You’ve finally brought your baby home from the NICU and you’re looking forward to taking her out into the world and introducing her to your friends and family. But before you send out a group text telling everyone to come on over, we have some tips to keep in mind.
Since babies who have stayed in the NICU have a greater chance of getting infections than other babies, you want to take steps to keep them healthy. Here are some things you can do:
- Limit the number of people who come to your home.
- Ask visitors to wash their hands before touching your baby.
- Do not let visitors smoke in your home or near your baby.
- Do not let adults or children who are sick, have a fever or who may have been exposed to an illness near your baby. Any adult who will have contact with your baby should get a pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine.
- Do not take your newborn to crowded places like shopping malls and grocery stores.
This does not mean that you can’t invite people to your home or that you have to stay in your house for the first months after your baby comes home. It’s fine to take your baby for walks outside in nice weather and go visit friends or family members. Just make sure your baby is going to a smoke-free and illness-free home.
If you have questions about your child’s health or condition, especially if your baby has medical equipment at home, reach out to your baby’s health care provider. She will be the ideal person to advise you.
Life at home after the NICU can be challenging, but you may find that you have new strength. And there is much to celebrate. Share your baby’s birth story and get support from other families on Share Your Story. Your experience and story will resonate with others as well as provide you with encouragement as you create new memories at home.