Going home

It is a very exciting time when your baby is given the all-clear to be discharged home. You may have spent weeks or even months in hospital waiting for this very day. In order for your baby to be discharged, they should be able to:

  • Maintain their body temperature.
  • Breathe on their own without assistance.
  • Gain weight steadily.
  • Feed fully by breast or bottle.
  • Have no other ongoing health concerns that require hospital care.

During your baby’s hospital stay you would have spent many hours learning to care for your baby. The time you have spent getting to know your baby and bathing, feeding and dressing him or her will make the transition to home so much easier.

Preparing for discharge

Before discharge it is recommended you undertake an accredited CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) course in case of a medical emergency at home.

Questions to ask in preparation for discharge may include:

  • How often do we need to return for follow-up appointments?
  • Do we need referrals for any additional services?
  • Do we need to administer any medications at home? If so, how do we do this?
  • How do I know if my baby is eating, sleeping and gaining weight properly?
  • At what point should I call the doctor or hospital?
  • Do I need to take any equipment home for my baby? (Some babies go home with oxygen requirements or need an apnoea monitor.)

There may also be some final tests that need to be carried out before your baby is allowed to go home, such as hearing or eye exams. Your medical team will be able to tell you if anything additional is required in preparation for the big homecoming.

Travelling home

Taking your baby for their first car trip can be exciting and daunting. Keeping them safe in the car is usually foremost in your mind, whether you are going on a long trip or just around the corner.

To be as safe as possible when travelling in cars, all children should be seated in a suitable restraint that has been fitted properly and is appropriate to the age and size of your child.

It is important that your child restraint:

  • Meets the Australian Safety Standard.
  • Is not bought second-hand without knowing its history.
  • Is not more than 10 years old.
  • Has not been previously involved in an accident.
  • Is fitted according to correct specifications.

If you have any other questions or concerns, you can ask your doctor, nurse or seek professional advice on transporting your baby.

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