Staying Overnight at the Hospital? Here’s a List of What and What Not to Bring

Staying Overnight at the Hospital? Here’s a List of What and What Not to Bring

Getting ready to spend time at the hospital overnight for surgery or another procedure can be overwhelming. It’s easy for your thoughts to become pre-occupied with your body and the events that are about to take place.

So, when can you find time to brainstorm what you need to bring? Don’t worry- you don’t have to. We’ve done the work.

Here is a ready-made list of what to bring compiled from a variety of sources. Take and leave what you like.

Since there are always things that are on the no-fly list, we’ve also included items you’d be better off to leave at home, in a small paragraph at the bottom.

Here we go. (It’s funny-while it might not feel like a vacation, in a way packing for the hospital is just like getting ready for a trip-minus the anticipation of palm trees).


  • Lose fitting clothing
  • Medical IDs
  • An interpreter if needed
  • Glasses or contacts
  • Hearing aids
  • Books, or a tablet for reading
  • Toys for kids
  • Cell phone
  • Notebook and pen for noting things the doctor says
  • Bathrobe


  • Clean underwear
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Shoes without laces (like crocs)
  • Slippers
  • Clean socks
  • Laptop or iPad with movies
  • Sources of music
  • An eye mask
  • Your own comfortable pillow
  • A small bag of essential toiletries


  • A written list of your regular medications
  • An empty bag for your belongings if you’re about to have day surgery
  • Your Cpap machine for sleeping, (if you use one)
  • Crutches, braces or a walker that your surgeon has suggested
  • Photos of loved ones for comfort
  • A white noise machine to drown out roommates/institutional noise
  • Knitting or crocheting
  • A bunch of Sudoku puzzles
  • Anything else you might need to keep busy or stay comfortable, barring a masseuse. (Although, wouldn’t that be lovely).

So, there you have it. Obviously, it’s best to bring what suits you and keep luggage to a minimum, as those hospital rooms often don’t have much leeway for storage.

Now that you’ve got a good idea about what to pack, what’s best to leave out?

While medical institutions are there to help us out, remember: don’t set yourself up as a target. The lousy truth is that it’s best to keep your cash funds to less than $20.00 and to leave credit cards, jewelry, body piercings, expensive watches, and other valuables at home.


It might sound terrible but the ugly truth is that some ugly people out there have their mind in the wrong place at the wrong time and they just want to cause you trouble.

Love that necklace? Don’t wear it, and you won’t give them a chance to take it. Whoever they may be.

As an aside, also consider leaving all your scented products at home. That includes your perfume, aftershave, body spray and any other something-lovely since many hospitals have a no scent policy.

Save it all for that “getting well” party that will soon be coming your way! And as always, check your hospital’s website for specifics. Take care.



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