Changes in behavior (1192)

Key points below

After hospitalization

Mother watching nurse play with her child

When your child comes home from the hospital, you may feel that things will get back to normal. This may not be the case. A child’s behavior may regress because of their stay in the hospital. You may notice these changes in different ways. Being separated from you or other family members – even for short periods of time – may be stressful for your child.

What causes the changes?

Your child may have been used to the hospital routine. They may have had extra attention and support from family and medical staff. Tests or procedures may have been a big part of their hospital stay. The hospital environment is different from home, where there are family rules and routines to follow. It may take time for your child to fit back into their role within the family unit.

Other behavior changes may happen because your child:

What are the changes that may happen?

child grabbing parent's leg while having a tantrum

Your child may need more of you or your family’s time. Your child may need help with things they did on their own before the hospital stay. Your child may also:

How can I help my child get through the changes?

Be patient and consistent. This will help your child adjust to being back home.

Remember that changes are normal. Changes in behavior are one way children express their feelings. With patience and help, your child can return to a regular routine. If these behavior changes continue for a long time, talk to your child’s healthcare provider. This sheet was created to help you care for your child or family member. It does not take the place of medical care. Talk with your healthcare provider for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.