one night where he stayed at the hospital and I went home with our other kids. While there, I repacked my hospital bag and made sure to include some chocolate from my secret stash.
Until you have to stay at the hospital for an extended amount of time, you don’t realize how much the smallest things mean. And if you do have to stay there, why not make it as comfortable as possible? I know that having these few items with me at the hospital helped me to keep my spirit up by having a little bit of home with me during my stay.
What else would you add to you must-haves for an extended hospital stay?