Bringing Baby Home
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Bringing Baby Home

Compiled by the Parent for Parent Advisory Council

Items to have at home

  • You should have a car seat at time of discharge, places available to help with the purchase of a car seat (Children’s Miracle Network/Department of Social Services)
  • Baby monitor (audio or video)
  • Crib/Bassinet (baby sleeps on his or her back without blankets)
  • Medications/Thermometer (prescriptions, infant Tylenol, infant Motrin, poly-visol vitamins, know when to use and correct dose)
  • Diapers, diaper wipes, diaper rash ointments, and bath supplies
  • Clothes, blankets, detergent without fragrances or color added
  • Feeding supplies (bottles, nipples, sterilizer, breast pump)
  • Camera and baby book
  • Soothing music, mobile, toys
  • Soothie or pacifier


When Choosing a Pediatrician (What questions to ask)

  • Speak with your insurance carrier about services and pediatricians covered
  • Does the doctor have experience with special needs/preemie babies?
  • What are their office hours?
  • Who to call when they’re on vacation?
  • Where do you go for emergency care or after hours?
  • Does the doctor have a style that you can work with?


Special Needs for Babies Who Have Been Hospitalized

  • After homecoming, when is it alright to take the baby outside, discuss with your doctor.
  • Try to avoid large crowds or sick people.
  • How often must a preemie baby be seen within the first few months? Usually more often than a full term baby.
  • RSV, (Synagis Shots) discuss with your doctor whether your baby should have this shot.
  • For preemies think in terms of a different age when measuring your baby’s size and development.
  • Follow up programs your baby may be referred to by the discharge planner: California Children Services (CCS), San Andreas Regional Center (SARC), High Risk Follow Up, and/or Early Start (Monterey County Office of Education)


Family and Friends:

  • Accept help as you feel comfortable (running errands, making meals, etc)
  • Protect your baby from germs by limiting the number of visitors, avoid sick people, and by always washing your hands or using a hand sanitizer
  • Please no smoking around your baby
  • Siblings (let them help when they can, take a few minutes a day to focus on them)


Emotions You May Experience

  • Before going home you may feel fear, worry, excitement, uncertainty , or edginess
  • At home you may initially feel overwhelmed, guilty, frustrated, tired, joyful, or relief
  • Talk to someone for more support especially if you feel depressed or overwhelmed and it’s impacting your ability to care for your baby
  • Go to a post partum depression support group at the hospital or other support groups in the community


Other Tips

  • Place smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with fresh batteries in your home
  • Consider having a cell phone or land line for emergencies
  • When traveling (ask the doctor if it is alright to travel)
  • Pets (bring them in slowly and give them their own space)
  • Stay in touch with families you met while on the NICU
  • Get used to reading your baby’s cues in the hospital
  • As homecoming gets closer, see if rooming is available
  • Take CPR class/watch video
  • Have a list of important phone numbers (doctor, poison control)
  • Breastfeeding resource (WIC services)