Coming out of the NICU can be scary and daunting for any parent. Even if this is your second or third child, taking your preemie home is like being a first time parent all over again. Suddenly, what applied to your first born, may no longer apply for your preemie. This is because having a baby in the NICU opens your eyes to the myriad of health related risks a baby is exposed to once they enter the world. Micropreemies espcially, have underdeveloped immune and nervous systems that can make the home situation feel like an inhospitable place compared to the round the clock monitored care at the
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Here are the things that helped our family feel some reassurance at home. Scroll all the way down to see my amazon picks👇🏼!
The owlet sock is a baby monitor that tracks baby's heart rate and oxygen while baby is asleep. Our baby was in the NICU for 108 days and all of those days his heart rate and oxygen was monitored around the clock. So the thought of taking baby off of his monitors, made us feel like we were living in the dark ages! No I don't mean we missed the nicities of modern tech, what I mean is the we felt comepletely scared and axiety ridden not knowing if our baby was having bradychardia or desatting. Both of which are some of the scariest things we experienced in the NICU. Needless to say, the owlet sock along with prayer, gave hubby and I the peace of mind we needed to be able to sleep at all during the night.
Our second largest worry as we were getting ready to walk out of the NICU, was our micropreemie's weight gain. As NICU parents, the first thing you look for when visiting baby at the hospital is their weight. Not enough weight gain and weight loss can lead to failure to thrive. It can also lead to developmental problems for baby due to lack of nutrition. And guess who is most susceptible to these types of risks? Micropreemies! Knowing that baby's weight was steadily gaining was a huge encouragment, especially since my plan was to switch him entirely from bottle to breast. By having the hatch scale at home, we have been able to weigh him daily and keep track of his growth at home. As an exclusively nursing mama, I feel a lot more confident in his feeding success by looking at his steady weight gain.
Halo Sleep Sack
As we took our micropreemie home, we were armed with NICU knowledge about safe sleep. Honestly we did our best to keep baby in his basinet at night but on crazy nights when nobody was getting any sleep, we did co sleep with him more than once. But knowing about safe sleep and 'back is best', we made sure baby was always swaddled tightly and on his back at all times. This worked well when he was a tiny little guy, but once he got stronger and more active we had to switch to a halo sleep sack for safety purposes. It was too easy for him to get our of a blanket swaddle and then somehow get the blanket over his face. With the sleep sack, things like that were easily avaoided.
Cool Mist Humidifier
Preemies get sick and yes even nursing doesn't completely save them from the flu or a cold. It also doesnt help that we have a five year old big boy at home who brings back all kinds of germs from kinder. So we knew that we were undoubtedly going to need a humidifier for those stuffy nose and coughing nights. It has helped baby breathe and sleep more soundly through such nights.
What baby products would you recommend or have found useful for your preemie?