Ideas for Entertaining Friend on Hospital Bedrest

Updated on September 16, 2008
H.R. asks from Boca Raton, FL
30 answers

My friend's fiance had her water break last week at 29 weeks. They are from SW Florida but due to capacity issues, they had to go to South Miami Hospital. She will be in the hospital until the baby is born which could (hopefully) be many weeks. Do you have ideas for how to entertain this gal? Ideas for a care package? If you were on bed rest, what sort of activities did you enjoy? Thanks for your help!

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Thank you so much for the outpouring of love and suggestions! I appreciate your stories, experiences and resources, thank you.

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J.P.

answers from Port St. Lucie on

Hi H.-

I would suggest you send her a book about being on bedrest. There are some great ones on Amazon in addition, send hersome non baby related books- once she has her baby she won't have time to read anything but baby related things.
She can also, crazy as it may sound, start writing out her Christmas (Holiday) cards- imagine being able to be done with that in September!!!
I hope these ideas help and I hope she is able to hold on the baby is ready!

Jill

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H.D.

answers from Tallahassee on

Crossword puzzle books, magazines, "learn to knit" kit, cross-stitch, paperback books, laptop (many hospitals have WIFI now), books on tape and CD player or MP3 player....

What does the person like to do?

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C.L.

answers from Jacksonville on

Hi H. ~ I was on bedrest for 10 weeks...seemed like an eternity! I enjoyed baby/parenting magazines, crosswords, word searches and such. And some yummy non-hospital food would be great too!

More Answers

V.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

Well, I would include some of the following:

-Comfy PJ's & plush socks
-nail polish
-Sodoku puzzles with a sharpened pencil (or 2)
-local daily newspaper
-paperback novel by an author she likes (or style of novel she likes)
-a current baby magazine
-CDs (does she have a CDplayer/radio in her room)
-TV guide
-favorite candy bar and snacks
-Gum
-A journal to write in
-Stationary (or Thank you cards) and stamps
-If she has a portable DVD player... bring some movies she hasn't seen, or OLD movies that are classics (Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, The Birds, The Godfather) or a TV series on DVD- something like "Frazier" that is funny but not "brainless"
-If she knows how, some sort of needlework.. if she doesn't, find a small kit that she might be interested in learning how to do.. (They sell kits for cross-stitch that include the thread and everything in the bag), or even a latch-hook kit would help pass the time.

- watercolor materials: tube paint (don't need but a few basic colors) and 2 brushes-1 small, and 1 med-large, a pad of watercolor paper, and a white plastic palette - you can get all this at Michael's for under about $30 -- if you look at the discount racks at a bookstore, you might can find a How-to book pretty cheaply.. She doesn't need an easel, it's done flat (on her food tray is fine)...

P.S.
Others have recommended the DS Lite (Nintendo) and it is great! (I have one too), but it is pricey for a "pick me up". The games are an additional cost @ $20-$35 each, but it does come with its own charger and it lasts a pretty long time in between charges, too. If it is in your budget, this is a super choice.

2 moms found this helpful
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T.M.

answers from Melbourne on

H., If your friend's fiance has access to the internet, have her check out www.sidelines.org. It's an international support network for women and their families who are experiencing a high-risk or preterm labor/birth. Lots of good articles and suggestions.

T. Myers
Childbirth Educator and Labor Doula
Melbourne, FL

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S.H.

answers from Miami on

Very interesting, because I had my water break at 30 weeks during my first pregnancy and was hospitalized for three weeks before my daughter was delivered. I did crossword puzzles and word find like mad!!

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T.K.

answers from Miami on

To keep her well relaxed and skin in top shape. Check out a great line of products at www.warmspiritcatalog.com. I would suggest the special attention cream for feet and all dry spots, a candle which does not have to be burned to get the aromatherapy benefits and a body butter for daily mositurizing of the skin.

Email me if you have any further questions.

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A.S.

answers from Boca Raton on

Hasbro put out a series of "Express" dice games -- Monopoly Express, Battleship Express, Scrabble Express, Clue Express -- that come in little round plastic boxes that you can roll the dice in, so they require very little space (you could easily play them in bed). Target's selling them for under $10 apiece and they could make nice gifts for someone stuck in the hospital.

Best of luck to your friends!

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C.H.

answers from Miami on

I just had the same thing happen to a friend this week, also at her 29th week. I sent her magazines and a handheld Sudoku game that she could play when she didn't want to watch tv anymore. A good book, a deck of cards and maybe some snacks would also be good. You could check with the hospital and see what the gift shop has that they could deliver. That is what I did.

I hope your friend keeps that baby baking as long as possible.

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T.R.

answers from Orlando on

I was on and off of Bed rest from 20 weeks on so I understand how she feels. Luckily I was able to stay at home, which is a bit easier. First of I lived for my laptop. I had several different sites that had entertaining games and puzzles to keep me company. My mom purchased me a baby book so I could start working on it. Also a family tree that I could fill out for Mason.

