Flip Flops and the ICU…
We are self-proclaimed Beach Bums. The summer outfit of choice (and, honestly, the winter choice were my daughters allowed) is a sun-dress or shorts and flip-flops. Free toes is a luxury not lost in our house. So, naturally, when the twins were born in the middle of the summer we wore flip-flops. We wore them to the hospital when I delivered the girls, Dear old Dad wore them when he drove back and forth to the hospital to visit them and me, and once the girls were settled into the NBSCU at Yale we wore them there too. After a few “raised eyebrows” and a few close calls with dropped medical items we learned that closed-toed shoes were the better choice. Mercifully, boat shoes are always in style so we can still be beach bums and also have safe toes!
Here are a few other tips for hospital dress…
- No perfume or cologne. There are many patients who are sensitive to or allergic to these products. Just stick to soap and water!
- Choose comfortable, loose fitting clothes that you won’t worry too much about. I’m not saying sweats and PJ pants are your only option, but sitting for hours in a less-than-comfortable hospital chair can be brutal if your clothes start to get on your nerves (been there, done that). Also, there is always the chance (as there is with any kiddo) that some sort of icky bodily fluid will end up on you. While I always say that “slime” is a mother’s favorite accessory, you don’t want to sweat stains too much and if your kid barfs on your designer silk blouse, you’re probably gonna be a little ticked! Jeans, khakis, or comfortable dress pants and a clean t-shirt, cotton button down, or a cardigan sweater are my hospital faves! (Dear old Dad likes to rock a fishing shirt and cargo pants)
- Jewelry. The choice is yours, but I leave all my dangly stuff at home when I’m at the hospital with Dev. When I’m learning about her care, helping to move her, or giving her a bath I don’t want all my fun bracelets and long necklaces getting in the way. Rings, in all other occasions a completely necessary accessory in my book, can also be little breeding grounds for germs. I usually only wear my wedding ring to stay with Dev. I also suggest a waterproof watch that doesn’t break the bank.
- Bring a sweater! Or a light jacket, or a sweatshirt…something to put over your shoulders. The hospital can be hotter-’n-hades one moment and colder-than-the-arctic the next. Dressing in layers is a good idea!
I am by no means a fashion expert, and I am certainly not telling you how to dress. I simply wish someone would have given me a few pointers when we started on our hospital journey. Dressing so that you are cheery and feeling good will help your child feel good. Comfortable parents help their kids to be more comfortable.