Parent staying overnight

If your child is staying in hospital overnight, we encourage one parent or guardian to stay with them. However, we know that is not always possible.

Only one parent or guardian should stay with your child. If there are exceptional family circumstances, nursing staff will make a decision on who can stay.

When allocating sleeping facilities, priority is given to parents of very ill children and mothers who are breastfeeding or pregnant. On most wards, you will be offered a camp bed or a comfortable chair for staying overnight. There are bathroom facilities for parents on most wards.

If necessary, parents may nominate one adult relative to stay overnight with their child. Where possible, the same adult relative should stay overnight throughout your child’s stay in hospital.

Nursing staff will need to ask you questions about:

  • who is permitted to visit your child
  • who has been chosen to stay overnight

All details will be recorded and the nurse in charge will have the final say on who can stay overnight on the ward.

Nursing staff will make every effort to ensure your stay on the ward is as comfortable as possible. If your child is restless during the night, you may be wakened to provide reassurance.

Sleeping arrangements

As a parent or guardian, you must not have a baby aged one year or under on your mattress or chair when you are sleeping.

Where a child is older than one year, parents will usually be asked to avoid sleeping in the same bed. However, each child’s normal sleeping practices will be taken into consideration.

In some circumstances, it may be comforting for a distressed or ill child to have a parent stay in the bed until the child falls asleep. This arrangement will be agreed by nursing staff who will ensure the child and parent are both safe.