Your baby is sick and needs to go to emergency. So you grab a few things and rush off to the hospital. Once you get there, you take stock: Baby, check. Health insurance card, check. Diapers, diapers... oh, no!

When your baby is sick, you're just focused on getting them the medical attention they need. So it's easy to forget some of the things you might need once you arrive.

When you go to emerg, you'll need to bring the essentials:

  • baby's provincial health insurance card
  • baby's drug/medical insurance card (if you have one)
  • a list of baby's allergies, medical conditions, medications, and immunizations

But you may be in for a long wait in an emergency department or doctor's office. Here's a quick checklist of things to bring to make the wait easier:

  • changing supplies: diapers, wipes, change pad, diaper rash cream
  • feeding supplies: sippy cup or bottle, food and/or formula, baby spoon, bib
  • soothers: if your baby uses a soother, bring two (one as a backup in case you lose the first one)
  • baby's medications (for example, acetaminophen [Tylenol®] or ibuprofen [Advil® or Motrin®] for fever and pain)
  • your medications, too
  • extra change of clothes for baby
  • receiving blanket (to keep baby warm, wipe off spit-up, or use as a breast-feeding privacy shield)
  • small toy(s) to distract baby while waiting
  • mini-packs of facial tissue
  • hand sanitizer
  • money for parking and food
  • pen and paper
  • snacks and drinks for you

Bring enough supplies to last you at least a day. Since you won't have much time to pack if and when you need to go to emergency, keep these items handy in a diaper bag or backpack so they're ready to go if you need them. Keep a list of your baby's allergies, medical conditions, medications, and immunizations in the bag too.

You may also want to call a support person (such as a partner, family member, or friend) to come and wait with you. They can meet you there and bring anything you forgot, keep you company, and watch the baby if you need to eat or use the washroom.

With a well-stocked emergency bag and a support person you can call on, you'll always be ready to go!

Trish Rawn, PharmD