Updated: Jun 2, 2021
Below is a master list of my recommendations for what to pack for your inpatient stay. If you don't think all of these items are necessary, feel free to modify your list! This is simply what I suggest based on my inpatient experience:
LOTS of comfortable maternity pants and shorts. Try to get some that go under the belly, as you'll be on the monitors a lot and it can get uncomfortable pulling down high waisted maternity pants.
T-shirts and tank tops
Pajamas - treat yourself to at least one set of either Kindred Bravely or Cuddl Duds pajamas. They feel like heaven!
A couple dresses and pairs of jeans for when visitors come
Maternity undies - find cheap sets on Amazon
Flip flops, slippers, walking shoes, and slip- on shoes. The slip-ons are nice for the room during the day, where you want to feel more "put together" than you would in slippers, but don't want to wear shoes that need to be tied.
A couple hoodies, cardigans, and/or flannels - in your hospital you can be cold one minute and hot another. So far it has been nice to have a tank top on with a flannel or denim shirt layered on top so I can shed it whenever I start having a "hot flash."
Sunglasses and a baseball cap
Pillows - as many as you use at home (think head, belly, and knee support)
Twin XL sheets - you can suffer through the hospital sheets, but why?! You want to be as comfortable as possible!
Memory foam mattress topper (check Amazon or Target, they typically have them for quite cheap)
Amazon Fire Stick, Chromecast, Roku, etc.
Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, loofah, razor)
Belly oil, lotion
Any hair products you typically use
Hair ties, bobby pins, and headbands
Glasses, contacts, contact case, solution
Hairdryer (hospital may provide one)
Straightener and/or curling iron
Comb and/or brush
Nail file and clippers
Towels, hand towels, and washcloths (hospital will provide, but they feel like sandpaper!)
Bath mat (cheap on Amazon)
Soft toilet paper from home
A few hangers
Dirty laundry bag (I use 2 tote bags: one for dirty laundry for my hubby to take home and one to use while he has the other)
Removable sticky hooks to hang your purse, jackets, bags, etc.
Mood Boosters and Vibes from Home
Diffuser with essential oils
Family photos to display
A couple of indoor plants
Crafts, books, and coloring books
Journal and pen - I think it's so important to get your feelings out on paper, it can really help your mental health!
Food and Utensils
Ask your hospital if you'll have a mini fridge or access to a refrigerator and microwave, this will determine what kind of items you can add to your food list. Since I'm inpatient during COVID, I can use the refrigerator and microwave but a nurse has to get and warm up food for me, which has deterred me from using it as much as I would like to.
Prepared food from home - keep meals in individual containers so that it's easy for you (or a nurse) to warm up
Yogurt and granola
Hummus or another kind of dip
Cereal and milk
Snacks for the room - chips, pretzels, trail mix, and snack bars
Ketchup packets, salt and pepper shakers
Plate, bowl, and coffee mug
Fork, spoon, and knife
Dish soap and sponge
Calendar or planner - to cross off each day you're there and to track your visitor schedule
Presents for your children when they come to visit (age dependent, my 1 year old wants to play with the salt and pepper shakers)
Books to read to your little one(s) via video chat
Future Inpatient Mamas - Remember, your hospital room is your home for up to 10 weeks, depending on when you plan to be admitted. You want to be as comfortable and stay as busy as possible! It's better to bring in too much than too little. You can only watch so much TV, so find other activities to keep you busy. If you have a craft you've been wanting to try, now is the time! You won't have this much time on your hands for a long time - if ever again.
Graduate Inpatient Mamas - if there are any other must-have items that you think should be added to this list based on your inpatient experience, please let me know! I'd love to hear your feedback to make this list as comprehensive as possible for future inpatient mamas.