Eleanor Douglas-Meyers is a crafty mom from Uitenhage who writes about DIY, parenting, natural hair care, fashion, food and fun on her blog JustEllaBella
Although I am not super keen on giving “parenting advice” on hospitals, or anything else, I like to share what works for me in hopes that it may assist someone else.
My son Aidan has been in hospital twice now (not counting his birth) and is due for a operation soon so I thought it might be a good time to share my hospital survival tips:
- When you think you have enough sets of pajamas, pack another; bodily fluids and hospitals are a notorious pairing I have come to find.
- Take activities and toys along. I’m lucky, because I like making busy bags so was able to grab a bag of quiet toys and go – if you’re not much of a “maker” keeping store bought puzzles, crayons and playdough in a bag is a good idea for quick visits to restaurants, relatives or (hopefully not needed) the hospital.
- Bring something familiar from the child’s room…for Aidan that’s his “banket”; a chocolate brown faux fur blanket he has claimed as his own and which has taken the place of something you’d expect to be baby blue and covered in racing cars.
- Mom or dad if you are staying over be ready to fend for yourself; Bring your own food and blankets and locate a bathroom and coffee machine. In private hospitals you should be lucky enough to get a cup of tea and a chair.
- Try not to be offended if nurses seem cold. If they are outright rude then I believe you can be upset, but if they’re just a little cold, try to remember they are overworked and although your angel is definitely YOUR first priority they have quite a few patients to deal with, often needing more assistance than you do. Goodness help me, I’m still working on this one, I’m not a fan of people talking down to me or being cold or rough towards my kid.
- Be prepared for acting out … Aidan threw crayons and an apple on the floor, he also cried because he was in a blue bed and wanted a red one. Be understanding and maybe leave the naughty corner for home.
- Be ready to explain things … why can’t I go home? why can’t I watch my favourite shows?, why is the kid next door still scream crying after five hours? (The last question might be from me).
- Remember chances are they will hurt your baby … drips, tests and needles are not fun and will bring on tears, and not just for the parents.
- Know what you are entitled to, and don’t be afraid to ask.
- Be polite; a please and thank you go a long way.
See more from Eleanor at justellabella.co.za