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Packing essentials for a hospital stay with your little one

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

No one wants to think about having to take their little one to hospital but unfortunately, with them being so little and vulnerable, it does happen sometimes.

My eldest had reoccurring bronchiolitis/viral wheeze and so we had multiple hospital admissions over his first two years of life varying from one night to just under 2 weeks. While this is not long compared to what some families have to go through, it did make me a confident hospital bag packer. I learnt what was necessary to make it all feel that bit more comfortable.

Having just got back from an over night admission with my youngest, I thought I’d share it with you all so you can have an easy list of things to grab to hand (or even have some ready packed should the worst occur).

This list isn’t exhaustive, and is more suited for a day or few. If you find you are going to be in longer, you’ll naturally want more clothes, shower/bath stuff for you and little, and a more solid plan for your food/meals. You may also want your own pillow and blanket! But I don’t want to overload you with an overwhelming starter list.

Pack list

For your little one

  • Nappies.

  • Wipes.

  • Nappy cream.

  • Any regular medication (if applicable).

  • Red book (if in UK).

  • Milk (if applicable).

  • Dummy/comforter/blanket from home.

  • Loads of spare clothes for differing temps (it can be quite warm).

  • Simple toys/books; some of their favourites.

  • Snacks.

  • Water bottle.

  • Pram or carrier.

The pram or carrier can be so helpful when in the waiting room before being seen as somewhere for them to rest out of arms. You also may find it a helpful way of settling them when on the ward if the noises and lights are too distracting.

For you

  • Skin care - if you’re going to be staying, in an ideal world you’ll take your whole routine; cleanser, moisturiser etc. But anything to keep you feeling as refreshed as possible can make a world of difference. And perhaps something like a tinted moisturiser just to pep you up.

  • Lip balm.

  • Toothbrush and paste (I forgot them this time somehow and trust me it’s the pits).

  • Deodorant.

  • SPARE PANTS! (And maybe bra if you’re breastfeeding).

  • A spare outfit.

  • Ear plugs and eye mask if you want a fighting chance of sleeping.

  • Comfy socks and jumper (and just wear comfortable clothes; this ain’t no fashion show!)

  • Reusable water bottle.

  • Snacks. Some naughty bits to cheer you but also some fruit and healthier bits to actually nourish you. Also consider what you will do about meals. Breastfeeding mothers tend to get fed on children's wards but no-one else. There's normally a simple kitchen for parents/carers with a fridge, kettle and microwave.

  • Headphones.


  • Something to do/read. And download some easy watching onto your phone/tablet/laptop.


And give yourself all the grace in the world. This is not yours or their normal and you must simply do whatever necessary to get through it.

Call in any support you have to bring things you need if you are going to be there longer than anticipated.

Sending the utmost love to anyone navigating a hospital stay with a little one. It can be physically and emotionally very tough and I am thinking of you all.

Lots of love,

Lucy xxx

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