When will my baby go home?
Whether your baby arrived a few weeks or a few months early, he/she needs at least that much time to grow and develop into a baby ready for discharge home, so keep your due date in mind.
When your baby reaches all of the goals below, he/she will be ready for discharge:
- Maintains temperature in an open crib
- Breathes well without extra oxygen, or with only a small amount that can be provided at home (usually ½ liter per minute or less)
- Eats everything by mouth
- Gains weight consistently
- Has no significant episodes of drops in heart rate (bradycardia), oxygen levels (desaturation), or breathing rate (apnea)
- Can ride in a car seat safely — A car seat test (also called an angle tolerance test) will be done to make sure breathing and heart rate remain normal while your baby sits in his/her car seat
There are also some things you can do to prepare for discharge:
- Find a pediatrician for your baby. If you don’t have one in mind, we can help you find someone in your area who will take good care of your baby after he/she leaves the NICU.
- Complete infant CPR and safety class.
- Stay with your baby for at least 24 hours to make sure you are comfortable mixing formula, feeding, giving medicines, and providing other care.-Learn the following:
- How to comfort your baby
- How to change your baby’s diapers and clothes
- Feed your baby
- Give your baby a bath
- Put your baby in a car seat the right way
- Give any special care that your baby will need at home
Don’t forget the UAMS Patient Education Department hosts a FREE infant CPR and safety class on Monday’s at 11 AM and Friday’s at 2 PM (except on holidays). This class is for caregivers of baby’s in the NICU at UAMS. You must sign up at the information desk on the 5th floor of the main hospital.
Other important information/resources for when your baby goes home
Information on Early Intervention (referral made by SW at d/c)
Following Baby Back Home (referral must be made by a social worker at discharge)
This website provides information on all of the home visiting programs in Arkansas and shows which counties they’re available in (including FBBH):
How to order birth certificates online:
Applying for SSI online (your social worker will discuss SSI with parents if they qualify):
To apply for state benefits such as SNAP, TEA, ARKids:
NICU support websites that offer small amounts of financial assistance (if your application is chosen):