For short hospital visits or doctor's appointments, a tablet game or book can be sufficient to hold my sons interest while things are getting done.
However, most hospital rooms and doctor's offices have of a number of fascinating objects, screens, cables, and buttons that attract my son's interest more than any toy or screen we can bring with us.
This was particularly difficult when we had to take my son for his brother's ultrasound. I had to hold him for most of the time (while he squirmed), and then ended up having to leave to a waiting room once we found out his sibling was going to be a brother.
Another instance was when my wife was very ill and dehydrated. I wanted to be in the room for the evaluation, until we found out what the plan was. Instead, we ended up spending time in a waiting room until I felt comfortable leaving my wife there (she ended up having to stay the night).
Neither of these are ideal solutions for me. I'd rather keep him occupied, without missing the action myself. Unfortunately, we don't have any friends in this area that could show up on short notice to watch him (we moved last fall for my schooling), and I also don't/won't employ babysitters. My wife does now have a friend that we're comfortable leaving our son with (or watching her children), but that's just been for planned-in-advance stuff.
For full disclosure, the reason that I want to know right now is because my next son is due to arrive in about 6 weeks. The earliest most of friends/family could arrive would be 3-4 hours after we let them know the action has started. The last delivery was planned to be induced, so everyone knew well ahead of time when to be there. This time, it's likely going to be on nature's schedule.
I know that usually, there's plenty of time between when the early parts of labor start and the need to go to the hospital, but I would like to be prepared just in case.
How can I keep my son occupied in a medical room, and prevent him from playing with or getting into medical equipment and supplies?
While I'm primarily interested in solution because of the foreseeable hospital visit for the birth, I'm not solely interested in a solution for that time. After that there will be appointments for my wife and new one that I'd like to be present for, and likely when we won't have "help" available to watch our oldest.