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Hospital bag - what to include?

Brought Emma's bag home today to wash her clothes and repack it for her as we have been told she could be in hospital for a couple of weeks still. I have only been in hospital once, myself for health reasons, and I was 13 at the time, I am now 38. I am completely clueless on what to pack for her as well as not being able to think straight with what's going on with her. What does a person need in their hospital bag?

She already has her laptop, phone charger and medication.

Any replies would be amazing.

Thank you.

13 Replies

Hi ya

So sorry to hear about your daughter, it seems were in a similar boat so I do know what you are going through!, I really hope she gets well soon

I am some what of an expert at hosp bags! my wife Snowy has one packed all the time for things like this, she always says that its for 2 reasons. 1) so she knows she has what SHE wants and not what someone else packs at a time when they are not really thinking straight, and 2) so I or anyone else does not have to worry about it, she routinely checks it to make sure the meds and perishable items are in date and everyone knows where its kept so its a quick grab.

for you this time I guess its a bit different, just to give you ideas, Andreas includes: another few pairs of fav pj's (she bought 2 of everythig), spare underwear, nice dressing gown and slippers, essential toiletries & some nice ""special"" toiletries (she says nice things cheer her up when in hossie), teddy bear (were all never too old at times of needing comfort!), drinks and snacks, spare glasses & contact lenses, A good book, note pad & pen, money (when shes well enof to buy stuff from trolley or shop), a supply of all meds (so she can have red smarties!! and does not have to wait hours for them to get them!) portable dvd player and her fav dvd's (all those classic films that you would love to watch again if only you had the time! - in here you do) , ipod... think thats about it??

Hope it helps somewhat..

take care



Lke Snowy I keep a bag packed all the time with 2 pairs of pyjamas, underwear, slippers, dressing gown. Wash bag and a smalll body shop bag with lotions etc in. I keep my medication in a vanirty bag all the time so it's easily transportable. My iphone is essential and charger and my kindle. I always appreciate my husband bringing in large cartons of friut juice and Nature Valley bars. Being organised does help and I keep copies of discharge summaries and a summary of what' s been going on and outcome of clinic appointments, just helps Doctores in A & E to see what's been going on.


The only other things I can suggest is maybe a puzzle book or some magazines. Also a little bit of money to buy stuff from the hospital shop trolley might be useful. Maybe some different drinks as water and tea gets boring after a while.

When she is feeling a bit better maybe some comfy clothes so she can get dressed. (my boyfriend never seems to realise that when leaving hospital it is necessary to have clean clothes!)

I hope she picks up soon, I'm thinking of her.



I have her:

* 3 pairs of pjs.

* weeks worth of underwear, 3 bras and 7 sets of socks

* 4 pairs of joggers, 3 pairs of leggings, 7 vests & 2 jackets and a hoody.

* I have left her toothpaste, deodorant, toothbrush, female products, couple of razors, shower gels which can be used as shampoo, hairbrush, she keeps a few hair ties on her wrist and all her medication - singular, blue inhaler, purple inhaler, steroids, tramadol and paracetamol and her spacer.

* pencil case full of coloured pencils, and paper.

* couple of books and magazines.

* going to leave some money for her when I've got change for a 20 note.

* phone charger.


I feel like I have forgot something, I just can't think what. Anyone got any ideas?


Sorry to hear about emma and hope she gets well soon as regards the hospital bag it sounds like you got it covered, but how about some baby wipes they always come in handy. Also slippers. please keep us updated on emmas progress.



Like a few of the others who have replied already, I have a hospital bag that stays packed all the time. The clothes and things that live in the hospital bag don't come out of the bag except when I'm in hospital and then they get washed and put back in the bag!

Your list looks pretty comprehensive, and very similar to what I have in my bag.

I find that hospital air is very drying, so I always have moisturiser (I'm not allergic to scented ones, so I have the body lotion of the scent that I usually wear, which feels like a treat), lots of lip balm and a little paper fan. I also always have Simple cleansing wipes, which can be used for pretty much anything, and are brilliant for freshening up when I'm not feeling well enough to have a proper wash.

