Preparing to go home
Babies are individual people and they need to be treated as individuals. Therefore, every baby goes home on a different time. There are however, some guidelines you can use to determine when your baby is ready to go home. The principle guideline to go by is that your baby will go home on the date that she should have been born – her expected date of delivery (EDD). If she is ready any sooner it is a bonus!
General guidelines include the following:
- Your baby should be able to maintain her temperature, since you cannot keep her in an incubator at home.
- She has to breast or bottle-feed every feed successfully.
- She should have no apnoea spells for at least one week.
- She must gain and maintain weight, about 130 gr per week.
- She should not receive any more antibiotics (she can go home on vitamins) or oxygen.
- You as parents should be able to take care of your prem baby independently.
In order to be able to properly care for your baby you will need to gain some practical skills. You will have to learn these skills from the nursing staff in the NICU or from workshops offered by a Little Steps® Premmie Parenting Consultant.
The time after discharge can be quite daunting for parents of premature infants. One aspect that needs to be addressed during the first year at home is follow-up assessments.
Read more about them here.