Published April 2012, next review April 2015
Taking your baby home
You've probably been longing for this moment, but when it's time to take your premature baby home, it can be daunting.
When you're finally told it's time to take your baby home. you may feel a mixture of emotions. On the one hand, you've been waiting for this ever since he was born. At the same time, the prospect of coping with your tiny baby may fill you with worry. The good news is that going home will be hugely beneficial, for both you and your baby.
The healthcare team won't let your premature baby leave the hospital unless they feel that he is well enough to stay healthy in a home environment and that you are capable of giving him the care he needs.
It's normal to be daunted by the prospect of caring for your baby at home, especially if you need to use special equipment, for example to help him breathe - but most parents say that they get used to caring for their baby surprisingly quickly.
If you have to use any special equipment, you will get training and detailed instructions. If the unit has the facilities, they will also give you the chance to 'room in', which involves sleeping in the hospital with your baby for a short period of time.
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