When Your Baby is Sick: 12 Items to Bring to the Hospital

When we checked Elvie into the hospital, we were so grateful we’d had the recommendations of our Twitter friends to help us pack. I had no idea that it would be a long time before anyone but me would think to offer Elvie anything to eat, and there were some hospital items that were just not right for us. While the hospital provides most things that you need, I found that our stay went more smoothly and Elvie was more comfortable because we brought certain items from home. This is a list of the basics we brought.

The good news is that many of these things are probably in your baby bag already. For a longer hospital stay, you may want to bring some larger items from home as well. For example, we discovered that there was no good way to prop Elvie up so she could play, so we brought our own Boppy pillow. A lot of things depend on personal preference, but this list is a place to start. If you show up with all these things in your bag, you’ll be well prepared.


  • Bottles and Formula to Last One Day 1 of 12
    Bottles and Formula to Last One Day
    The time between check in and when the hospital provides food for your baby might be long. If you are bottle feeding, you'll need to bring enough for your daytime needs. We also ended up using our personal bottles for the formula that the hospital provided, as Elvie preferred them. If your baby is already eating solids, bring enough baby food for the day as well.
  • Diapers and Wipes to Last One Day 2 of 12
    Diapers and Wipes to Last One Day
    One of the first things our nurse got for us was diapers and wipes, but it took awhile to get to our room and to meet the nurse. It never hurts to have plenty of diapering supplies on hand.

    Photo Credit: iStockphoto
  • Bibs and Burp Cloths 3 of 12
    Bibs and Burp Cloths
    We brought a burp cloths that also turn into bibs, thus making it a bit more straightforward. The hospital had washcloths we could use, but they're just not as effective as bibs and burp cloths. We brought seven and it was just about right for doing laundry every couple of days.
  • Kimono Shirts 4 of 12
    Kimono Shirts
    When you first arrive, chances are your baby will be hooked up to some monitors. A kimono shirt will allow easy access to the chest for doctors to take a listen, as well as allow monitor wires to go where they need to go. Hospitals often have these, but we wanted to have our baby's clothes smell like home and be soft for her, as well as being the proper size. We had eight, and on the days that Elvie was throwing up, it was just right. On the days she wasn't, it was nice to have plenty so I wouldn't have to do laundry every day.
  • Blankets from Home 5 of 12
    Blankets from Home
    Hospital blankets are scratchy! Bringing your own blankets will provide soft snuggles and a little whiff of home. We took three, and there was only one day that all three got bodily fluids on them. Take four if it looks like you're in for a messy stay.
  • Comfort Items 6 of 12
    Comfort Items
    Some babies don't have anything they prefer besides their own thumb, but I know that the kind of pacifier Elvie prefers and her beloved Lamby made all the difference when things got stressful or it was time to sleep. I highly recommend bringing at least six pacifiers and investing in a second lovey. When things got gross for us, there was always a clean alternate.
  • Comfortable Clothes for When Baby is Off Monitors 7 of 12
    Comfortable Clothes for When Baby is Off Monitors
    As Elvie got better, they needed to do less to her, and we started putting her in clothes. It was a welcome departure from the kimono shirts, as handy as they were for the first part of our stay. Three outfits is plenty.
  • Plenty of Baby Socks 8 of 12
    Plenty of Baby Socks
    No one wants their baby to have cold feet, and we found the hospital socks to be lacking in comfort as well as fit. Much of the time there was something on Elvie's foot (IV or monitor of some sort) that made putting socks on her difficult, but we were glad to have them when we could use them.

    Photo Credit: iStockphoto
  • Preferred Baby Care Items 9 of 12
    Preferred Baby Care Items
    If you use Johnson & Johnson, the hospital will have what you are using. However, if you prefer something else or your child's skin requires a little more care, then you'll need to bring your own from home. The bonus to this for me is that my baby also still smelled like my baby, a mixture of her own sweet smell and the oils in her lotion.
  • Baby Sunglasses 10 of 12
    Baby Sunglasses
    I know, it seems frivolous. But the lights above the crib that the doctors and nurses will use for exams and procedures are often way too bright for little eyes.
  • A Few Favorite Toys 11 of 12
    A Few Favorite Toys
    We brought a small variety of things that Elvie had shown an interest in and brought a few more once we figured out what she wanted to play with.
  • Medications Your Baby is Taking 12 of 12
    Medications Your Baby is Taking
    This includes prescription medications as well as over the counter medications. I found it easiest to just pop them all into a plastic bag. You may not keep medication in your baby's room, so you can either check it in with the pharmacy for the duration of your baby's stay or take it home once the nurse has recorded what your baby is taking and in what amounts.

    Photo Credit: iStockphoto


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More about our hospital stays on Babble:
When Your Baby Is Sick: The Practicalities of Hospital Life
The Unexpected Gifts of Elvie’s Unexpected Hospital Stays
Coming Home, Again

Article Posted 4 years Ago

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