Your Baby’s Milestone Day Has Arrived.
One of the most rewarding things we do as neonatologists is see our patients go home. Our care plans concentrate on the steps that need to be taken each day toward sending a happy, healthy baby home with you.
Criteria for Discharge
It is nearly impossible to predict exactly what day any baby will be ready to go home. It takes the efforts of the entire medical team working together with the family to achieve these goals.
The common criteria for deciding when a baby is ready to go home include:
- Feeding independently
- Maintaining body temperature
- Breathing independently
- Apnea resolved or controlled with medicine
- Outpatient primary care physician identified and follow-up appointments made as needed
- Subspecialist physicians identified and follow-up appointments made as needed
- Discharge equipment available for home if needed
- Parents competent with cares and ready to take baby home
Transitioning to the Home Environment
Our care plans concentrate on the steps that need to be taken towards sending a happy, healthy baby home with you. Along the way, we’ll help you understand and determine what to expect for your child’s long-term outcome. The following are tips to make the transition to home successful for your baby and your entire family.
Make sure your home is warm and welcoming. Keep your home temperature comfortable and be prepared to put an extra blanket or hat on the baby during colder months.
If people offer to help you, let them. Let them help with meal preparation, or caregiving if you have other children. People want to help and they feel impactful when they can.
Ease into home life with your baby one step at a time. Seek support from your doctor or home care nurse or other support provider (especially if this is your first baby).
Minimize visits from friends and family until you settle into a routine. Ask them to let you know when they plan to visit and to stay away if they are not well, as this can pose a health risk to your baby. Ask visitors to wash their hands when they arrive to stop the spread of germs.
Understand that it may take weeks or even months to feel like things are back to normal, depending on your situation. That’s OK, and normal. Focus on getting confident looking after your baby at home, and trust that you can do it!