What to Bring for Your Child’s Hospital Stay

A pacifier, a well-hugged stuffed animal, a cozy blanket—whatever makes your child feel safe and secure should be one of the first items you pack as you prepare for your child’s stay at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone.

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This information was developed by our Family and Youth Advisory Councils to make the hospital experience easier for you.

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Here are some suggestions on what else to put in your child’s bag. And don’t forget about yourself—we’ve also included some items families won’t want to be without.

Stuffed Toy

Comfort Items

Here are some items that can help distract, soothe, and calm your child:

  • a favorite toy or book
  • TV shows or movies downloaded to your phone, tablet, or other device
  • whatever your child cannot sleep without, including a pillow, stuffed animal, or bedtime music
  • photographs of family, friends, and fun times
  • favorite snacks or drinks, but please first ask your child’s nurse if this is allowed; some tests and procedures require that your child not eat or drink beforehand

Personal Items

We provide many personal items, such as toiletries, but here are some additional items you might want to pack.

For Infants

  • breast pump and cooler if your child is breastfed
  • 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 make sure it’s available)
  • baby wipes (diapers will be available)

For All Children

  • favorite snacks and drinks, and a preferred sippy cup if your child has one
  • short or loose-fitting pajamas, such as two-piece pajamas with front buttons
  • a toothbrush and preferred toothpaste
  • a comb or brush and any favorite hair accessories
  • eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • a favorite bottle or cup
  • a zip-up sweatshirt with a hood and other clothes that can be layered for warmth
  • a change of comfortable clothes
  • shoes with treads or rubber-soled socks
  • flip-flops for use in the shower
  • any adaptive equipment your child needs, such as a walker or hearing aids

Items for Parents

We recommend you bring the following paperwork:

  • a printout of your child’s medical history and vaccination records
  • 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 ID card, and precertification from your health insurance company

The following items might come in handy if you are spending the night with your child:

  • electronics, such as a tablet, laptop, portable video player, and cell phone with charger, as well as headphones
  • loose fitting, comfortable clothing
  • toiletries, including a toothbrush, hair brush, and deodorant
  • a change of clothes
  • bathrobe and slippers or thick socks
  • eye mask and ear plugs for sleeping
  • breath mints
  • hand towel
  • zip-top plastic storage bags for toiletries or other items
  • books, magazines, or other reading material
  • any necessary medications, including over-the-counter pain relievers

What to Leave at Home

Pack as lightly as possible, focusing only on the items you and your child truly need based on how long you’re expected to be in the hospital. Please do not bring electrical appliances, such as hair dryers or electric razors.

We recommend that you leave jewelry and large sums of cash at home. Please keep tabs on your valuables, as Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital cannot be responsible for them. If you have items that need to be safely stored, please talk with your child’s nurse.