Finding out your baby needs surgery is one of the hardest things you will ever hear. A million different questions and worst-case scenarios go flashing in your mind and you wonder how your child will recover. But knowing the best tips to help you prepare for your child’s surgery will give you peace of mind and help you through this difficult time.
No matter how big or small the procedure is, or how young or old your child is, knowing that your child will have to have surgery isn’t easy.
One of the best things you can do to help you prepare for your child’s surgery is to actually do just that- prepare. And to help you take any added stress out of an already stressful situation, I’ll give you all of my tips that were a lifesaver when my baby had surgery!
First things first: Print a Checklist
To really help you prepare for your child’s surgery, you want to make a master checklist of everything you need and everything you need to get done. You’ll want to think of all thing things you need to bring to the hospital for your and for your child. I created this Preparing for a Child’s Surgery Master Checklist. It includes a Hospital checklist and a Checklist template for you to have a place to write down everything you want to do and don’t want to forget.
Get the Master Checklist for FREE Now!
So let’s get down to the awesome tips!
Tips to Prepare For Your Child’s Surgery
One of the number one things you want to do is get support. You will need support and your baby will need support. Tell your family and your friends of the situation, the diagnosis, and the procedure. Surround yourself with support and encouragement. Trust me, you are going to need it!
Now is the time to get on the same page with your spouse and immediate family. Have as many people praying for you and giving you support.
Even invite people to come to the hospital to wait with you during the surgery and even let them bring you food and take care of you.
Make a packing list
Whether your child will be in the hospital for 1 day, 1 night or 1 week and 5 nights, you’re going to want to have a packing list. There is so much that your mind is trying to retain that the last thing you want to do is forget important items at home.
Take 5 minutes to clear your head and think of things that your child will need in the hospital and be sure to write it down.
That’s why I made a Master Hospital Checklist for you! It includes everything that you’ll need to pack and even optional items that most people forget!
Download it now!
Bring a notebook and pen
One thing in the hospital I couldn’t live without was a notebook and pen. I wrote down all the different nurses and doctors that I would talk to and documented what they said and at what time. I even tracked my child’s activities in the hospital, such as her mood, feedings, and naps.
Because your mind is so drained and stressed, you don’t have to leave any room for you to forget anything important.
Even write down any medication that they gave your child and at what times. You’ll be so grateful that you’re keeping track because it’ll be easier for you to remember what certain doctors and nurses said once you get home.
Take off of work
Not all parents have the luxury to take off of work easily but I strongly suggest that you let your job know the situation and take a time of leave. My husband was able to take off of work for a full week while our daughter had surgery and recovered. That time was so special to us because my daughter craved our presence in this time of pain and recovery.
Smooth out insurance dilemmas
One of the worst things in the world to me is calling the health insurance company. No one ever seems to know any solid information and I’m constantly put on hold. But when you find out that your child needs surgery, most of the time the insurance company needs to approve any overnight hospital stays and the procedure itself. Don’t leave this call for the last minute. Call your insurance company as soon as possible so they are on the same page as the doctors and insurance coordinators at the hospital.
Take a breath
Make sure you are taking care of yourself. It’s so easy to prepare for tour child’s surgery and get wrapped up in your baby that you forget about yourself and your health. Be sure to eat regularly, take vitamins, and stay hydrated. You’re going to be put in some tough situations and you want to make sure your body doesn’t fail you!
Talk to your child about the procedure
If your child is old enough to comprehend what is about to happen, then be sure to take a few minutes to talk to them about the procedure. Let them know what to expect, what not to be afraid of, and that you are going to be there every step of the way! This will bring them so much comfort at a time of fear and uncertainty.
Ask a lot of questions
I cannot stress this enough- DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK YOUR DOCTORS QUESTIONS! Even if you don’t have a question, ask them what is the easiest way to contact them when you do have a question. And remember, no question is stupid. This is your child. This is your family. This is your life. You have a right to ask as many questions as you need to help you get through this time. You want to make sure you know all of the details of everything that is happening so you never feel confused.
Make your child as comfortable as possible
No matter what age your child is, you want to do everything you can to make them comfortable. Whether that means bringing their favorite toy or blanket. Or downloading their favorite show or movies on an iPad or laptop. Make them feel as comfortable as possible, at all times. Your child will be going through so many new things that they will need a constant that will bring them comfort.
Make sure your home is clean and everything in place before you leave to prepare for recovery
One of the best things I did was make sure my house was clean before we left for the hospital. You want to leave everything in tip top shape so when you come home after a long, hard couple of days your home is inviting and in order. The last thing you want to do when you get home is clean dirty dishes that have been there for a week.
If you have family that helps you, maybe ask them to straighten up your house before you get home so it’s one less thing you have to do. Make sure your child bed is comfortable and has fresh sheets and pillows so they have a comforting and clean recovery space!
Pediatrician and pharmacy info
You’ll need to give the hospital your child’s pediatrician information and contact information for the pharmacy of your choice in case your child needs to be sent home with medication. I find it best to have this information ready and available, either as a note on my phone, or I write it in the first page of the notebook that I am bringing with me. Several doctors will be asking you for this information so it’s smart to have it on hand!
Make sure to have the pediatrician’s name, address, phone number and fax number. And the same for the pharmacy!
I also created an “Important Information” template in the Hospital Master Checklist Bundle for you to print and use to save and store all of your important phone numbers and addresses! Get it below!
Research the facility
If you’ve never been the hospital or the pediatric floor on the hospital where your child is having their surgery, then I always research the facility so I’m prepared. I find out if I can stay with my child bedside at all times, even through the night. I also find out if my husband can stay with us at all times, or does he have to go to another room for the night. I find out what I can bring and what is not allowed, and any other details that are on my mind!
Don’t forget to download the Free Preparing for Your Child’s Surgery Master Checklist!
Take the stress off of thinking about everything you need to do and bring by getting my free Hospital Master Checklist now!
What the checklist includes:
- A master checklist of everything you need for the hospital
- A checklist template for you to create your own list
- A “To-Do” template for you to track everything you need to get done in prioritized sections
I created the Master Checklist to take stress off of you during this difficult time! Download the checklist now!
Well that’s it! I know that preparing for your child’s surgery is not an easy thing to do, but hopefully, I was able to take some weight off of you by giving you tips to get through it!
As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions! Or if you have any other tips to help other families, please share them in the comments below!
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