A child at the hospital.

As a pediatric nurse, I’ve seen first hand how staying at the hospital is difficult for kids of all ages. There are times during their stays that children feel scared, lonely, and bored. A thoughtful gift can help to brighten their day and make their stay a little bit easier. Here’s my nurse curated list of some of the best gifts for kids who are stuck at the hospital.

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Gifts To Bring Parents Who Have Babies At The Hospital

A baby at the hospital.

Sound Machines

Hospitals are notoriously loud places with lots of different equipment ringing at all hours of the night. Having a sound machine accessable can be a game changer for infant sleep. There are many sound machines available at different price points. Here is an inexpensive one that can make an excellent gift:

My Baby Baby Sound Machine

Easy Access Sleeping Gowns

When babies are sick and in the hospital, they are often connect to various monitors and IV fluids. Having baby outfits that are simple to change make it easier for parents to help care for their babies. Look for outfits that don’t have a ton of buttons or snaps.

Newborn Baby Boys Girls Knotted Gown Hat Set Soft Bamboo

Ear Plugs and Eye Masks

When parents stay over night with their kids at the hospital it’s hard for them to get quality sleep. Again, it comes down to all the noise and frequent visits from staff members. Parents will thank you for giving them a quality eye mask with some ear plugs.

LYSIAN Sleep Eye Mask Men Women-3D Concave Soft Comfortable Fabric Cooling Mask 

A Baby Mobile That Attaches To A Crib

Baby mobile can help calm a fussy infant. Because of choking and strangulation hazards, some hospitals prefer ones that attach to the side of the crib like this one:

Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother Musical Crib Toy and Sound Machine

Laundry Bags

Having a laundry bag in babies room is a great way to keep cute clothing from getting lost in the hospitals laundry system. Sick infants can go though a lot of clothing and having a place to store it is helpful for parents.

SANFERGE 2pcs Travel Waterproof Laundry Bag

Snacks For Parents

In order to take care of their babies at the hospital, parents need to take care of themselves too! Giving them a large snack box will help them recharge and avoid spending a mint at the snack dispensers.

CRAVEBOX Snack Box Variety Pack Care Package

The Best Gifts For Toddlers Who Are At The Hospital

A toddler in a hospital crib.

Simple Puzzles

Simple puzzles are a great way to entertain toddlers who are stuck at the hospital. They are easy to wipe off and can be used again and again.

Toddler Puzzles, Wooden Jigsaw Animals Puzzles

Board Books With Flaps

Board books with flaps fun for toddler to read with their parents. Items that are easy to clean like board books are nice to have at the hospital.

4 Pack Babies Love Learning Lift-a-Flap Boxed Set

Water Wow Books

These fun books are always a hit with kids. It’s a less messy way for children to “paint” while they are resting in bed. This set comes with several books to amuse kids for longer periods of time.

Melissa & Doug Water Wow! – Water Reveal Pad Bundle

Poke A Dot Books

Toddler’s love these Poke-a-dot books. They come in several different themes, so you can choose the one you think will be a best fit for whoever you are gifting it to.

Melissa & Doug Children’s Book – Poke-a-Dot

Sorting Toys

Sorting toys are fun for toddlers to work on their hand eye coordination skills. They often contain bright colors and different shapes that can provide a nice distraction at the hospital.

Fisher-Price Stacking Toy Baby’s First Blocks

Melissa & Doug Wooden Take-Along Sorting Barn Toy

Activity Cubes

Activity cubes contain lots of different toys in one big package. An activity cube is a space saver when it comes to a cramped hospital room.

Bravmate Wooden Activity Cube

The Best Hospital Gifts For Preschool Aged Kids

A preschool child gets checked by a doctor.

Simple Maze Games

This large magnetic board is low mess but high in fun. It also helps kids practice some basic skills like colors and counting.

Magnetic Color and Number Maze

Flower Toys

Flowers are one the the most popular things adults bring to the hospital. This fun flower garden set up is bound to brighten a child’s day. It can be played with in lots of different ways and used to decorate the child’s hospital room.

Garbo Star 148PCS Flower Garden Building Toys

Magnetic Doodle Boards

Magnetic doodle boards are portable and can provide hours of fun for kids.

SGILE Magnetic Drawing Board Toy for Kids

Hospital Buddies

A hospital buddy can be a soft doll or a stuffed animal. These are great options for kids because they given them something to cuddle with. They can also be used by child life specalists at the hospital to explain procedures to children in a way they can understand.

HABA Snug Up Doll Roya

HABA 302843 Soft Doll Nick

Jellycat Bashful Monkey Stuffed Animal

Simple Games

Simple games can help distract preschool aged children when they are at the hospital. It also gives them something to do with visitors.

Peaceable Kingdom Snug as a Bug in a Rug

Nene Toys Ladybug’s Garden Memory Game

Peaceable Kingdom Acorn Soup

Play Medical Kits

Play medical kits are an awesome toy to have at the hospital for kids. Using a play medical kit can help a child understand what different medical tools are and how they are used. They are a great tool for decreasing kids anticipatory anxiety about different procedures. Check out my list of the best medical kids for kids for more information!