I did spend long term in a hospital when not pregnant. Food was always nice because the food at hossy's is nasty and if you get hungry in the middle of the night you are out of luck. Foods that do not require refridgeration is best. A nice soft blanket would be nice a special one for the hospital or a nice pajama set, maybe even a nursing set if she is planning to BF. Bodycare supplies are nice as well, it is really dry in the hospital so nice lotions, chapstick, wash, etc. Make sure it is not real stinky since when preggo everything stinks! lol Books on CD or a giftcard for iTunes if she has an ipod would be really sweet as well.

HTH

T.

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A.M.

answers from Daytona Beach on

Pick a project that would help get her mind off the fact that she is stuck in bed. What does she love to do that achievable from where she's at? A project that could make someone else happy would be wonderful because the best way to feel good about yourself is to do something for someone else. Let's say she has a family member in the military - How about creating care packages with cards and letters, soaps, etc. to send. If you need an address to mail it to contact a nearby military station. Of course, other people would have to do the shopping but let her add her own touch. Color/Draw/Write on the inside of the box to add a nice touch and a little surprise. Write letters. You name it.

Other ideas - Learn something new. Pick up a new hobby. How about learning to crochie and making something for the baby. My mother in law loved doing various crafts while she was in the hospital recouping from surgery.

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S.K.

answers from Pensacola on

Well, I was on bedrest for serveral weeks before my daughter was born. The meds they gave me to stop labor literal stopped my heart and lungs from working properly. I gasped for breath and was VERY sleepy all the time. I could hardl walk to the restroom without passing out. Talk about a strong muscle relaxer!!! anywhoo, I appreciated it when people came over and watched TV or a movie with me. I also appreciated food, as I was unable to fix myself anything to eat.

So, my recommendation is: 1. Your time (to just visit and watch tv), 2. DVDs 3. Food and healthy snacks 4. magazines (fashion, gossip, craft, parenting, hiking, etc - a Variety!!!)

I tried to crosstich and scrapbook, but my hands were too shaky. My little dog is what kept me sane.

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N.G.

answers from Miami on

H.,

so sorry to hear about your friend. I love South Miami hospital. I had both my kids there. it is a great facility. Perhaps you can send her playing cards, crossword puzzels, wordsearch books. If she has a portable DVD player she can watch movies. if she can get an internet connection she can even finish her registy online on finish any other online things. If this is her first baby maybe even a good mother to be book.

If i have any other ideas i'll let you know. Oh FYI, i know it will be more expensive than bringing in the package yourself, but i believe the gift shop at the hospital will put something together for you and send it up to the room. If you send balloons w/the package some are not allowed.

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S.F.

answers from Tallahassee on

I was on bedrest myself in 2007. My best friend brought me a laptop, which was a lifesaver. My aunt picked me up some puzzle books (fill ins, crossword and the like--I am totally hooked on them now!). Just a visit from someone was nice! Any kind of lotions or creams - something like that to make them feel pretty. Another friend of mine sent something called a "Boredom Buster Kit" - it had puzzles, games, etc in it. Best of luck to your friend!

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T.M.

answers from Orlando on

I was in bedrest for almost my whole pregnancy and I can tell you is not easy for anyone around. I did a lot of puzzles and crosswords. In addition to that I got into readinf which I didn't used to do much before the bedrest was order.

About helping out besides mentalk support, it was helpful to know that my family and friends were helping me out with the daily earrances I could not do. (cooking, cleaning, etc..)

Just remember that her and her family might not say it out loud but they do need all the support they can get. If she is married, her husband will need some support also. As is not going tobe easy for him having to worry about her and the baby while this difficult time goes bye. Husbands don't always express their worries because they don't want to worry their wives.

Good Luck and I truly hope your friend, spouse, and baby will be able to get through this difficult time and that it would unite even more.

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C.P.

answers from Gainesville on

Well my in-laws gave me a Nintendo DS for my birthday and my hubby gave me 2 Brain Age games. It's really fun and challenging. If she likes learning games, this might be a good idea. It's about $130 and the games are $20-$50 depending on what you like.

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J.J.

answers from Tallahassee on

First I pray that all goes well with your friend and her baby. Lights in the hospital never go out,eye shields should be help. Noise never stops,a white noise machine would be great. Books to read or on CD's, music that she enjoys, puzzles, a Bible, lavender spray for her pillow, short visits so she does not over tire herself entertaining visitors,back massages if allowed,lotions as hospital air is very drying to the skin and lots of love. These are the things I would like and enjoy.

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A.M.

answers from Daytona Beach on

H.,

I spent 8 weeks in hospital on bed rest, and 3 weeks at home prior to hospital. I did a lot of cross stitch bibs for the babies (triplets) I also started a scrapbook for each one. I was able to scrapbook the baby shower they had for me while I was in hospital, some pregnacy pictures, and also some of my thoughts while I was on bedrest. The craft store has lots of ideas and some premade kits. I also did a lot of reading for both pleasure and information. I hope this helps. Being on bedrest isn't easy, but the longer she can keep the bun in the oven the better.

