It is important to remember that babies born premature or sick are often at a higher risk of getting an infection than babies who are born at term. Premature babies can also be very sensitive to stimulation and tire very quickly.

Once home, most doctors recommend that you avoid visiting crowded, public places where your baby could be exposed to unwanted infections or smoke. Some may even recommend limiting visits to the doctor's surgery for the first several weeks, especially if your baby is discharged during the winter months.

It may also be a good idea when you first arrive home to limit the number of visitors that come to the house. Family and friends will be very keen to meet your new baby and may not understand your concerns, but it is very reasonable to tell them that your doctor has recommended you do not have visitors until the baby is older and stronger.

Some things to keep in mind when having visitors:

  • Do not allow adults or children who are unwell, have a temperature, sickness, diarrhoea or an infectious disease to visit your home.
  • Make sure visitors attend to hand washing, especially before touching the baby.
  • Do not allow smoking inside your house or near the baby.

Talk to your doctor or health provider about their specific recommendations – it is a good idea to ask how limited your baby's contact with others should be during the first few weeks.

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