Caring for your premature baby: advice on leaving the hospital

So you're finally allowed to take your preemie home. A little preparation will keep you organized and concentrated on getting the new addition settled.

Useful Tips

Keep records. Investing in a three-ring binder will help keep straight all the essential records and documentation of your premature delivery. You'll need to call up this information for follow-up exams, tests and appointments.

The doctor is in. The key person in the follow-up plan is your child's primary care physician. Ask the hospital nurses and neonatologists for help if you haven't yet picked a primary care doctor. Your doctor will be on top of your baby's medical records and will help you keep track of all the specialists, programs and recommendations your little one needs to see. Go with someone you trust and with whom you are comfortable.

Follow-up visits. The medical specialists who cared for your baby during his hospital stay will want to examine him again. Be sure to note all the names, phone numbers, addresses while your baby is still in the hospital.

Take the Time to Enjoy

You may be racing from one specialist to the next, but remember to take the time to enjoy and marvel at your little miracle. He may need special medical attention, but the best thing for him now is his family's loving embrace!

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