Sitting beside your baby in the NICU can bring an array of emotions for parents. Seeing your child hooked up to machines with wires attached to their body can be scary and overwhelming. The majority of babies are in the NICU due to premature birth (born prior to 37 weeks gestation), but babies can be admitted for other reasons such as breathing problems, low birth weight, heart conditions, and other complications. This experience can bring a variety of emotions that are normal yet often confusing.
As new parents, it is hard to believe that we are sent home alone with a brand new little life. Should there not be a test we should have to take before hand or something? But here we are, thrown into the deep end of parenting. For many, this is cause for panic. However, if we just knew a bit about what to expect, we can make this (often) daunting task a little less scary. Let me walk you through a few things to expect in the first 48 hours with your new baby at home.
Adding a new baby to the family is an exciting time for families. Children especially feel that eagerness as they hold their new baby brother or sister for the first time; they finally get to see who has been inside of mom’s growing belly all these months! Their initial enthusiasm may fade, though, as the weeks go on and the reality of a baby’s needs sets in. Most parents see changes in behavior in their older children sometime during the first year after a new sibling is born. Parents may see a once-agreeable child acting out, becoming defiant, or beginning to show behavior struggles at school.
Parents do many things to prepare for the arrival of a new baby - decorating the nursery, buying a car seat and stroller, selecting a name, and so much more. No matter how much preparation you do, the unexpected can happen. Due to a variety of reasons, you could find yourself in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) sitting by your newborn baby.
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