On being prepared for hospital stays

I never imagined I would have a hospital bug out bag for my daughter, tucked away in her bedroom closet, but last summer Hazel was unexpectedly hospitalized for a week in pediatrics and I found myself entirely unprepared.

She had caught a virus of some sort in July and had a bit of a cough. She was still on oxygen at the time and while monitoring her oxygen saturations I could see her sats were dipping a little but not enough to increase her oxygen needs. When her little cough started turning into a bigger cough over the course of a couple hours I made the decision to take her to the hospital emergency room. She was monitored and sent up to pediatrics to monitored further. 

We spent a couple hours in the peds unit, running a lab work up, and going for a chest xray and in that time Hazel's oxygen needs started going up fairly quickly. In a couple hours we had doubled her o2 needs from what they usually were. Now, our peds unit is an observation unit - kiddos can spend the night there but it's preferred to transfer them to another hospital if they suspect the child may be there longer than a night or two. So, the transfer to Abbotsford was arranged (about a 30 minute drive from home) and Hazel was secured onto a stretcher in her car seat and taken by ambulance. I rode with her, and Jeff met us there after running home to get me a toothbrush and a change of clothes. 

I went in to the hospital expecting her to need some medications or maybe instructions to increase her o2 but I was completely unprepared for a one week hospital admission and I swore I wouldn't be unprepared again.

Unfortunately for little preemie babes, the walls of the NICU aren't likely to be their last hospital stay. With compromised immune systems, and often other health concerns it's common to have several more hospital admissions. We knew this, and expected it but being the middle of summer we weren't prepared at all. 

So when Hazel was booked in to have her PDA valve closed at BC Children's hospital back in October I put together a hospital bug out bag and I keep it in her closet so if ever we have to take her to emerg, I can grab it and throw it in the trunk of the car in case we need it. It's been a big weight off my shoulders just knowing it's there and the only time I have to touch it is when I find she's moved up a size in sleepers, I will update the ones I keep in her bag.

I always hesitate to say this out loud but, *knock on wood* Hazel hasn't had an overnight admission since July and we haven't needed the bag but that's totally fine with me but knowing I'm prepared for when she does gives me a great deal of relief - especially now that she is older and eats foods, and has comfort items and a routine.

I hope this will give you some ideas for a hospital bag if you're planning on having one - I would love to hear you comment below with any items you have in your bag! 

 

 

 This is Herbert - hazel's NICU octopus so it's always a given that it goes with her on any hospital visits. The name Herbert came from two of Hazel's primary nurses one night in the NICU when they decided it needed a name that went with Hazel. That's when Herbert was born (yes it has a bow haha) and it even had it's own crib card. I've said it before - Hazel's nurses were outstanding.   Also here, is a muslin swaddle - again we've had this since the NICU and thought we don't generally use swaddles anymore I like to keep one in her bag as a light blanket in case she is fevered or for some reason unable to wear clothes then at least I can snuggle her with a blanket.

This is Herbert - hazel's NICU octopus so it's always a given that it goes with her on any hospital visits. The name Herbert came from two of Hazel's primary nurses one night in the NICU when they decided it needed a name that went with Hazel. That's when Herbert was born (yes it has a bow haha) and it even had it's own crib card. I've said it before - Hazel's nurses were outstanding. 

Also here, is a muslin swaddle - again we've had this since the NICU and thought we don't generally use swaddles anymore I like to keep one in her bag as a light blanket in case she is fevered or for some reason unable to wear clothes then at least I can snuggle her with a blanket.

 If you saw my instagram story on the "bear feels" series you'll remember I mentioned it being in our hospital bag. Story time has been a big part of Hazel's life. We used to read so much to her in the NICU as we sat at her bedside and reading is so important to a baby's development so we continued it when we came home. Now, Hazel has story time at least 3 times a day so for her hospital bag I sought out stories that explained time in the hospital, at the doctor or being unwell so that as she gets older she can relate more and hopefully ease some of her fears. You can find these books here:  http://a.co/hEAEOpk

If you saw my instagram story on the "bear feels" series you'll remember I mentioned it being in our hospital bag. Story time has been a big part of Hazel's life. We used to read so much to her in the NICU as we sat at her bedside and reading is so important to a baby's development so we continued it when we came home. Now, Hazel has story time at least 3 times a day so for her hospital bag I sought out stories that explained time in the hospital, at the doctor or being unwell so that as she gets older she can relate more and hopefully ease some of her fears. You can find these books here: http://a.co/hEAEOpk

 It goes without saying that I would have a ring sling in our bag. This is always in my diaper bag so it wouldn't be in my hospital bag persay, but I felt it needed to be included. If you haven't heard me talking about baby wearing in the NICU then stay tuned for a post next week on that but a ring sling is a must for us. Also, one of Hazel's bottles so that she doesn't have to get used to a different bottle in the hospital.

It goes without saying that I would have a ring sling in our bag. This is always in my diaper bag so it wouldn't be in my hospital bag persay, but I felt it needed to be included. If you haven't heard me talking about baby wearing in the NICU then stay tuned for a post next week on that but a ring sling is a must for us. Also, one of Hazel's bottles so that she doesn't have to get used to a different bottle in the hospital.

 And since my babe has ridiculously long hair for her age I keep with us a hair brush and hair elastics to keep her hair out of her eyes. 

And since my babe has ridiculously long hair for her age I keep with us a hair brush and hair elastics to keep her hair out of her eyes. 

 We LOVE Love Child Organics. I keep a couple snack bars for Hazel in the bag and also a couple pouches. There are times where she could be NPO (nothing by mouth) if she gets unwell but if she isn't and she'll still feeling under the weather, I like to keep some easy to eat snacks for her that pack a punch of nutrients. You can find these products and more  here

We LOVE Love Child Organics. I keep a couple snack bars for Hazel in the bag and also a couple pouches. There are times where she could be NPO (nothing by mouth) if she gets unwell but if she isn't and she'll still feeling under the weather, I like to keep some easy to eat snacks for her that pack a punch of nutrients. You can find these products and more here

 I searched Amazon for a kids doctor/nurse play kit and came upon this one which I thought Hazel might like best and she really loves it! This one is by Fisher Price and comes with a number of pieces. I wanted her to have pieces the medical team commonly would use to help take away any fears she may have in the future. You can find it here with the books mentioned above

I searched Amazon for a kids doctor/nurse play kit and came upon this one which I thought Hazel might like best and she really loves it! This one is by Fisher Price and comes with a number of pieces. I wanted her to have pieces the medical team commonly would use to help take away any fears she may have in the future. You can find it here with the books mentioned above

 I also include a sleeper and a onesie. Walmart has 3 sleepers for $15 so I generally will pick up 3 from there and keep them in her hospital bag. 

I also include a sleeper and a onesie. Walmart has 3 sleepers for $15 so I generally will pick up 3 from there and keep them in her hospital bag.