A. M.
Mom to five yr old triplets

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L.B.

answers from Melbourne on

If I were on bedrest, I would like to be pampered. If you have a friend that does pedicures (if you don't) paint toes, fingernails, etc. Mini spa treatments.. We were not allowed to bring candles in for aromatherapy, so I brought little gel smell good thingies, there are also plug-ins and the infusers. I would make a collage, album, or something like that to help her feel at home as much as possible. I hear that certain orchids or oriental lilies do not have too much scent and are a nice gift. good luck. I hope she doesn't have the baby for a while either. =)

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S.C.

answers from Daytona Beach on

Hi, my water broke at 25 weeks and I had to be on bedrest also and my husband gave me a hand held yahtzee game and I loved having it. I also like getting some really nice smelling lotion as I was not allowed to take a shower just a bedbath and your body keeps producing amniotic fluid which keeps leaking out 24 hours a day and it has a funny smell to it. Also a body pillow was another thing that I loved having to curl around while I was resting. I developed choreoamnio??? and they had to take my baby at 26 weeks but she is now 4 and very healthy. Congratulations on your pregnancy also. S.

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C.P.

answers from Miami on

Hello H.,

how about:

trivia & board games (get them cheap at thrift store,
make sure all pieces are there)

brain teasers
uno cards
chess game (small one)
regular cards
puzzles
stamps so she can mail the letters/notes she can write while she's there.
Good luck to you and your friend!
~C.~

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T.S.

answers from Panama City on

Books, Music, writing activities for adults, and most of all, a Bible.

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J.A.

answers from Orlando on

Hello H.,
I have been in this position and I really enjoyed some of the things my sisters did for me!I recieved am manicure and oedicure from a company that came to me,also recieved massahe therapy from the same company,I kept in touch with friends and family with a laptop and they where always sending me some goofy pics of us when we where little that made me laugh and one of the most time consuming things my big sisters did for me was give me projects either sewingor picking out paint colors for a nursery I intended to do or putting to gether any little thing.
What a great friend you are and I am sure you will come up with many personal things to keep her busy and relaxed until her wonderful blessing comes.
Many blessing
J.

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J.K.

answers from Miami on

Hi H.,

I too was on bed rest and I couldn't read I all day long my mind was working full time. I did enjoy being pampered and even pampering myself. Arbonne has wonderful pampering and Aromatherapy products. Masks that go on clear etc. I can also give a 35% discount. email me if i can help. [email protected]____.com. I'm not suppose to give my website out in responses.
I wish your friend and the baby well.

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C.G.

answers from Boca Raton on

I loved Sudoku when I was pregant (though not on bed rest). It is so logical and kind-of mindless. A friend of mine took up knitting while in bed -- she had no idea what she was doing at first, but her mom brought her a how to book and supplies.

GO GATORS! (I bet we were at UF at the same time -- ProTeach?)

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A.B.

answers from Boca Raton on

HI,
I have two children 4 and 1 and was on full bed rest with both pregnancies from 5 months on. It was scary frustrating and boring all at the same time. Everyone kept telling me to relax and enjoy my "time off" which was impossible to do when I was constantly uncomfortable and writing to do lists{nesting stage}but had nobody to really help with all the things I wanted and needed to do as an expectant mom.
So here is what I really needed and enjoyed while on bed rest. "fun" toiletries, not to highly scented but the hospital stuff is awful...Homecooked food or takeout from favorite restaurant and or baked goods...new robe or maternity pj's or slippers...magazines,books,dvd's,cd's...a new pregnancy journal that told what was happening each day with the baby during development and I could write as well all that was happening for me...a baby book so I could fill out all about the rest of the eexperience...envelopes and stamps so I could use the time to do thank you's in advance...company,it is so lonely all day in the hospital...scrapbbking projects so the book would be ready for all baby,s firsts,...one friend sent a massage therapist to work on my aching back and it was wonderful...another friend sent someone to do a mani/pedicure which really made me feel great ...but what really helped out was the friends that offered to peek at my to do lists and took on some of the shopping/projects and just called or visited so Iwas not so sad or lonely all the time.

Iwish you and your friend luck and happiness.

PS...if the baby does come early and ends up in NICU a great gift is a book like "The Preemie Parents Companion" as it gives a world of info that traditional books do not!

FROM, A. B.

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R.A.

answers from Boca Raton on

We gave a friend in a similar situation the Nintendo DS lite!

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T.F.

answers from Orlando on

Go to Michaels and find or put together a kit to make a small scrapbook. She can make theme pages with borders and stickers and all she'll have to do in the future is glue down the photos. I bought a little scrapbook and made an empty alphabet book-- I put an alphabet sticker on each page and decorated the page generically with a color theme-- then recently I went through a pile of photos of my son's first year and put a picture on each page (B was bathtime, C was cake from his first birthday party, etc)

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M.C.

answers from Miami on

H.~

Just a suggestion but, I did not work during my pregnancy and I spent a lot of time just laying around the house and waiting around in Drs. Offices and I loved my Nintendo DS lite. I was never into those games but I love Brain Age! It was a great chance to brush up on some great skills that I had honestly lost. And I had just graduated college! LOL! But I still to this day play it from time to time…though time is not something I have much of these days…LOL! But it really passed the time well and I got to give my brain a work out at the same time!!!

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