What are four ways to get your home ready for your baby?
- Make sure you have a safe crib for you baby. Consider having your baby sleep in your room, but not in your bed, for a time after she comes home from the hospital.
- Make sure you have enough supplies (diapers, baby wipes, clothes, etc.) that you won’t have to go out of the house soon to pick things up. It’s a good idea to organize your supplies so they are easily reachable when you need them prior to baby coming home.
- Consider picking up some hand sanitizer, especially if your baby was premature, because of baby’s increased susceptibility to infections that can be transmitted on caregivers’ hands. It will make it easier for you and family members to clean hands quickly before picking baby up, after changing diapers, etc.
- Clean the house to ensure it has minimal allergens such as dust, pet hair, residue from smoking, etc. If anyone in the family smokes, please tell them they will need to smoke outside from now on.
Recommendations for Post-Discharge Support: Read just the recommendations by the Workgroup on Psychosocial Support of NICU Parents, or read the full article from the December, 2015 Supplement to Journal of Perinatology.
Bibliography on Post-Discharge and Follow-up Support: This contains a comprehensive listing of references on post-discharge and follow-up support, compiled by the National Perinatal Association Workgroup on Recommendations for Psychosocial Support of NICU Parents.
Bibliography on Long-Term Consequences of Parenting a High-Risk Infant: Compiled by the National Perinatal Association Workgroup on Recommendations for Psychosocial Support of NICU Parents.
Baby Steps to Home, a lengthy and very complete downloadable resource produced by the National Association of Neonatal Nurses.
Preparing Parents for Life After the NICU, blog written by Sue Hall, MD.
Coming Home from the NICU: 10 Things to Tell Your Friends and Family, blog by Erika Goyer on the Hand to Hold website.
Resources on Back to Sleep, the Safe Sleep Campaign by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
More resources on Back to Sleep.
How to Calm a Crying Baby Information produced by CDC.
How to Prepare for a Preemie Coming Home, parent education video produced by Pebbles of Hope.
Learn about the Period of Purple Crying, which all babies go through, and how to safely deal with it.
Leaving the NICU, Preparing for Discharge, on the March of Dimes website.
Preemie Toolkit, the “Toolkit for the Follow-up Care of the Premature Infant,” with resources developed by MedImmune.
Tips on Patient Safety, on the website of Children’s Hospitals Solutions for Patient Safety.
“From Baby to Big Kid”: Sign up to receive this newsletter from ZERO TO THREE, the National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families.
Family Information Packet, part of a discharge planning module to help newborns transition from NICU to home, developed by teams investigators working on the “Safe Passages” project at Baylor College of Medicine. This has information on how to find a pediatrician and tips for dealing with your insurance.
Nurse Family Partnership, a home visiting program for pregnant and first-time moms.
ZERO TO THREE is a national, nonprofit organization that provides parents, professionals and policymakers the knowledge and know-how to nurture early development. Their mission is to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life.
Are you interested in having someone speak to your staff, organization, or network about best practices in post-discharge support and follow-up of NICU families? Click on the icon to go to our Speaker’s Bureau page to learn more about these speakers.
Jenene Craig, PhD, OTR/L, occupational therapist
Erika Goyer, National Perinatal Association, family advocate