Preparing for your Visit
To help you prepare for your hospital stay, we’ve prepared the following basic list of items to bring with you. Please check with your doctor to find out if there are specific items you should or shouldn’t bring in addition to those listed on this page.
- When packing for your child’s stay, include things that will make their room as home-like as possible. Bring things like their favorite pillow or blanket, toys, games and anything else that reminds them of home.
- Pack your child's favorite toy, book, blanket, pacifier or other special comfort item.
- Make sure to bring entertainment. We have access to many movies and TV channels as well as a variety of gaming systems.
- Please feel free to bring any toiletry items from home that would make you or your child more comfortable. There are basic toiletries available, if needed.
- A phone card may be used when making long-distance calls, although cell phone use is permitted in most areas of the hospital.
- Children and parents may bring personal electronic devices such as laptops, iPods, MP3 players, etc. Wireless internet access is available throughout the hospital.
- Many children are able to continue to do school work while in the hospital. You may want to talk to your child's teacher in advance to prepare. Le Bonheur has an accredited school program, and we have teachers on site that can help with direct instruction.
Plan to stay with your child
If there is one thing that parents can do that will make a major difference in their child’s hospitalization, it’s being present and involved during the hospital stay. Being in the hospital can be a scary and overwhelming experience for a child. No one (not even the best nurses and doctors) can help ease fear like a family member. A Le Bonheur, we think parental presence is so important that every room, including the intensive care unit and neonatal care unit. Both have space for two adults to sleep in the room. We realize this can be difficult. Our advice is to be as present as possible, take turns with other family members and make the most of the time that you are there by being both emotionally and physically present.
Prepare yourself, too
When you have a child in the hospital, it’s natural to want to make things better for the child while surviving on little sleep and lots of worry. Part of doing what’s best for the child, though, is also taking care of yourself. The following tips can help during a hospital stay:
Parents/caregivers need to take care of themselves by getting sleep and appropriate nutrition, as well as, taking breaks from the hospital environment. Some families find it helpful to document/journal their experience while in the hospital.
- Emotional Support
Parents/Caregivers need to enlist the support of family, friends and their faith community to cope with the stress and anxiety that occurs when your child is in the hospital.
- Seeking Help
Parents/Caregivers need to seek help from those around them when they are having difficulty coping. Le Bonheur has support services (chaplain, mental health professional and social workers) to help families when typical coping techniques are no longer working.