Preparing for your Stay & Going Home

We want to ensure that you can focus all your attention on your health and wellness while staying with us. To have one less thing to worry about, we have created convenient checklists to help you get ready for your stay and to make sure you are prepared to leave the hospital and manage your care from home.

Safety and Precautions

Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our patents, visitors, and staff. Please see our rules around bringing certain items and our no smoking policy below. Thank you for helping us to keep our hospital safe.

Balloons and Flowers

Latex balloons are not allowed in the hospital. Silk flowers are preferred over real flowers because some patients may be allergic to real flowers. Mylar balloons and flowers (fresh cut, artificial, and dried arrangements) are not allowed in intensive care units, recovery rooms, operating rooms, newborn nurseries, labor and delivery units, or oncology and transplant units.

Electrical Appliances

For the safety of all patients and employees, the use of non-hospital electrical appliances, such as hairdryers, is restricted to battery-operated devices only. These devices may not be recharged in the hospital. If you have any questions, please speak with your nurse.

No Smoking Policy

NewYork-Presbyterian is a smoke-free environment. Smoking, including using electronic devices and vapes, is not allowed in hospital buildings, at entrances, or on outside grounds such as gardens, courtyards, and parking areas.

Patient and Visitors

Preparing For Your Stay

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2023-SERVICES-image-default

Balloons/Flowers 

For the health and safety of our patients, latex balloons are prohibited in the Hospital. Silk flowers are preferred over real flowers, as real flowers pose an allergy risk to some patients. Mylar balloons and flowers (fresh cut, artificial, and dried arrangements) are prohibited in all intensive care units, recovery rooms, operating rooms, Newborn Nurseries, the Labor and Delivery Unit, as well as oncology and transplant units. 

Electrical Appliances

For the safety of all patients and employees, the use of non-hospital electrical appliances, such as hairdryers, is restricted to battery-operated devices only. Please note these devices may not be recharged in the Hospital. If you have any questions, please speak with your nurse.  

No Smoking Policy

NewYork-Presbyterian is a completely smoke-free environment – indoors and outdoors. Smoking, including the use of electronic or other similar vapor-producing devices, is prohibited in Hospital buildings, at entrances, on all outside grounds, and in gardens, courtyards, and parking facilities. For information on programs that can help you stop smoking, ask your doctor or visit

For Your Comfort Checklist

The Hospital provides

  • Pajamas
  • A bathrobe
  • Socks and slippers
  • A welcome kit with an array of toiletries and grooming items, ear plugs, a sleep mask, and lip moisturizer.

You may also want to pack:

  • Personal toiletries, such as a comb, brush, shampoo, soap, toothbrush, and toothpaste
  • Your own pajamas or nightgown, bathrobe, and slippers
  • Reading glasses
  • Books and magazines
  • Photographs

What to Leave at Home

  • Do not bring any electrical appliances from home, such as hair dryers and other plug-in items, to the Hospital. They are not allowed except in special circumstances. 
  • Jewelry, expensive clothing, or other costly items should not be brought to the Hospital. Please leave all your valuables at home. 
  • The Hospital is not responsible for loss or damage to any personal property, including hearing aids, eyeglasses, and dentures, kept in your room.  

Your Medications

When you come to the Hospital, bring a list of all the medications you currently take. This list should include all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.  

What to Expect

Admitting process

Please talk to your doctor about any special steps that you must take before your admission to the Hospital or prior to surgery.

The night before your admission, you will call a telephone number given to you by your doctor to find out when to arrive at the Hospital and where to go when you arrive. It’s important to arrive on time on the day of admission.

Preparing for surgery

If you are having surgery, the evening before your scheduled surgery a nurse will call to tell you where to go and what time you should arrive. The nurse will also tell you when you can no longer eat or drink and ask you some general health questions.

If you are not contacted, call the telephone number given to you by your doctor’s office or the pre-admission testing area.

Please notify the nurse if you have developed any symptoms, particularly respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, sneezing, or runny nose. You should also let your doctor’s office know. If necessary, your surgery may have to be postponed.

