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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Ideas for making 16 month old's stay in hospital more pleasant

(9 Posts)
Booboostoo Thu 11-Oct-12 07:46:19

We've just left hospital (in France) after 3 days of tests with no diagnosis and are waiting for referral to the specialist for further tests (in the UK). While the paeds ward was lovely, other parts of the hospital were awful for a baby, e.g. at A&E they insisted on trying to insert a catheter even though she did not need one medically because it was part of their admission's protocol (they also failed after trying three times and turning DD black and blue), at the scintigraphy they proclaimed that she would fall asleep as soon as I put her on the table so did not need sedation (it in fact took five people to hold her down and I had to call an end to it all when they were trying to hold still her head and close her mouth).

Overall it was a horrible experience for her. I am hoping that the UK specialist hospital will have a more accommodating approach to children, but does anyone have any ideas what I can ask for/do to help her? She is likely to need blood tests, tissue samples, bone scan, and I don't know what else.

ripsishere Thu 11-Oct-12 07:48:52

Bloody hell that sounds serious. I would take her favorite nightwear, toys and books. Buy her plenty of her have foods and drinks it isn't a time to restrict sugar, fat or insist on healthy eating (unless it will skew the tests)
Make time for yourself too.
Very best of luck.

GingerPCatt Thu 11-Oct-12 07:49:51

Snacks? Cool toys? My DS was much younger when he was in hospital for an op. sorry not much advise but I didn't want to read and run. Sending you hugs and positive thoughts though.

LargeGlassofRed Thu 11-Oct-12 08:16:55

We've took a portable DVD player when dt2's been in with lots of his favourite dvd's was so handy. If he goes in again it would be the first thing I would grab and take with me,
Also his own blanket, he struggled up with it and much happier with it than hospital sheets and blankets.

Booboostoo Thu 11-Oct-12 13:28:56

She's an odd soul, doesn't have a blankie or special cuddly animal, her favourite toy is a shovel grin, but none of her toys are enough to distract her when they are doing tests. In the time between the tests she was OKish, playing with the other kids in the playroom (a godsend that playroom on the ward).

She also went off her solids and reverted back to massive amounts of bf, although the food at the hospital was really awful and she ate more when DP brought food from home.

I am not looking forward to more tests, by the last day she was hitting me when I was trying to console her and it was just heart breaking. However we need to find out what is going on.

Thank you for all your good wishes.

beautifulgirls Thu 11-Oct-12 13:46:09

Most hospitals here have play therapists and make a really good effort to keep the children as calm as possible under the circumstances. I would take a couple of toys that your child finds interesting and some food treats too.
Good luck with everything

dikkertjedap Thu 11-Oct-12 14:17:02

Some paediatricians allow/encourage breastfeeding during certain procedures, like taking blood/inserting cannula for example.

My main advice is to distract her as much as is humanly possible. You can use anything, a sock on which you draw a funny face which becomes a sock puppet (or proper hand puppet). You may be able to put her on your lap let her look away from the doctors and act as you didn't know you had it in you with your sock puppet, funny sounds, silly stories, anything really.

I also found story books with lots of noisy buttons helpful to distract, if possible ask her to push the button or tell you which button to push and ask her which sound she thinks it is.

It is draining but I did find that it helps (a bit). Try to have a special bag with toys to distract which she does not normally play with for maximum effect.

The rest of the time, audio CDs, children's dvds, story books, easy games to play together or a simple puzzle.

If you think you are in for a while with her, you could take up a hobby like knitting or crocheting or embroidery or whatever and make something for her which she can watch you make.

Your experience in the French A&E sounds awful, unfortunately, I have had some similarly bad experiences in UK hospitals as well. Hopefully, you end up in a proper children's Hospital - I think they are much better geared towards the needs of the child.

dikkertjedap Thu 11-Oct-12 14:17:57

And I would get some little presents as rewards for nasty procedures. However, I know that not all doctors agree with this approach.

Booboostoo Thu 11-Oct-12 14:39:29

The French experience was awful. They would not let me hold her in my lap and would not let me bf during procedures as they said in their experience the baby bites off the nipple!

They were terribly paternalistic, wouldn't explain their thinking, the decisions they were making or what the procedures involved. I was so glad to see the back of that place!

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