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There are so many things to consider when bringing your preemie home finally after a long emotional stay in the NICU. We are getting close to bringing our preemie home from the NICU after 5 months. Since being 15 weeks early it’s been a long emotional journey (you can read my pregnancy story here). In the anticipation of bringing our preemie home, we are taking the next couple of weeks to make our home preemie friendly!
We are fortunate that we are past flu season when we bring her home, but that doesn’t mean when bringing your preemie home you aren’t just as paranoid about germs. We have been warned that as a preemie if and when she gets sick might require her to be readmitted. Another long hospital stay is defiantly not something we want to do in the near future. As a parent to a preemie the thought of going back to a hospital after making it your home for months is your worst nightmare.
Every parents fear is taking their baby away from their safe environment to only have to bring their baby back to the hospital because they got sick. It’s the last thing we want to do is bring her back to the hospital. She has been living in a bubble her entire life with experts on hand watching for any weakness. Therefore, we must be careful in introducing her to the outside world as we don’t want her to be overstimulated.
We know we can’t stop all germs from getting to our preemies, but we can try to cut down how many. With just a few tips to help you prepare in bringing your preemie home.
5 tips on bringing your preemie home
1. Limiting visitors.
We know everyone will want to come to visit once she is home and we will have to be firm in limiting the number of visitors for a while. It’s not a risk we are willing to take when it comes to the health of our baby. Besides worrying about germs we have to consider that our daughter has been isolated her entire life and being in a new environment is overwhelming enough as it is without multiple people in and out.
2. Deep clean.
We spent countless hours scrubbing our house from top to bottom. We hope that this will help clear up the dust and germs. On the plus side it’s one less thing we will have to worry about once she is home.
3. Keep it smoke-free.
We have several family members who are smokers. Therefore, we are asking everyone to not smoke before they visit or during their visit, and to wear odor free clothing. We also received a suggestion to buy extra-large men’s button up shirts to provide to those who are wanting to hold your baby. That way you are in control of cleaning the shirt and ensuring it is always odor free.
4. Limited outside visits.
Besides the trips to the doctors we are limiting the places we are taking our preemie for the first few months. Since our daughter will come home on oxygen it will be a hassle to bring her outside for too many outings. Also, we don’t want to overwhelm her by a lot of people,loud noises, and germs.
5. Hand washing
To help prevent germs we will require all visitors to wash their hands prior to holding her. If the visitor is feeling sick or has a child currently sick urge them to please postpone the visit. We also have several hand sanitizers strategically placed around the house.
Most of your visitors will understand why you are being protective when it comes to the health of your baby. Remember you are the one who knows your baby limits the best. If anybody does argue with you feel free to blame your doctors to prevent you from having to be the bad guy.
I’m so happy that we will be bringing our daughter home after a long journey. Let me know what tips you found worked best for you when bringing your preemie home!