Naturally, when your child has to go to the hospital for an extended stay, your or your spouse or partner will be staying there with your son or daughter. Packing for your child might come easy for you— PJs, snacks (if allowed), books, travel games, comfortable socks, iPad or tablet, favourite toys, etc. — but packing for yourself can be bit more complicated.
When it's our child that's in need, we do everything we possibly can to make them happy and comfortable, but as parents we often neglect our own needs, especially during trying times like hospital stays.
It's stressful enough preparing your child's suitcase for a hospital visit, you shouldn't have to think too hard over what to pack for yourself. That's why this blog is dedicated to you, the parent, and what you should pack in your bag to ensure your stay is comfortable, as well.
Since you're not the one being treated, it's okay for you to wear more than the usual hospital garb of pj's and comfy socks, but you do want to be comfortable while you're there. Leave the fancy slacks and blouses at home, you're with your child at the hospital, no one cares if you're fashionable. Yoga pants, sweats, tshirts, and favourite jeans are the best options for comfort. Bring a pair of comfortable shoes and a pair of slippers. As it can get a little chilly in those hospital rooms at times, you do want to make sure you have a couple pairs of thick socks to hand.
Pack an extra throw blanket or two, as well as a pillow so you don't have to ask hospital staff for extra. Most children's hospitals provide blankets and pillows for parents but it's never a bad idea to have your own just in case. You'll also want to bring your own hygiene products, like toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, soap or body wash, etc. Again, most hospitals do provide travel-size versions for free, and of course gift shops always have these available but the prices are usually twice the normal retail value so bringing your own in just saves money and hassle. Don't forget to pack things like baby wipes, lotion, and dry shampoo for times when your child may be unable to take a regular bath and wants to get clean.
Like your child, you'll need some type of entertainment available during down times. Pack a favorite book or two, and a laptop or tablet, if you have one. Most hospitals are now equipped with complimentary Wifi, so you and your child can Skype or communicate on social media with other family members and friends.
Be sure to pack your own favorite snacks and drinks in a cooler bag. Like everything else, hitting up the vending machines becomes pricey.
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