Preparing for your hospital stay

If your child has an arranged hospital admission (not an emergency admission) you should have received a letter with the admission date and details about where to go. Please read your letter carefully. It will contain any special instructions for your child that you need to follow before their procedure, such as whether they are allowed anything to eat or drink beforehand. If you are unsure of any of this information, please telephone the number on your letter, or the Contact Centre on 0800 PATIENT (0800 728436).

The kidshealth website has some helpful information about preparing yourself and your child for their hospital stay:

If your child becomes unwell in the week before their hospital admission, please go to your doctor (GP) for advice or treatment.

If your child is unwell in the 24 hours before their admission, or if you have any general questions, please phone the number on your letter or 0800 PATIENT (0800 728436) to ask for advice.

What to bring

What to bring


For your child you will need to bring:

  • Clothes (including underwear) and shoes for daytime

  • Nighties or pyjamas for night time

  • Personal hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, brush, comb etc

The hospital supplies disposable nappies for children in hospital, but if you prefer cloth nappies you need to bring your own. If your child has a bottle or feeder cup, you will need to bring these with you.

Please bring any mobility aids if they are required, and you must ensure you have a car seat or booster seat to take your child safely home in when you are discharged from hospital.

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To help your child feel more secure you might also like to bring:

  • A favourite toy or cuddly blanket

  • Photos of your family or other item marked with your child's name

  • A favourite book or game/s.

If you are the parent or caregiver staying with your child, you will also need a change of clothes, nightie or pyjamas for night-time, and personal hygiene items such as those listed above. You might like to bring a book and a small amount of money for drinks, snacks and meals, which are available from our cafeterias or vending machines. You can also bring your mobile phone, although there are some clinical areas where mobile phones cannot be used - please ask if you are not sure.

We discourage families from bringing valuables to the hospital, and ask that you label all personal belongings. Temporary custody of valuables such as watches can be arranged while your child is absent from the ward having a treatment or procedure.