What to Bring to the Hospital

Children often feel more comfortable in the Hospital when they have their own personal things from home. Therefore, we encourage you to bring personal items to be used during your child’s stay, such as: 

  • Favorite pillow or blanket  
  • Easily cleaned toy, doll, or stuffed animal  
  • Favorite video game or music 
  • Pictures of family and friends  

We provide gowns, diapers, and basic toiletries. Please bring shower shoes, slippers, and your child’s toothbrush, toothpaste, comb/ brush, shampoo, and other personal bathroom items. Many children prefer to wear their clothing during their stay, so you may want to bring a few favorite clothing items.  

In addition, bring glasses, hearing aids, braces, crutches, or corrective shoes if used by your child. We ask that you mark any items from home with your child’s name. For health reasons, children will not be permitted to share their belongings.  

What to Leave at Home

Do not bring  

any electrical appliances, such as hair dryers and other plug-in items, to the hospital. They are not allowed except in special circumstances.

Jewelry, expensive clothing, or other costly items should not be brought to the Hospital. Please leave all your valuables at home.

The Hospital is not responsible for loss or damage to any  personal property, including hearing aids and eyeglasses, kept in your child’s room.

What to Expect – Preparing Your Child for their Stay

Talking with your child  

Before talking to your child about an upcoming Hospital stay, familiarize yourself with his or her condition or illness by discussing it with your child’s physician. The better acquainted you are with the tests and treatments associated with your child’s condition and the Hospital’s programs and procedures before your child is admitted, the more you can focus on supporting your child during his or her hospital stay.  

It is important to let your child know what to expect from an upcoming Hospital stay. It is just as important to reassure your child that he or she will not be alone. Your child should know that you and other family members will be on hand as much as possible and that the nurses and doctors will be available at all times.  

Encourage your child to ask questions, no matter how silly they may seem, or write them down. It can also be helpful for your child to start a journal about his or her Hospital experience. If your child is too young to write, have him or her draw, paint, or color instead. If you don’t know the answers to some questions, be direct and tell your child you do not know and that you will try to get answers as quickly as possible.  

The following are some general guidelines by age group on how to prepare your child for a stay at the Hospital. Please keep in mind that each child is different, and your child’s capacity for understanding a Hospital stay will be affected by many factors, such as developmental stage, personality, and intelligence.  

  • Ages 0-2. It is difficult to prepare infants and toddlers for a hospital visit. Talk with your toddler the day before the visit. Children at this age like to see their parents nearby, and they like to be held. The Hospital will give you every opportunity possible to be with your child. You can make your child feel more secure by bringing along a favorite stuffed animal, pacifier, or blanket. Ag 
  • 3-6. Three- to six-year-olds need more time to absorb information. Speak with your child a few days before the Hospital stay. Children at this age are very concerned about being separated from their parents, so it is important for you to reassure your child that you will be available to help as much as possible.  
  • Ages 7-12. Elementary school-age children love to ask questions, so encourage them to do so. Begin discussing the Hospital stay for a week or so before admission and be honest with your child about what to expect. Try to engage your child in the planning process as much as possible.  
  • Ages 13-17. Teenagers must be treated with respect. They don’t like to be kept in the dark and should be part of the conversation about a hospital stay from the beginning. Of all children, teenagers are best able to understand what will happen in the Hospital and express their concerns. Encourage your teenager to ask questions and talk with his or her doctors and nurses, but keep in mind that he or she may want some privacy. 

Admitting Process

The Admitting Department is located at Payson 101 to the right of the main lobby entrance at East 68th Street. The Admitting Department can be reached by calling (212) 746-4250.  

Your child’s doctor will tell you on what day your child will be admitted to the Hospital. Please discuss with your child’s doctor any special steps that must be taken before admission. The night before your child’s admission, you will call a number given to you by your doctor or during pre-admission testing. You will be told when to arrive at the Hospital and where to go when you get there.  

Paperwork Checklist

If your child has been scheduled for surgery, we want you to understand the process, and we also want your child to be as prepared for the experience as possible.  

We want to share with you what pediatric health care professionals have learned over the years on what you can do to prepare your child for surgery. This will also help you better understand many of the natural concerns all parents experience. You will learn about what part of surgery may be most stressful for your child, the various ways to prepare your child and his or her siblings for the upcoming surgery, and the possible emotional reactions your child may express.  

Visiting the Hospital Beforehand

If your child has been scheduled for surgery, you might want some professional help in explaining what will happen in the Hospital. We offer both online and in-person tours to make it easier for you and for your child.  

