What do do with an older sibling during little one's Cinci appointments

I don't think I've posted this question yet ... We are traveling to see Dr. Wong and her team in May, and we're not sure what to do with our five-year-old daughter during Max's testing and appointments. We, of course, want to shield her from hearing anything upsetting, and I like the approach of one mom who said she doesn't take her daughter go to any appointments to protect her a bit from worrying so much about her little brother. I also want my husband and I to be able to give our absolute full attention to the team there so we can retain as much information as possible. The concierge at Cinci as well as the Ronald McDonald House across the street said they don't offer babysitting, and I hesitate to hand my child over to a drop-in daycare. A friend suggested letting her watch videos on my Iphone (with headphones) and stay in the room with us, but I'm just not sure how distracting she will be, how long all of the appointments will take and if she'd even want to do that for long periods of time.

We are driving to Cinci and making the trip a family vacation, but we may fly in one of our parents to watch Holly. I'd like to avoid this, if possible, since a flight and hotel room for several days will be quite expensive.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

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I am assuming that this is your first visit to Cincy. First off, know that the days are LONG...so pack food in your purse! We often don't get to the cafeteria for lunch until 2 or 3. I would also bring a stroller for both kids, as the hospital is large and sometimes you are walking very quickly from one appt to another (this has been cut down some due to the way they handle appts now, but there is still some of it). As for your daughter, I am not sure what to tell you. There are toys in the clinic offices, but those will only entertain for so long. I would take a small DVD player...or maybe this is the time to get her a Nintendo type video game?? (leap frog has a cute one for pre-schoolers).
Make sure that you have gotten your family tickets to the Childrens Museum...they are free and it is wonderful! The zoo is great too, but probably too cold right now.
Good Luck!
This would be the time (in case you don't have one already) to make a fun bag. I know she's only five but maybe getting her a cheap little mp3 player where you can put songs that she enjoys. A dvd player or a laptop with her favorite movies would be great. Crayons and a coloring book and a leapfrog would be awesome. Then of course, her favorite snacks and drinks. It may not keep her occupied the entire time but the headphones will keep her from hearing anything you dont want her to hear and also keep her happy. Hope this helps!
Grandma.
Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions. We're still undecided, but I like the idea of a fun bag with a DVD player or fun game system, etc. I guess I'm just stressed enough about how Max will do during all of these appointments. I'm concerned that adding Holly to the mix will take more focus away from talking to the docs, and I don't want her to feel left out or ignored all day ... Good news is I have plenty of time to think it over!
I was in Cinc. in Nov. Because of HINI flu they do not want you bringing siblings right now and have pulled all the toys. I don't know if this will be the case in May but I would check before you considered bringing her.
We've found a great solution! My MIL will use her frequent flyer miles to travel to Ohio to watch Holly during our Tuesday and Thursday appointments. We'll all go to the zoo together on Wednesday. This is a HUGE relief!! Yay for grandmas!
I was going to say g-maw is the way to go. My mom always comes and helps to keep Wyatt entertained so we can focus on info from the docss. I second Yay for g-maws!!!
we have always brough 3 kids ( two with dmd, plus the baby) the first time we brought my mom and dad. the second time we went with just the family...(that was really hard) we are bringing one (maybe two) sitters, to help with the three boys. you will need help, the appointments sometimes involve talking that you wont even want your son to listen to (not sure how old he is, but it can get hard no matter how old he is), having a sitter to take him away when they dont need to look at him is so helpful so you both can hear what the doctor has to say.
Thanks for the heads up. Max will have just turned two when we have our appointment, so I think it's safe this year to have him in the room when we have "deep" discussions, but I'll definately try to bring help along to take him out in future years.

jenn said:
we have always brough 3 kids ( two with dmd, plus the baby) the first time we brought my mom and dad. the second time we went with just the family...(that was really hard) we are bringing one (maybe two) sitters, to help with the three boys. you will need help, the appointments sometimes involve talking that you wont even want your son to listen to (not sure how old he is, but it can get hard no matter how old he is), having a sitter to take him away when they dont need to look at him is so helpful so you both can hear what the doctor has to say.

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