How to Make Your Child's Hospital Stay Easier, From a Parent Who's Been There

Aimee Christian

Before COVID-19, my daughter’s diagnosis earned her frequent-flyer status on the pediatric floors of our hospital. Last year, she had to have a gastrostomy tube (often called a g-tube) inserted, which bought her a week inpatient. Then she had some postoperative complications, which earned her another week. We have gotten so good at being inpatient that she isn’t scared of going to the hospital anymore. There have been a few times where she has even stopped me from trying to change her g-tube or give her an injection at home. “Mama, I think we need to go to the hospital,” she will say, with a grave expression. I call her on it, and she breaks into a smile. “Yeah,” she will admit. “I love going to the hospital.”

Nobody wants their child to be admitted to the hospital, but sometimes it’s necessary. My daughter and I have our inpatient packing list down to a science. We know what we need to make ourselves comfortable, to pass the time, to stay busy and productive, to get as much rest and nutrition as possible. It may never feel like a stay at a four-star hotel, but here are five tips my daughter and I have for packing and prepping for a stay on the pediatric floor.

Related: 50 Calm-Down Ideas to Try With Kids of All Ages

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