Fisher-Price Preschool Pretend Play Medical Kit

Gifts For School Aged Children At The Hospital

A nurse with a young patient.

Writing Tablets

Writing tablets allow kids to express themselves in though art and words. They are easy to store and a fun way to send encouraging messages.

KOKODI Kids Toys 2 Pack LCD Writing Tablet

Bracelet Making Kits

Bracelet making kits can keep kids entertained for hours and there are lots of different kits to choose from. They are a great activity for kids who can’t move around a lot, but are bored and need something to do other than watch a show.

DDAI Arts and Crafts for Kids Age 8-12

GILI Friendship Bracelet Making Kit

ZiZa Flower Crowns & Bracelet Jewelry Making Kit

Other Crafts Kits Kids Will Love

Hapinest 3D Wooden Dinosaur Model Puzzles

6 in 1 STEM Building Kits for Kids

3D String Art Kit for Kids

Kids Doodle Socks,Kids Art Color Your Own Socks 6 Pairs

Card Games For School Aged Kids

Card games are great for kids at the hospital because they don’t take up a lot of space and you can set them up and put them away easily. Card games are fun to play and don’t have a lot of pieces that you have to keep track of.

Regal Games – Kids Classic Card Games

Grandpa Beck’s Games Skull King Bundle with Cover Your Kingdom and Bears and The Bees

Gamewright – The Original Little Hands Playing Card Holder

Gifts For Teens At The Hospital

A teenager at the hospital.

Cosy Blankets

Hospital blankets are not know for their warmth or softness. They’ve been through the laundry hundreds of times and are often scratchy and stiff. Bringing a nice soft blanket will make their stay more comfortable.

Bedsure Fleece Throw Blanket

Pet Plants

Go to your local nursery and pick out a fun succulent plant. Encourage the teen to name and care for it while they are at the hospital.

Brajttt 2.5 Inch Succulent Pot with Drainage

Things to Zen Out With

Teens often have anxiety when they are at the hospital and giving them mindful gifts is thoughtful way to help them deal with some of the stress they are feeling.

The Original Buddha Board Art Set

Island Falls Home Zen Garden Kit

SHASHIBO Shape Shifting Box

FOLDOLOGY – The Origami Puzzle

Arts and Crafts For Teens

Teens love arts and crafts too and can handle more complex projects. These are a fun way for teens to pass the long hours without spending all of their time on screens.

YSUNETER Diamond Art Painting Kits

SnugMaker Crochet Kit for Beginners

LEGO Ideas Vincent Van Gogh The Starry Night

ROKR 3D Wooden Puzzles 

Games For Teens

Teens will appreciate having a few games around when their friends and family come to visit. Teens love things that make them laugh!

WHAT DO YOU MEME? Family Edition

Moose Master

SUSSED Guess My Answer Card Games

Room Decor For Teens At The Hospital

Teens love to show their personality by displaying things that show their unique sense of style. Picking out some fun room decor is sure to make them smile. Here are a few ideas:

264 Pieces Polka Dots Wall Sticker Circle Wall Decal for Kids

Lilithye Bedside Storage Organizer 

My Cinema LightBox – Color Changing LED Lights

Benefits of Bringing Children Gifts When They At The Hospital

  • Provides comfort and distraction. A gift can provide a child with a sense of comfort and distraction during a difficult time. It can help them to take their mind off of their illness or injury, and focus on something positive.
  • Reduces stress and anxiety. Giving and receiving gifts can reduce stress and anxiety levels. This is especially important for children who are hospitalized, who may be feeling overwhelmed and scared.
  • Boosts morale and self-esteem. Receiving a gift can make a child feel special and loved. It can also boost their morale and self-esteem, which can help them to cope with their hospitalization and recover more quickly.
  • Promotes healing. Giving a child a gift that is related to their illness or injury can actually promote healing. For example, giving a child who has had surgery a stuffed animal to hug can help to reduce pain and discomfort.
  • Strengthens family and friendships. Giving a gift to a hospitalized child can help to strengthen their relationships with their family and friends. It shows them that they are being thought of and cared for, even when they are away from home.

What To Look For When Choosing A Gift For A Child Who Is At The Hospital

  • Age and interests: Choose a gift that is appropriate for the child’s age and interests.
  • Medical condition: Consider the child’s medical condition when choosing a gift. For example, if the child is on bed rest, avoid toys that require a lot of physical activity. If the child has allergies, avoid gifts that contain allergens. If they are on a special diet, don’t bring treats they can’t have.
  • Safety: Make sure that the gift is safe for the child to use. With small children, avoid toys with tiny parts that could be a choking hazard or toys with sharp edges.

A couple more suggestions:

  • Ask the family for suggestions or specific needs their child has. They may have some ideas for gifts that the child would love and find useful.
  • Choose a gift that is appropriate for the hospital setting. For example, avoid gifts that are noisy or messy.

Final Thoughts

In the end, one of the best gifts you can give a child in the hospital is your time! Check and see when visiting hours are and if they feel up to having guests. If you find visiting hospitals overwhelming, send a note, call, or facetime. Supporting loved ones when they need us is one of the most rewarding things we can do!

Have you got any questions on how to support children at the hospital? Let me know and ask in the comments below! I’d love to help.

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