Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (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…)