What Should We Bring for our Kid’s Hospital Stay?

11 Sep

Here we go again.

Photo 4:

Round 1 of chemo was almost done. Jackson sailed through his chemo with some nausea, but it was mostly controlled with Zofran and Benadryl. I think he only threw up twice. That first round of chemo, he didn’t even need G-CSF shots to stimulate his white blood cells. He rebounded all on his own! Of course, that was the last time that happened.

Each round of chemo was everyday for 4-5 consecutive days, so we tried to make Jackson’s hospital room as comfortable as possible.

I get asked this question often: what should we bring for hospital stays?

Here’s a list of things we usually brought for Jackson:

  • Favorite books
  • Toys that could be easily wiped clean
  • His crib bedding and pillows
  • Our glider (thanks Dad!) from home to rock him in (Seriously…my butt couldn’t take rocking him for hours in the wooden hospital rocking chair)
  • Favorite DVDs (we watched Cars hundreds of times)
  • Slippers or socks with grippers on the bottom
  • PJs that allowed for cords and IV lines
  • A wide variety of his favorite snacks

Here’s a list of things the hospital provided:

  • Diapers and wipes
  • Sippy cups
  • Toys
  • Crayons and coloring books
  • Movies
  • Baby soap, towels, etc.
  • All Jackson’s meal and juices boxes/milk whenever he asked (he NEVER ate any hospital meals except breakfast)

Here’s a list of things I brought for myself:

  • Pillow and blanket for the pull-out chair
  • Hospital chic attire (sweats and yoga pants, sports bras and comfy shirts)
  • A fleece or sweatshirt, because you never know how cold your room will be
  • Flip flops (less dirt, easy on and off)
  • Normal toiletries
  • Drugs, lots of drugs (i.e. Tylenol, Tylenol PM, Excedrin Migraine, Tums, saline spray. Not real drugs.)
  • Glasses (because who wants to deal with contacts)
  • Change for vending machines when you realize you haven’t eaten in 12 hours and the cafeteria is closed

These days, we’d also bring electronics. But 6 years ago, they weren’t as prevalent. Today, I would probably try to limit that some, because exercise is good for kids. It keeps their muscles strong and a change of scenery instantly improves their demeanor. It improved mine as well.

Basically, we literally moved into a hem/onc room every 21 days or so during chemo.

In this photo you’ll how young he was, with the hospital crib behind him with his crib all neat with bedding and stuffed animals. Notice the sippy cups, toys on the floor and his yellow glider? Jackson’s favorite things were all present and accounted for.

It was breakfast time when this was taken, and there’s no way I would have had time to make his bed yet…(or shower…or have coffee…) so that meant he’d refused to sleep alone in his crib and instead slept with me on the oh-so-comfy pull-out chair. Memories. My back and neck haven’t been the same since 2009.

Wasn’t he just the cutest? Love that boy.

God bless those nurses that never complained about untangling his IV lines, pulse ox and blood pressure cuff from around his body and mine for vitals and labs. They are amazing at their jobs.

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