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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Discharge Guidelines

NICU Discharge Guidelines

Some of the things your baby will need to accomplish before going home are:

  • Keep temperature within normal limits with clothes and a blanket with head of bed flat
  • Breathe without the help of a ventilator. Some infants may need to go home with oxygen. Stable on home oxygen flow without any drops in oxygen levels
  • Some babies may need apnea monitor for discharge
  • Breastfeed well or take entire amount of feed by bottle and gain weight consistently.
  • Remain medically stable: No breath holding spells or low oxygen levels
  • Pass car seat test and complete hearing test

Some of the things you will need to accomplish before going home are:

  • Make sure all paperwork is completed in admissions: MCD application, Tefra paperwork, SSI application, PCP selected and assigned
  • Obtain all supplies needed for home: diapers, crib, car seat, feeding supplies (if formula feeding) and other supplies deemed medically necessary by the medical team
  • Identify a pediatrician who will take care of your baby after discharge and make appointment (ask medical team how many days after discharge the baby should be seen by Pediatrician)
  • Bring an ice chest to take breast milk home. Ask lactation how much milk so you can bring enough coolers.
  • Ask your nurse for a discharge teaching packet which has information regarding newborn care.
  • Bring infant car seat a few days prior to discharge to be checked by a Car Seat Advocate who has been specially trained to approve car seats for safety.
  • Watch car seat video offered on the ACH Channel
  • Take a CPR class in the NICU (you can take at any point in your child's stay). Classes are 3 times per week
  • Bring clothes to take baby home wearing and blankets to cover infant in the car seat.
  • Take discharge appointment sheets and discharge instructions sheet.
  • Get immunization record from the nurse.
  • Nutrition will give you WIC information and a prescription for formula if your infant qualifies. Practice preparing breast milk or formula feeds according to the recipe Nutritionist gives you
  • Learn how to give infants medications. Practice giving medications. Have prescriptions filled a day or two prior to discharge
  • Learn how to care for any special equipment (practice cleaning, replacing, using, etc…)
General Information


New Parent Planner - Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) child care guide.

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