Heart Center | Frequently Asked Questions

What should we bring to the hospital?

If your child is staying overnight, we encourage parents to try to create a familiar and home-like environment for their child, while using their best judgment and discretion.

Important items to bring to the hospital:

  • Pajamas, bathrobe, socks, slippers, comfortable clothes (a coin-operated laundry facility is available on the first floor of the Farley Building)
  • You may wish to bring a favorite pillow for your child. Be sure to put a colored distinguishing pillow case on, so that your pillow doesn't get confused with a hospital pillow and taken away by accident.
  • Special blanket, toy or teddy bear
  • Favorite videos, security items, comfort objects and pictures from home
  • Glasses, hearing aids, crutches, braces, corrective shoes or other orthopedic aids
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Special formula recipes will take 24 hours to make; please bring sufficient formula for a couple of feedings.
  • Schoolwork
  • A list of all medications your child is currently taking
  • Car seat for when your child is discharged from the hospital. Massachusetts state law mandates that all infants and children must be secured in federally approved car seats until they are at least 5 years old and weigh 40 pounds.

If your child has special electrical medical appliances, such as intravenous pumps, feeding pumps or monitoring devices, or any non-medical electrical items, such as a computer, electric shaver, blow dryer or cell phone, they must be inspected by the Department of Biomedical Engineering before admission. For assistance, please call Bio Engineering at 617-355-6166.

Can parents stay with their child at all times while they are in the hospital?

Boston Children's is committed to family-centered care. The only time a parent may be asked to leave their child's hospital room is when doctors are going on their rounds in the early morning hours and, at times, for specific procedures. In these instances, parents can wait in the waiting room for a brief period of time. 

If my child is having day surgery, how many people can wait with her in the hospital?

There is a family waiting area for whomever wants to come to the hospital. 

If my child is a patient in the hospital, can their siblings and friends visit them anytime they want?

We know it is important to keep communication open with friends and family members while your child is in the hospital, but at the same time, guidelines are in place to ensure proper order and care on the patient floors. Therefore, siblings and friends are allowed during normal hospital visiting hours, which are 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

How long will my child be in the hospital?

Every child is different. Every day that your child is here, your doctor and/or nurse will make it a priority to communicate with you, so that you are constantly aware of the status of your child's health and medical treatment.