and Dad get to know your baby and feel comfortable caring for him/her.
Become involved in your baby's care in the hospital.
Learn ways to comfort your baby.
Change diapers and clothes.
Feed your baby as often as possible.
Learn to give a bath.
Learn to give medications that your baby will receive at home.
Learn any treatments that will be given at home.
If your baby is a boy, decide if you want him circumcised.
about immunizations. Depending on the age of your baby, some immunizations may
be started before discharge. Others are given at the time of discharge. Be sure
you have a record of those given.
Identify whichdoctors will be caring for your baby after you go home. Be sure
you have an appointment shortly after discharge. Your baby may have several
other appointments after reaching home. Be sure to go to all of the appointments,
even if your baby seems healthy.
If your baby is going home on an apnea monitor, complete monitor training.
Learn the important contact numbers for problems or emergencies.
Learn how to properly position your baby in a car seat.
Learn the results of the routine screening tests performed on your baby and
if repeat testing is needed. Common screens are listed below. Your baby may not
have all of these. Consult your pediatrician.
a) Neonatal Screen - All babies have blood tests to look for the presence of
certain diseases. States vary regarding the number and types of diseases
screened. Sick preterm infants often have "false positive" results and the test
may need to be repeated when the infant is older and healthier.
b) Eye Examination.
c) Hearing test.
d) Head ultrasound.
Learn baby cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This is appropriate for all
Mums and Dads, not just parents of preemies. Most hospitals or communities have
such instruction. If yours does not, call the American Heart Association for
If your infant is going home on oxygen, be sure you feel comfortable working
all of the equipment that you will use at home and when going out. Learn how to
secure the nasal cannula. Learn the important contact numbers for problems or
Ask for a copy of your baby's history, so you will have it in the future if
problems develop or if you move.