What to Bring for Your Child’s Hospital Stay

Whether your child is having day surgery at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone or is receiving medical care that requires an overnight stay, having familiar items and the proper supplies can help your child adjust better during this experience.

Music Room at Hassenfeld Children's Hospital

Below are items to consider bringing with you on the day your child has a procedure. The list was developed by our Family Advisory Council and Youth Advisory Council, which are committees made up of patients and their family members that provide valuable input regarding patient and family experiences at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital.

Comfort Items

Having familiar toys and other distractions can help ease any anxiety and keep your child occupied. Some suggestions include the following:

  • a favorite toy, music, movie, or book
  • comfort items, especially those your child cannot sleep without, such as a pillow, stuffed animal, or blanket
  • photographs showing family, friends, and fun times to help take your child’s mind off being in the hospital
  • favorite snacks or drinks (please first ask your child’s nurse if this is allowed; some tests and procedures require that your child not eat or drink beforehand)
  • ear plugs or headphones to help soften or block out noises in the hospital

“The doctor said, ‘Listen. If you come here, you’ll walk down the hall, and the nurses, the staff—everybody will know you. We’ll know you, we’ll know your daughter. You’ll be part of our family.’ And he was right.”

—Jennie Donovan

Family Advisory Council Member, Mother of Caroline and William

Personal Items

Many personal items, such as toiletries, are provided to your child. He or she might want to pack these additional items:

  • short or loose fitting pajamas if your child is spending the night (two-piece pajamas with front buttons can provide the most comfort)
  • a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, or brush
  • eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • a preferred bottle or cup, which might help soothe small children after surgery
  • a bottle and one day’s supply of infant formula, if appropriate (tell your child’s doctor if your baby uses a special formula, such as a hypoallergenic variety, so he or she can alert the pediatric unit and ensure it’s available)
  • baby wipes (diapers will be made available)
  • breast pump and cooler if your child is breastfed
  • a zip-up sweatshirt with a hood and other clothes that can be layered for warmth
  • a fresh change of clothes
  • shoes with treads or rubber-soled socks
  • flip-flops for use in the shower

We recommend you bring the following paperwork:

  • a printout of your child’s medical history
  • a list of all medications that your child takes, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, along with dosage and frequency information
  • your child’s social security number, insurance information, and precertification from the health insurance company

Items for Parents

If you will be spending the night with your child, considering bringing the following items:

  • cell phone and charger
  • loose fitting, comfortable clothing
  • toiletries, including a toothbrush, toothbrush, hair brush, and deodorant
  • a change of clothes
  • bathrobe and slippers
  • eye mask for sleeping
  • breath mints
  • hand towel
  • zip-top plastic storage bags
  • headphones
  • reading or other materials for use if you are awake in the middle of the night
  • any necessary medications, including over-the-counter pain relievers

What to Leave at Home

We suggest that you pack lightly and only bring what your child will need during his or her stay. For safety and security reasons, we also recommend that you leave jewelry and large sums of cash at home. You may bring electronic devices, such as laptops, tablets, and portable video players, but please be aware that you should keep them secured at all times. Please do not bring electric appliances such as hair dryers or electric razors.

Contact Us

For information about how to secure your belongings during your child’s stay at Tisch Hospital, please call the cashier at 212-263-5098 or security at 212-263-5038.

For information about how to secure your belongings during your child’s stay at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, please call the security office at 212-598-6202.