Learn how to take your baby’s temperature.
Start caring for your baby while he/she is still in the NICU by providing baths, dressing your baby, changing his/her diapers, etc. Such preparations will make you feel confident about doing these tasks alone at home.
Handle Financial and Insurance Concerns
Add your baby to your insurance policy.
While your baby is still in the NICU, talk with your hospital’s social worker to find out if he/she qualifies for Supplemental Social Security (SSI), Women Infants and Children (WIC) assistance or other federal, state or local services. Fill out the paperwork prior to discharge.
Also, ask the social worker if you are worried about affording electricity, phone service,
transportation, or food when your baby leaves the NICU.
Prepare For Life at Home
Make sure your team reviews all illnesses your baby may be at-risk for, such as Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and learn how to prevent and detect signs of illness at home. See PreemieCare’s RSV resources: www.PreemieCare.org/rsv resourceshtm.htm.
Ask whether you are permitted to contact the NICU or step-down nurse regarding questions
about general care for your baby once home but prior to your pediatric appointment.
to call _________________________)
Obtain proper car seats or car beds for your baby and find out if the NICU staff will be testing for apnea or bradycardia while the baby is in the seat prior to discharge. Learn how to use the car seat by reading the manual before you take the baby home. You can also take your vehicle and car seat to your local fire or police department for a free car seat installation check. Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics' Car Seat Guide for details: www.aap.org/family/carseatguide.htm.
Put your baby to sleep on his/her back, unless another position is indicated medically, to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and talk to your health care providers about “tummy time” when the baby is awake. See the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development website for more information about preventing SIDS: www.nichd.nih.gov/sids.
Contact your fire department, emergency medical service, and the local utilities to let them know if you have a child who requires special medical equipment. In case of a power outage, your neighborhood can be prioritized when fixing utility problems.
Download a growth chart with instructions for tracking children born preterm from the MOST
website at www.MOSTonline.org/growthcharts.htm.
PreemieCare a division of MOST (Mothers of Supertwins) www.PreemieCare.org www.MOSTonline.org
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