When the Dinosaur was diagnosed with leukaemia, we spent the first 2 weeks of his treatment in the hospital so we needed to whip together a hospital bag pretty quickly. When he was discharged, we were warned that we would need to keep a hospital bag packed and ready to go because if he gets a temperature of 38C or more he needs to go straight to the hospital for 48 hours to receive IV antibiotics. Here’s what we pack in our hospital bag.
Clothes For The Child
Clothes For The Parent
Toothbrush & toothpaste for both parent & child
Shampoo & Conditioner
Hand cream – you will need this, sanitiser & hospital soap are incredibly drying
Nappies/nighttime pants – handy for if the child will have a general anaesthetic too
Regular medication (for parent and child)
Face masks/coverings – covid is still around
Bag for dirty washing
Items For Comfort
I cannot stress enough how important it is for both parent and child to remain comfortable during a hospital stay. You will not be getting much sleep with all the noises and nurses coming in for observations and medication administration throughout the night so it’s important to be as comfortable as you can. These hospital bag items are things that will make the room much more homely and less clinical.
Sleeping bag for the parent, hospital blankets are so thin
Pillow for the parent and the child if they want their own
Blanket for the child – far easier for the nursing staff to access the child’s central line during the night than if the child is in a sleeping bag plus a blanket is easier to wash if it gets spilt on
Chargers for all devices or a couple of universal chargers
Extension lead – there are never enough outlets in hospitals and they are always in really inconvenient places.
Headphones – so you can watch your favourite shows when your child is asleep
I know this sounds weird for a hospital bag list but you wouldn’t believe the amount of paperwork involved!
Folder – to keep all the leaflets, forms and information sheets you are given
Paper/notepad – for the child to draw or write
Diary – I find and A4 page to view is ideal so that you can note down all the important things you want to keep track of such as your child blood counts and weight changes, it’s also brilliant for noting down things you want to remember such as reactions to medications, questions you want to ask, information the specialists have told you etc.
Crayons/felt tips – so both you and your child can unleash your creativity!
Food & Drink
You will need to pack food for yourself and most likely for your child as well. Sadly hospitals don’t provide food for parents who are staying with a sick child so you will need to provide your own. It’s also a good idea to take food for your child as well as they may be having specific cravings (particularly if there are on steroids) or they just might not like the hospital menu.
You will need to be creative with your foods as most parent kitchens only have a kettle, fridge, microwave & toaster. If you are lucky there might be a freezer as well.
Tea/coffee/hot chocolate – you might be lucky and have this provided but it’s not always the nicest stuff so I like to take my own
Water bottle (for parent & child)
Cutlery (for parent & child) – sometimes this isn’t always available or there isn’t enough to have a complete set
Travel mug for hot drinks – keeps it warm and helps to prevent spills
Ready meals/convenience meals – things like super noodles, pasta in sauce, microwave rice etc.