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.
The following organisations can give you more information about the topics covered in this section.
The early days at home with your premature baby can be a steep learning curve, especially if he still needs support with breathing or feeding. We answer some of your questions.
Premature babies are more susceptible to certain health problems than term babies, so your healthcare team will take special care when assessing your child's development.
Premature birth can affect the way your child develops. Early intervention is important, so assessments from your healthcare team are crucial in ensuring that your baby gets the right care.
Most babies have to fight colds and tummy bugs. The good news is that each infection your baby gets will strengthen his immunity. Unfortunately, infants pick up small colds fairly frequently.
If your baby had severe problems with his gut, he may have had a colostomy or ileostomy while he was in hospital.
It's important to seek advice promptly if you need help with breastfeeding or tube feeding at home.
ℹLast reviewed on April 1st, 2012. Next review date April 1st, 2015.