Raising your premature baby
A guide for moms with preemies
Bringing your premature baby home
Get started and settled in with helpful tips to make the transition a smooth one.
All parents look forward to the day when they can finally bring their baby home. Being prepared can help you relieve anxiety and better manage unexpected and unfamiliar events.
Settle in with some helpful hints
Bringing home baby and adjusting to life at home together is a learning experience for newborns and parents alike. It could take several weeks for your baby to get into a regular eating, sleeping, and waking routine, and for you to feel rested, positive, and confident in your decisions. It is important to keep in mind several points to ensure your baby's continued development and welfare during — and after — this transition:
Keep it comfortable. Premature babies do not have much fat at first, and might have trouble staying warm or adjusting to temperature changes. Make sure to keep your baby's room at a comfortable temperature.
Fight germs. Your baby's immune system will need a few weeks to adjust before you have visitors. Once she's ready, make sure all visitors are healthy before touching or holding your baby. Ensure that they wash their hands with soap and warm water or use hand sanitizer.
Bathe regularly. Babies only need to be bathed two to three times a week during the first year of life. Keep the room warm and free of drafts during bathing, and use smooth, soothing motions when washing. Swaddle your baby in a soft towel after the bath to keep him warm.
Crib safety. The slats on your baby's crib should be close together (no more than 2-3/8 inches apart) so his head does not get caught. Check that the mattress is firm and fits snugly to the crib's frame. There should be no more than a thin, tight-fitting sheet on the mattress. Soft, bulkier items, such as blankets and stuffed animals, could block your baby's breathing, so keep them out of his crib.