  • Online Pre-Surgical Tour: Just for Kids!  This online tour will prepare you and your child for surgery. The online preoperative tour enables your child — and you — to see and learn all about the Hospital in a friendly, non-threatening way.  
  • On-Site Hospital Tour (212)746-9970   
  • If your child is three years or older, Child Life Specialists recommend that you and your child come to the Hospital for a preoperative tour. If your child is younger than three, you may call and speak to a Child Life Specialist. These preoperative tours enable children — and their parents — to see and learn all about the Hospital in a friendly, non-threatening way.    

For younger children, the tour may include “medical play” during which a Child Life Specialist will encourage the children to see and play with some of the medical equipment they will experience, such as an oxygen mask or surgical mask. They may even role-play with this equipment, using dolls as “patients.”    

Children and parents are given a tour of the Hospital, and each step of the process is explained in an age-appropriate manner. Although the children do not visit an operating room, they may have a chance to visit other areas they will experience. Both you and your child will be able to ask questions throughout the tour.    

The preoperative tours are also helpful for teenagers and are designed differently to meet the needs of their age group.    

Appointments for these tours are required. To arrange a preoperative tour, please call (212) 746-9970. Once you have registered, you will be sent a letter reminding you when and where to meet for the tour, a parking valet voucher (valet parking is available in the circular driveway at the front of the Hospital), and a bibliography of books that are appropriate for your child’s age group and the kind of surgery he or she will be having.  

The Night Before Surgery

A nurse will call you the night before surgery. During the call, he or she will tell you what time to arrive, review what you need to bring, and answer any last-minute questions you may have. The nurse will also let you know when your child must no longer eat or drink.  

During the call, your nurse will assess your child's general health questions, their immunization status, and other routine questions. If your child has developed any symptoms, particularly respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, sneezing, or runny nose, please let the nurse know during the phone call. You should also let your child’s doctor’s office know. If necessary, your child’s surgery may have to be postponed. 

Same Day Surgery

If your child is going home the same day of surgery, you can stay with them in the recovery room until they recover. Your child will then be moved to a short-stay recovery area. Once your child has recovered sufficiently from the anesthesia and can drink some liquids, he or she can go home.  

You will be given instructions about your child’s diet, activities, and medications and will be told to call for a follow-up appointment.  

Pediatric Anesthesiology

Children require special care when it comes to anesthesia. Our pediatric anesthesiologists are board-certified in anesthesiology and pediatrics. They care for patients having elective surgery, emergency surgery, and anesthesia or sedation required for imaging (MRI and CT scans), interventional radiology, and cardiology procedures. They also work with patients needing postoperative and chronic pain control.  

Our team works to ensure that anesthesia is administered safely, using advanced technologies to monitor our young patients during the operation or procedure and throughout the recovery period. 

Meals

Your child will be offered a choice of meals from the Hospital menu, with specific attention to any dietary restrictions that may be related to his or her condition or treatment. A kosher menu is also available. If you have any questions about your child’s diet, menu items, or about bringing food from home, you may contact your child’s registered dietitian. A food service supervisor is also available to answer your questions. A nutrition host will help you and your child choose meals from the Hospital menu. Our menu offers a variety of children’s favorites and healthy choices, including main entrees, salads, sandwiches, and snacks.  Special requests, including vegetarian meals, can also be accommodated. You can request snacks and meals for your child by asking the nutrition host.  

For snack time, family alcoves on each inpatient floor are stocked with milk, juice, cookies, and a small ice machine for patients and their families. Please note these refrigerators are not for storing individual patient items. Refrigerators afor re available in every patient’s room for storing patient food. Family lounges have microwave ovens. It is important to label and date all food placed in the refrigerator, even if it will be in there only a short time. Vending machines with hot and cold meals and other foods are available on several patient floors. 

Meal munchies

Meal munchies are always available in case your child is hungry or unable to receive a meal during meal hours. Children do not have to miss a meal because they are having a test or are just not hungry. Your nutrition host can provide a list of items available.  

Food from home

 If you would like to bring home-cooked meals, please find out if your child has any dietary restrictions. As many of our pediatric patients are on very specialized diets, we request that you do not offer any food or drinks to other children. Guidelines for storage of food are posted on all refrigerators designated for family use.