As far as entertainment goes, my brain is always a bit mushy when I'm not well, so nothing highbrow for me! I have a Nintendo DS and a selection of games, phone charger, laptop and charger, pens and notepad, some knitting, and some trashy magazines (and I mean *seriously* trashy - few words and lots of celebrity pictures, along with a few stories about how 'my husband's brother tried to eat my brain' or whatever). Oh, and a small bottle of squash to make the inevitable lukewarm water more palatable! And a little shaker of salt (my old local hospital banned it, so I got in the habit of bringing my own)!

And then just the usual clothes, wash stuff and medical stuff that you seem to have covered so well!

If you're visiting and want to bring goodies, I'm sure Emma will be able to give you suggestions, but I find that I crave things that taste 'fresh'. Hospital food is so often stodgy, and I get really dehydrated when I'm short of breath and coughing a lot. So I always ask for nice things to drink, fresh fruit (my cravings at the moment are for nectarines and pineapple), and interesting snacks, e.g. wasabi peas, hummus and veg sticks.

Hope you're hanging in there as a family. Please let me know if there's anything I can do!



Think youve got a good bag full :)

Lip balms are always a great thing to have !

In terms of activities does Emma have any hobbies for example Im into crafty stuff so when I'm not up o much mum often buys me a craft mag so I can use time to look for new ideas keeps me focused on the future as well! X


have you sorted the bag yet? i always have one packed (learned early on that if i left it to family i would end up with the wrong underwear and one slipper lol). i always have a few 'dry toothbrushes' in individual packs (brushaways i think they are called) to use and throw away they are great to use on the ward when the meds have left a bad taste in your mouth. i also also include a black nappy sack to put dirty laundry in and wet hand towels so that they dont get mixed up with clean stuff and make them wet. lots of mags, pens etc and phone top up vouchers just incase as well as the usual toiletries.oh and headphones as even if you dont want to listen to music you can always pretend and block out the odd mad patient that insists they want to be your new best friend. for teens i would suggest all of the suggestions below and visit the local shop on day of admission to buy as many teen mags as possible with the odd bar of choccie, crisps and fruit juice xxx


Sounds like a good bag & hope she's doing ok.

I sent my sister a 'hospital survival' kit when she was in for a while-no meds as already in.

*light vest tops & pj/tracksuit bottoms

*Fave toiletries

*Wipes very useful

*Also dry shampoo spray when hair washing tricky with IVs


*Magazines - easy to read

*Hair bands esp if meds & IVs causing bad hair days

*Money for hospital shop bits

*Notebook esp if voice bad (or trachy. after intubation like my mum was)

*Voucher for something nice when out

*Bracelet - something nice to have



Think dry shampoo & voucher only things not already mentioned but may not be right for her


tj- dry shampoo is great but i cant use the spray can as it sets my chest off but did you know you can buy the dry powder now too. all you do is put some in your palm and rub it on your scalp and it brushes out the same leaving frsh hair without the coughing lol.


Not sure if anyone else has mentioned it but I always pack a little mirror. Hope Emma gets out soon. x


Everything people have already said especially moisturiser, lip balm and a teddy-bear :)

I'd also make sure the slippers are just a cheap pair with rubber soles that can be thrown in the washing machine (places like Primark or the supermarkets do pretty durable washable ones) - I normally wear novelty slippers at home (currently have a pair of koalas!) but that type aren't good for hospital as they're slippy and don't stay clean/dry long.

My sister brought me Kinder Eggs as a treat, which were really cool as I got chocolate plus my brain was just about up to making the kids toys (actually they're a bit fidly for adult sized fingers!) but served as a fun distraction. :)


For me its usually a case of packing my laptop, phone, chargers, DS and PSP. As well as some things that feel/smell familiar like my pink blanket and my teddy (a plushie that goes everywhere with me, poor Sephy has been squished and squashed half to death!)

I would also recommend slippers, dressing gown and a good book or MP3 player :)


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