What do I need to bring to the hospital?

I will be in the hospital for less than 36 hours hopefully. My last hospital experience was 9 years ago when I gave birth to ChatterBox and was in a Quebec hospital – socialized medicine is very different. They give you NOTHING.

So, will the hospital provide anything, or do I have to bring basics like toothpaste? What else should I pack other than eyeliner and phone-charger?


24 responses to “What do I need to bring to the hospital?

  1. Sorry to say, but be very careful with valuables.

    • yes, that’s an excellent point.

      • I bring books. I bring snacks. The nurses sometimes refuse to give you any food depending on your situation and usually for hours (I had to fast up to 12 once during a visit because everyone refused me) and so I had to sneak in bites of stuff my husband brought in because I can’t go that long without food without my health deteriorating. Change of clothes just in case you have to stay overnight and even if you think you don’t. Definitely any toiletries because you’re not getting those.

        I was also told to be VERY careful with valuables, especially since I was alone most of the time I spent in the hospital so other than my phone I didn’t bring my Kindle or computer to keep me company during the long hours. (Luckily, my new phone has Kindle.)

        Just some paperback books, definitely the food/snacks, comfortable clothes, water bottles so I didn’t have to keep asking for water. Anything you think you’ll need. Better safe than sorry. Imagine you’re packing for to go away for Shabbos except the formal wear is PJs and anything else you find comfortable. I’ve done this too much.

  2. Bring things that will make you comfortable – I would suggest your toiletries and stuff. Plus pajamas to change into if you want/can afterward. Having your stuff around will probably make you feel better.

  3. * Phone & charger
    * A large plastic bag with a drawstring (for your clothes to go into when you disrobe for the surgery), some/most hospitals will give you one
    * Comfortable shoes/slippers
    * A change of clothes (especially comfortable ones)
    * Another change of clothes, the ones you want to leave the hospital in (comfortable around neck area, etc)
    * Your personal care kit (toothbrush, makeup, other female stuff, etc)
    * A small notepad and pen/pencil (to take notes when the various doctors talk to you about recovery, etc)
    * Reading material, hospitals are VERY boring, and sometimes phone or WiFi stops working.

  4. Based on my mother’s surgery last year, I would say bring toothpaste and toothbrush if you’re particular about your brands, the recovery center supplied stuff but it wasn’t very good. Definitely bring your own body lotion and hand & foot creams. My mother really liked having her hands and feet massaged after the surgery and I was happy to do it for her, and her skin was very dry post-op. Also KoD should be prepared to bring in food for you, hospital food is often terrible.

  5. lady lock and load

    EYELINER??? LOL! you serious? LOL! Bring coffee! 🙂 I am always freezing in hospitals so I like to bring a sweater. I wonder if there is a bikur cholim room in your hospital so the KoD can have a snack there?
    Good luck to you, my thoughts and prayers are with you!

    • how would I find out if there is a bikur cholim room? and yes, eyeliner….. ok, I will bring it but i doubt i will use it. it’s the thought that counts.

      • Oh, I agree! Bring an extra sweater or your own blanket (that you can later wash like crazy). I’m also always freezing in my hospital rooms and no matter how many blankets they give me, my teeth start to chatter. Wear warm socks, too. Pretend it’s winter!

      • Lol. Can you please explain to my husband that other women care about makeup, clothing and shoes? He thinks that whenever I act “girlie” I’m being crazy and I don’t shop very often for clothes (hate it), shoes I can’t wear (but I have sneakers in every color) and only wear bronzer and lip balm every other day if at all.

  6. Sport socks or peds for when you are in bed and your feet are cold, lip balm as you will be dry, lotion as above, a container with a sports or sippy top which will be easier to drink from then a straw, bathrobe and slippers if you want to walk around, lots to read, a personal music device if you just want to chill to music but be careful to lock it up. Pudding cups and other treats for a couple of days. You probably won’t feel like real food and it is handy to have calorie dense, shelf stable kosher food around when you feel like eating. I’ll think over Shabbat and post again if I think of anything.

    Can we have your mother’s name so we can daven for you?

