Preparing for an Overnight Stay

We know that staying in the hospital can be stressful. Here at Boston Children's Hospital, we do everything possible to provide a comfortable environment for you and your child.

If your child is scheduled to stay in the hospital, you will receive an admission date from your child's doctor, and a packet of information will be mailed to you from our Admitting Office. Please note, if your child has a cold, flu or stomach bug or has been exposed to a contagious disease like chicken pox, measles or mumps just before the day of admission, please call your child's doctor or health care provider at Children's. You may need to reschedule your admission or appointment.

For more information on what to expect while at Children's, see our information about hospital amenities and activities. To find out more about what to expect from a medical aspect, see our Clinical Services page and select the program/service or department that will be caring for your child.

You also may want to speak with the Child Life specialist who works on the floor where your child will be staying. Child Life specialists can provide you with detailed information about what to expect during your child's stay at Children's.

To make your admission appointment as efficient as possible, please bring the following:

  • a completed registration form, which you will receive in the mail before your admission
  • your child's Boston Children's Hospital identification card, if he or she already has one (if not, you will get one when you get here)
  • any billing forms your insurance company might require
  • your child's insurance identification card
  • two copies of claim forms from your insurance company or employer
  • any letters of authorization from your child's physician or insurance company
  • your Medicaid card or a letter of authorization from the Medicaid agency in your state, if applicable
  • documentation of household income if you are uninsured, such as W-2 forms, three paychecks, or your most recent tax form
  • your child's Social Security Number
  • the Massachusetts Health Care Proxy Form for patients 18 or older

To help your child feel more comfortable while here at Children's, please bring his or her favorite belongings to the hospital, as well as items from home that are part of his or her daily routine. These might include:

  • toys, games, books, audio or videotapes and photos
  • a favorite stuffed animal or blanket, and pillows
  • glasses, hearing aids, crutches, braces, corrective shoes or other orthopedic aids
  • medications your child is currently taking and a list of those medications
  • toothbrush and toothpaste
  • schoolwork, if appropriate

Electronic devices

  • If your child has special electrical medical appliances, such as intravenous feeding pumps or monitoring devices, they must be inspected before admission by the Department of Biomedical Engineering. This department can be reached at 617-355-6166, or you can ask the Nursing team for assistance.

  • Each inpatient room has a TV, videogame console, wireless Internet and access to a DVD player, but if you'd like to bring any non-medical electrical items (like laptops, iPads or hair dryers) please discuss them first with the Nursing staff. 

  • Operation of cellular phones is not permitted within 6 feet of electrical medical equipment. 

  • The security of personal belongings is the family's responsibility.

Printable Brochures

  • Pre-admission brochure: Directions, accommodations, tips on what to bring and more.
  • Welcome packet: Hospital services, neighborhood activities, a who's-who glossary and a special section for teenage patients.