We get many questions from parents about what to bring to the hospital. The quick answer is to bring the comfort items your child loves, whether it is a stuffed animal, book or tablet. We have toys and other items to distract and entertain children, but children are most comfortable with what they know.

What to Pack for Your Child’s Hospital Visit

Be sure to label all the personal items your child takes to the hospital in case the items become misplaced. Some things to consider bringing include:

  • Favorite small toy or security item, such as a stuffed animal, blanket or pacifier
  • An empty bottle or sippy cup to use after the surgery
  • Personal technology items, such as a tablet, portable DVD player, music player, handheld games, laptops for older children. We offer free Wi-Fi throughout the hospital for patients and family members.
  • Reading material, such as books, schoolwork or magazines
  • For overnight stays:
    • Cosmetics and soaps. (We provide basic toiletries, but children are often more comfortable with their own).
    • Bathrobe if desired and one change of clothes (including underwear). We will provide socks, but children may prefer their own.
    • We carry most infant formulas. However, if your child requires specialized food items or has any specific food allergies or restrictions, please bring a supply with you for the entire stay.

Things you do NOT need to bring include:

  • Medications, either prescription or over-the-counter, or supplements (unless your child's physician specifically requests that you bring them)
  • Diapers and wipes (we will provide)
  • Any valuable items that could be stolen or lost

If your child is expected to be admitted for a prolonged hospital stay, please refer to UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital Admissions for further information. Please call your child’s surgeon if you are not sure how long your child will stay in the hospital after surgery.

What to Read Next

Read about checking into surgery.