  7. As a nursing student and nursing assistant in a major Boston hospital (I’m sure it’s the same by you in NYC) I can tell you that many of the things listed (Keri lotion, handwipes, kleenex, peds, lipbalm if you need it, toothpaste and brush, waterless Aloe Vesta wash etc ec) are provided to all patients coming onto the floor. So bring your own stuff cause it will likely make you feel comfortable, but don’t worry about including everything, anything you forgot is just a request (to the CNA) away. We want patients to have what they need to be comfortable and feel cared for. Quebec it ain’t (I too am a former Montrealer!)
    Refuah Shelaymah, I will daven for you on Monday as well. xxx

  8. I think you should leave all valuables at home. if you have a cheap watch you may want to bring that. if you have eyeglasses, put a label with your name and phone number in the case. I wouldn’t bring any toiletries. for 36 hours it’s not really worth it and honestly would you want to bring any of it home after it was in a hospital? the hospitals usually provide all toiletries and socks for you. bring a comb or brush and magazine if you want. there should be a TV in your room as well. Hope all goes well and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  9. You’ll want chapstick and travel sizes of your toiletries if you’re particular. I have to bring my own b/c I’m allergic to the hospital ones (yay rare aloe allergy). Deodorant. Glasses, magazine, maybe an iPod if you need music or noise. Phone and charger, too. I LOVED having my own pillow, too.

    Be careful with valuables, though. Have a small bag that zips that you can stash easily.

  10. I’m with Erica. Pack light. You won’t be there long, you won’t much care about anything you think – now – you’ll care about. Bring only the ESSENTIALS. Have the rest laid out so that KoD can find and bring you anything you may actually want. A robe is good; sweatpants are good if you don’t have a cath. I have this amazing collection of hospital-provided socks with non-slip soles, so you probably won’t even NEED slippers, but take socks and slippers just IN CASE (for warmth, safety, and cleanliness if socks aren’t provided). Toothbrush and toothpaste are good (hospital provides the cheapest imaginable variety – good in a pinch, but not great). Make sure to shower and wash your hair before you go – right before you go – you may not be able to do that for a week or so and THAT is what drives ME nuts. (My surgeon suggested a full body scrub with antibacterial body wash the night before surgery. The hospital suggested doing it the night before AND the morning of, but my surgeon thought that bordered on OCD and was unnecessary. I used the body wash as shampoo – it gets EVERYTHING really clean, I think it prevents peri-operative infection, but can really dry out your hair, too. A good conditioner is a MUST, if you do that.)

    No valuables. Although, you know, I had all my electronic gadgetry and no one took it while I slept. Point is, the hospital will not assume any liability, so it’s at your own risk.

    Something comfy to wear home (I wore sweatpants, a button-up shirt, and a thick robe – it was FREEZING out, but the robe turned out to be a great winter coat, too). Then, at home, you’ll want things arranged so that you hardly have to move to get: a drink, a book, the gadgetry, tissues, lip balm, TV remote, the bell to summon your cast of characters… 😉 Okay, I’m kidding about the bell. You start that, and they will just rightfully shut the door and leave you to your misery.

  11. They should tell, you, and if they haven’t, then call. Find out about safety for valuables. Will you be allowed someone with you all the time? Your phone, simple toiletries, scarf or snood that’s easy to wear and not bulky. A robe if they don’t give you one, underwear and slippers. Don’t keep a wallet with you.

    • Well, you might need your wallet if you’re the one paying. If not, make sure KOD brings some form of ID and payment for you. I usually just bring ONE card and my ID. Often, they can stow away your stuff with you when you leave the room. Also the hospital should provide a large bag that you can write your name on but you need, like, a Sharpie for that thing.

  12. I think eyeliner is the most important. Perhaps lipstick too…

  13. If you are going to NY Pres Columbia or Cornell, Hospital For Special Surgery, Mount Sinai they all have Bikur Cholim rooms. If you contact Satmar Bikur Cholim they will provide wonderful meals in a most pleasant way for you and KOD.

  14. Sorry for the omission in the previous post.. Refuah Shelamah.

  15. Bring KoD. You want someone who isn’t sedated to make sure the nurses and residents, who are usually quite overworked, do what they are supposed to in your care.

  16. Bikur cholim is amazing. They are in all the NYC hospitals and insome suburban ones ss well. You can look them up under satmar bikur cholim if you need them. Perhaos give KoD the number in case you need them post-op.

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