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Before You Take Your Preemie Home

A preemie's first night home can be a stressful and overwhelming experience for a parent. It's important that you familiarize yourself with your baby and his medical needs before taking him home. Here are some things you should know in order to take the best care of your baby, according to the University of Wisconsin Center for Perinatal Care.

  • Learn ways to comfort or settle your baby.
  • Find out about any medications your baby will need, and ask how to administer them.
  • Ask doctors about any treatments that will need to be given at home.
  • If your infant is going home on an apnea monitor, make sure you get monitor training.
  • If your infant is going home with oxygen equipment, be sure you feel comfortable working all the equipment.
  • Learn how to properly position your baby in a car seat.
  • Identify which physician will be caring for your baby after discharge and make an appointment before discharge.
  • Inquire about immunizations. Be sure you have a record of those given and those necessary in the future.
  • Find out about the results of the routine screening tests performed on your infant, and if repeat testing is needed.
  • Learn baby cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Most hospitals or communities have such instruction. If yours does not, call the American Heart Association for more information.
  • Learn the important contact numbers for problems or emergencies.
  • Make sure you've been alerted about possible illnesses your child may be prone to.
  • Find out about the best sleep positions for your baby.
  • Ask for a copy of your baby's discharge summary, so you'll have it in the future if problems develop or if you move.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.