coming home

Damaris - posted on 08/17/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My son has been in the nicu since he was born in may. He will be coming home soon and I'm really nervous. He's my first and i haven't had him home. Any suggestions on how to make the transition and what to expect when he's home?

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[deleted account]

Congratulations! This is going to be an exciting and scary thing for you. My little one spent 4 months in the NICU and I was thrilled to come home, and so scared too. It was also a bit lonely at first - I was used to spending 15 hours a day in the NICU surrounded by doctors and nurses who became like family when I was there. I do have a few suggestions, but first - your question about breaking that NICU habit - don't worry about it yet - just get used to being home and once you fall into a new routine you and start breaking little habits here and there. OK - on to some suggestions:

1. Make sure your house is stocked full of diapers, wipes and formula for a few weeks, so that way you don't feel like you have to go anywhere for a while. Keep a list of emergency phone numbers and doctor numbers handy too, so you don't have to search for them when you need them.

2. When making doctor appointments ask for the first one after their lunch hour. Most often sick appointments are done in the mornings and you don't want to bring a baby fresh from the NICU into an office full of sick kids. Also, ask if you can wait in a room rather than the waiting room. Most offices will be more than willing to accommodate you.

3. If you do need to go out in public with your baby, try to go at less crowded times during the day. It is good to go out if your little one has no known immunity issues, but build their immunity slowly. Spend a lot of time outside too - you are coming home at a good time of year - much better than between the months of Oct and April :)

4. Keeps visitors to small groups in the beginning and make sure they wash their hands before interacting with your baby. Be adamant about them not visiting if they are sick.

5. Sleep every chance you get and don't worry so much about getting dishes done when your baby is sleeping. You need to sleep too, and you will learn how to get things done during you little ones waking hours.

6. Remember that your little one is used to the sounds of the NICU so he may be a bit antsy in a quiet house. A radio playing soothing music can help at bedtime.

7 and most important - enjoy your time getting to know your baby outside of the walls of the NICU. It is a wonderful time and once you fall into a routine, you will be fine.

Amanda - posted on 08/20/2009

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First congrats on the little bundle of joy coming home for the first time!!!!

I worried all the time, and would not allow anyone to hold him unless I was right there. He was my first and my only.. and he was 2 months early. He was only in the NICU for 6 days.. (came home on christmas eve of 07)... I worried so much, he would sleep beside me. "my one advice is do NOT do that. It is very hard to get them to sleep on their own. My son is now 19 months and I am just now getting him to sleep by himself however in the middle of the night he gets out of bed and has to be with me.

It is just like bringing home a full term baby.. you just worry more, and with being your first your going to worry just as much as any other mom does even with a full term baby. They are on a set schedule however which in some ways can be good and can be bad..

As the other moms said.. just try what you can and find what works for you and the baby. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Damaris - posted on 08/20/2009

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thankful he will not be coming home with any equipment but he is coming home on special formula that has more calories so that he can gain weight. he eats like theres no tomorrow but doesn't keep it on lol. His nurses say they spoiled him by holding him all the time and stuff but we have things to entertain him i hope so we can break him of that. When he's awake he is awake too and i'm so use to sleeping through the night, and a hard sleeper i'm afraid i won't hear him. How do u break them of the nicu schedule? Thank you for the advise, i'm scared but very excited!

[deleted account]

Congrats on getting to bring your little one home! I was so excited to be able to bring my son home, he was my first too. He was in hospital for 14 weeks. We were lucky that we didn't come home with equipment but I didn't get much sleep those first nights, I was always checking to make sure he was still breathing and that the moniter was working. The best advice I can give you is try to relax (hard, I know) and trust your instincts. I didn't keep the NICU schedule, I let my son set his own. I fed him when he was hungry, let him sleep when he was tired and cuddled and played with him when he was awake. This worked best for us. Good luck.

Lindsay - posted on 08/18/2009

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Congrats on your baby coming home soon! The transition home is a rough one, but still soooo much better than driving to the hospital everyday. My daughter spent 9 wks in the NICU and we were so excited to have her home! But terrified at the same time. Is you son coming home with any equiptment? Our daughter came home with an apnea monitor (a great big pain that I wished we had declined-it was our choice since she was borderline for needing it). The biggest struggle was getting her off of the NICU schedule. IN some ways it was great because she already had a schedule set, but having been used to being assessed every 3 hrs round the clock made for very long nights. Not only was she awake to eat, but she was AWAKE so you better pay attention to her. Other than that, I like to tell myself it was close to what moms with full term babies experienced coming home with a new baby(even though I am sure I worried WAY more). Its a lot of trial and error to see what works for both you and the baby. Good luck!!

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