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
- 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)