Are you bringing home a preemie baby from the NICU anytime soon? Here are some of the essential items I’ve needed to care for
a premature baby that is finally coming home. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.
So I have had my share of premature babies and I’ve given some advice here, and quite frankly – it’s too many that one person can handle. Premature baby care can be tough if you haven’t been there before.
I have also found that being prepared is most helpful for when you finally get to bring them home from the NICU. I’ve compiled a list of things that are so helpful to make that transition from hospital to home so much easier.
1. Diaper Genie –
The design has changed recently and it’s much more user-friendly. You don’t need to twist any bags any more or even touch the thing! We share a room with our micro-preemie so having some sort of bin was essential, this just happens to be a luxury bin and it keeps me by the baby rather than running diapers to the trash outside. I grabbed mine from Target because what can’t we find at Target? It also helps because he is on oxygen and I can’t be running everywhere hooking him up to a new tank just to run a diaper out.
So our son has had the most complications as far as lung issues and so having a monitor that we could rely on was very important to me. They can be a bit pricey but they include 3 sizes of socks so the monitor grows with them. It has been a game changer in how we react to my son’s needs.
I’ve been able to look at his oxygen rate and determine if a breathing treatment has been successful or if a trip to the ER is necessary. *I’m not a medical professional. For me, it’s always been better to overreact than having to worry.
3. Leather Moccasins –
or any soft-soled shoe that will make walking and crawling a breeze. They stay on their little feet while they are on the go and having some natural movement in the feet while learning to walk is something that will make them learn that much faster.
4. Good Bottles –
Your child may have been prescribed a certain bottle or nipple requirement in the NICU but coming home and having them grow, they need to adapt. I have found that with the Playtex Nursers, they make a tired mom grateful for Drop-In Liners. I still wash the bottles obviously, but if I find that infamous one that’s been under the bed for months, I can just throw away the liner and I’ve got a whole new bottle.
For us, Malakai ate much better with the Dr. Brown bottles in the beginning. They have a preemie flow nipple and it allowed him to eat at a slower pace so he didn’t use up all his energy. Once he was older and able to figure things out, I preferred the Playtex because of the easy cleanup.
5. A Snuggle/Travel Bed –
In the NICU they have snugglers for the babies and it can be intimidating for them to come home to a wide open crib. These give the children the same type of comfort while in their own new bed and you can even travel with it.
My son had ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity) surgery on Christmas day. That was a rough day but thankfully I can still help strengthen his eyesight by giving him stimulating things to look at. He has restricted peripheral vision that he can never get back but this at least helps him to focus more and strengthen his retinas.
7. A Smart Changing Pad –
This is where life gets fancy. A new company has these changing pads that can record your weight, tell you how much they ate, weigh the diapers, etc. It’s all kept track in their app and to use the app you don’t even need to have the changing pad, it’s just an added bonus of not having to constantly go into the doc, especially during RSV season, and do weight checks. Those can now happen over the phone.
8. Love and Attention –
Most of all, this is what these babies need. They’ve been in the hospital and all they want is their family. The nurses, no doubt, try to make up for this but it’s really about being present and learning about your child’s needs. No one knows them better than you and it’s important to be there every time you can. So have you had a preemie? Let me know what your go-to product was and check out the features of the new Diaper Genie here.