There are two important things that the NICU staff cannot provide for your baby:
- The first is the sound of your voice that your baby has come to know while in utero. Your voice is comforting to your baby and will become more and more comforting as your baby gets to know you better through your visits.
- The second is the touch of his/her parents. The NICU staff will have to do tests and treatments on your baby that can hurt or be uncomfortable. Your touch is the one "Safe" touch that will never hurt him/her, and your baby will look forward to that touch. In time, you will see the special responses that your baby has only for you.
Throughout your baby's hospitalization we will encourage you to provide care for your baby when his/her condition allows it.
As your baby's condition improves and becomes more stable, you will be expected to participate more and encouraged to assist in his/her care. It is important that you feel comfortable providing care for your baby before discharge.
The staff of the NICU want to help you participate in your baby's care as much as possible. They want you to be fully informed of your baby's progress and understand what's happening. Before your baby is even ready to go home you need to begin making preparations for his or her care at home. This includes finding a primary health care provider (pediatrician) and obtaining necessary supplies, such as a car seat and diapers.
The NICU staff cannot provide information pertaining to your baby's condition to anyone except the parents.
- Please inform friends and other family members NOT to call the unit for information about your baby.
- Please keep family members and friends updated on your baby's condition and progress.
While you are in the NICU, you will naturally be curious about other babies, but please do not ask questions about their conditions. Only their parents can inform you about their babies.
Infant development is a term that means "the physical and mental progress of a baby." Babies who spend their early weeks in NICU may need help with their development. This is why some NICUs have staff members with special training in this field.
Infant development specialists hold, touch, and play with your baby in ways that help develop your baby's senses. They talk to your baby and show him or her pictures and objects. They let your baby hear different sounds. They also do tests and exams to make sure your baby is progressing properly.
Your baby will be placed on the hospital accountability roster in one of two categories: seriously ill or very seriously ill. The sponsor's command will need to be notified of the infant's condition so that they can provide the needed help or assistance in special cases. Upon admission or shortly afterwards, the physician will inform you of your baby's category.
As soon as your baby comes to the NICU, tests and exams are done. It's important for the doctors and nurses to know exactly what problems your baby has before treatment is started. First, your baby's heart, blood pressure, breathing, and temperature will be checked. Then there will be tests & x-rays. The doctor will talk to you as soon as possible about your baby's condition and what needs to be done.
In the NICU, all aspects of your baby's health are monitored. Monitoring means keeping close track of what's going on. Monitoring is the reason for many of the wires and tubes you see in the NICU. Most of them don't hurt.
They're there to be sure that your baby's heart and lungs are working correctly and that his or her temperature is where it should be. If any change takes place that needs a nurse's attention, a buzzer or alarm goes off.
If you have questions pertaining to your baby's condition and/or treatment, there is always a physician or neonatal nurse practitioner on duty to answer your questions. If you wish to know the contents of your baby's chart, ask the nurse to arrange for an appointment with your baby's physician to review the chart. Your cooperation in this matter is greatly appreciated.
You may bring your baby presents or toys such as stuffed animals, or a small music box. The objects should not be too large. It should fit comfortably in the bed with the baby. Pictures of the family, religious medals and other similar items are also acceptable. Please mark the items with your baby's name. We will be as careful as possible with these items, but they sometimes get lost or damaged. Please do not bring valuable items or family heirlooms.
When your baby begins to wear clothing, if you wish, your may bring clothing from home. Please mark each item with your baby's name. Soiled clothing will need to be taken home daily and laundered.
We have clothing available for your baby to wear in NICU. This makes it convenient for the parents and eliminates the potential for loosing your baby's clothing.
The most important thing about caring for your baby is making sure health care will be available in the future. Please visit the birth clerk to fill out paperwork to get a birth certificate. Your sponsor should also enroll your newborn in DEERS (Defense Enrollment & Eligibility Reporting System). You should also visit the TRICARE Service Center, Bldg. 36023, (across from CRDAMC) to enroll your newborn in TRICARE PRIME.
Learn your baby's stress signals that indicate too much is happening and that he or she needs a break. Examples of common stress signals:
- Looking away
- Fussing, crying
- Arching back
- Stiffening arms and legs
page last modified on: 5/7/2013