You and your daughter are in my prayers. I know how hard these things are - my daughter is 2 1/2 and has 2 open heart surgeries - one being a heart transplant this year. I don't know if your child is an infant or a toddler - my daughter was 2 when she had her surgeries, so we found for her that during recovery short sleeve nightgowns were the easiest. They will provide gowns there of course, but it is nice for them to have their own things too. Short sleeves work best because it is the easiest access for IVs and blood draws, which she is sure to have. Sometime they do a central line IV or other tubes through the groin area so the open access of a gown rather than regular jammies is good too I found. Of course if your daughter is an infant that might be different - I would stay away from anything footed because sometimes they do IVs or the pulex on the foot or toe. I know this all sounds scary if you havn't been through it, but these children are so amazing and resiliant. My daughter had her heart transplant in March and is doing so well - you would never even know!! As for the carseat - we went home in the same one as always, of course she had a month recovery in the hospital before we went home. And yes, it is very important not to pick up under arms - start practicing scooping her up under her butt and back so its not so awkward afterwards when you have to. My daughter had her surgeries at Texas Childrens in Houston, but she was in the PICU at Cooks for a week when she was first diagnosed. The nursing care at Cooks is excellent! She will be very well taken care of and they even have a pull out bed for parent to sleep in in the PICU! I was in 4 different PICU's with my daughter and this is the only one that had this! If you are not from the Fort Worth area be prepared that you can't call out long distance from the room - so have your cell phone to call out. The food at Cooks is the worst I've seen in any hospital!! Their wonderful nursing staff and doctors more than make up for it though. Good luck to you and your daughter - I know how hard it is to see your child go through an open heart surgery - hang in there and be strong! You are in my prayers. Please message me if you have any questions!