Making a hospital room feel more like home

Dealing with cancer is tough enough on its own. A diagnosis can be scary and overwhelming, and the last thing a child wants to do is face it in unfamiliar territory. Today’s New York hospitals, and especially children’s wings, make a significant effort to provide the comforts of home in patient rooms. Doctors, nurses, and other support staff are often available and more than willing to help patients and their families get settled in, and some even have the option of living off campus in supportive facilities. Still, there’s a lot to be said about bringing some extra comfort into a hospital. If you’re looking to spruce up a child’s room, consult with staff about rules and keep these decor ideas in mind.

Embrace holidays

It can be difficult to spend holidays away from home, especially when it means leaving behind beloved traditions that take place there. Remind your child that the most important part of any holiday is the meaning behind it and those that you spend it with. Still, you don’t have to stop there! Why not hang up some icicle lights during the winter months, go crazy with hearts around Valentine’s Day, and set up some spooky (but fun!) carved pumpkins in the fall? Get creative and find ways to apply your favorite family activities in a hospital space.

Bring a vacation inside

When getting your child back to health is a concern, other priorities, like vacations, get pushed to the side. If your little one is bummed about missing a family trip, consider bringing the destination to the hospital. Palm trees, a little contained sand, and tropical-themed movies can bring a taste of the beach to even the most sterile settings. Likewise, you can feel like you’re in the woods by snacking on s’mores, popcorn, and other treats while singing favorite campfire songs.

Incorporate current trends

Chances are your kid wants to feel just like any other kid. That means they are probably obsessed with certain characters or celebrities, popular video games, sports teams, and trendy sayings. Bring some of this pop culture into a child’s room with items like movie posters, themed dinnerware, and even the most basic accessories, such as toothbrushes and trash cans. Need inspiration? Check out what this motherdaughter duo from Texas is doing for hospitalized children.

Go bold

Color can be a powerful thing, and it’s amazing what just a few bold pieces can do. If your little one has a favorite hue, incorporate it into his or her room with cheerful and bright blankets, pillows, faux flowers, and other accessories. As a plus, letting your child have some control over color selections gets everyone involved in the process.

Keep it familiar

If you’re anticipating a long stay, bring parts of your child’s bedroom at home to the hospital. Using items that they are already comfortable with (think beloved stuffed animals, toys and books, favorite blankets, and even a cozy chair) with can help them relax.

There’s no place like home, but with a little TLC, a hospital room can come close. Even small steps can help your child feel a little bit better about being sick–and that’s good for everyone.

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