11 Essentials To Pack For A Child’s Hospital Visit


A hospital stay for a parent can be a distressing time. With a million questions and worries it can be trying time for both child and parent. Packing the essentials can be hard, especially when you are not sure what to take.We have a list of 11 essentials to pack for a child’s hospital visit.


The main thing is to stay comfortable and keep your child occupied. Lots of tasks that can be carried out in a bed or in a small space are great.


Children’s wards are surprisingly fun places. There is usually an indoor play area with lots of toys and activities to do. Most wards have a play therapist on hand to offer lots of support and things for children to do. Don’t be afraid to ask for activities, they won’t expect you to keep children in one place. Unless there is a specific reason like quarantine or risk of fall.



small boy painting in hospital



Packing essentials


Comfortable clothing
iPad / tablet
Favourite teddy / pillow / comforter
Slippers or indoor shoes.
Dressing gown
Sling or Carrier
Money in change
Music and earphones


If you are staying overnight don’t forget to check out visiting times beforehand and let any visitors know.


**TOP TIP** don’t forget your device charger, but be discreet when charging as hospitals can be funny with items that haven’t been PAT tested.


Comfortable clothing

Clothing needs to be light and loose so items like Legging, shorts or tracksuit bottoms are great for lounging about in. It’s always very warm in hospital so light layers are better.



Most children’s ward have snacks available 24 hours a day for children, such a sandwiches, toast, fruits and biscuits, but its always advisable to take in your favourite food and drinks to help your child feel more at home.


**TOP TIP** don’t forget to keep snacks out of the way if your child is on nil by mouth.



Small boy watching nd iPad in hospital.



iPad / Tablet

Hospitals can be boring places, even with TV available and activities so bringing a device can help in times when your child wants to do something else.


Favourite teddy / pillow / comforter

Packing a familiar item such as blanket, teddy or pillow can help to ease your child’s worries and make things seem a bit more homely.



Small boy doing craft activities on his hospital bed.



Slippers or Indoor Shoes

Floors are dirty places and with all those germs and people coming in and out a clean pair of slip on shoes can help to keep your child’s feet clean, germ free and warm.


Dressing Gown

This helps to preserve a child’s modesty and clean them snug if they are feeling cold.


**TOP TIP** Remember visitors need to come at times that the hospital specifies. Parents however can come and go as they wish. Most hospitals allow one parent to stay in with child overnight.


Sling or Carrier

For young infants having a carrier with you will allow to to soothe and comfort a child in an environment that is not home. If your child is having an operation in which you are concerned about if they can be carried, consult your local babywearing educator for more advise.



Many hospitals offer towels no bigger than a hand towel so taking in your own is always advisable.


Money in change

Car parks, vending machines and the tea trolley will all need some coins, so make sure you have plenty.


Music and earphones

Music can be soothing for a child or a boredom buster for older children. Its always a good idea to have earphones so that others are not bothered by the music.




small boy in a hospital bed after an operation



We asked some other mum’s what their tips were for a happy hospital stay and this is what they said.


Elizabeth  – A new stuffed animal, doll or action figure might help him through his hospital stay, while giving him a new friend to play with. Coloring books, journals and drawing paper can go with colored pencils, crayons, gel pens, glitter pens or other artistic items are another option.


Anoushka – Slightly off-topic, more a “before you go” thought – Some hospitals have helpful online resources for kids, e.g. this from Great Ormond Street (http://www.gosh.nhs.uk/children/your-hospital-life-real-stories). Others may have “social stories” which set out very clearly, with visuals, what a hospital stay and treatment involves. They are intended for kids with special needs, but may be helpful for any nervous child. Worth browsing the hospital’s website. A well-prepared child is a happy child!


Jade – I always have an emergency kit ready by the door for things like unexpected hospital visits. It includes a spare set of clothes and undies, paper and pens to draw with and chargers for things like tablets.


Nyomi – I would pack toothbrush, toothpaste, pjs, slippers, some pencils and paper, a teddy, some small toys like cars or Lego, an iPad and charger and some of their favourite snacks.


If you would like to read some more great ideas for hospital stays for children this article by Mum on a mission is another great read. – www.mumoam.co.uk/10-things-parents-should-do-when-child-in-hospital/




montage of images of a small boy in hospital with wording saying 11 essentials to pack for a child's hospital visit..




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