i. Getting ready to take your baby home

You’re going to be able to take your baby home soon. If you have more than one baby in the NICU, one may go home before the other. You might only get a day or two’s notice before your baby goes home so it’s a good idea to have some things ready. To help you get ready, please look over the following checklist. It has lots of things you can do in the hospital and at home.

Bringing baby home checklist

What you can do at the hospital:

  • Help take care of your baby. You can feed, bathe, dress and put a diaper on your baby.
  • Breastfeed your baby and pump your breast milk. Get help from the nurse and lactation consultant.
  • Ask who you can call once you are home if you have questions about feeding your baby.
  • Learn how to give your baby his medicines or other treatments.
  • Ask if you can “room-in” overnight with your baby. Many hospitals have a quiet room where you can take care of your baby as you would at home.
  • Take an infant CPR class.
  • Get a copy of your baby’s discharge summary. You will want to share copies with your baby’s health care providers.

What you can do at home:

  • Get a child safety car seat. Practice putting the seat in your car.
  • Decide who will provide your baby’s medical care. Make a follow-up appointment for after her NICU stay.
  • Make a list of all the important telephone numbers you will need. These include your baby’s health care provider, medical specialists and emergency contacts. Keep this list with you and also put a copy in a safe place at home.
  • Get your baby’s things ready, such as her crib, clothes and diapers.