As parents, you are the most important people in your baby’s life. Your baby’s healthcare team needs your help to give your baby with the best care possible.
Helping the Care Team
There are many ways you can do this:
- Come to the NICU as soon as you can. Get to know your baby. Help us learn about his or her patterns, and likes and dislikes.
- Take part in morning rounds. During rounds, the medical team talks about your baby’s progress and makes a plan for the day. Feel free to add your opinion about how your baby is doing, and to bring up any concerns or questions you may have.
- Take part in cares for your baby that you are able to (see How You Can Help Your Baby).
- Ask the team to explain what they mean. They use a lot of words that are hard to understand. It is okay to ask for a time out so we can make sure you know what is going on.
- Talk with your baby’s caregivers often. It helps to write down questions, things that worry you or things about your baby you would like to share. Talk with your baby’s bedside nurse and the doctor or nurse practitioner.
- Let staff know how we can best support you during your time in the NICU. If you have a concern or problem, do not wait and let it build up. We would rather have you let us know so we can work together to fix it.
- Try to keep calm and respectful when talking to staff. We know that this can be hard when stress is high. Communication is much more clear when you stay calm. Trust that we are working together with you for the shared goal of taking the best care of your baby and to get him or her home as quickly and safely as possible.
Working with Staff
Working with your nurse and caregivers is a great way to learn and bond with your baby. They can help you:
- Learn to read your baby’s behaviors, including the signs of distress and how to help your baby.
- Learn how to read the heartrate monitor and other monitors being used in the NICU.
- Learn what the breathing or oxygen monitor and alarms mean and when you should and should not be worried.
Keep the NICU environment as clean as possible and remember to wash your hands and use the hand sanitizer provided.
Resources and additional information about caring for your NICU baby are found in the:
- Caring for Baby Binder – ask your care team for a copy
- NICU Tools4You in the MyChildren’s App – download in iTunes or Google Play for free. Look for the Nationwide Children's butterfly icon. Click here for more information.
- access to videos
- milestone trackers
- pumping logs
- tummy time logs
- reminders and more!