When will my baby be ready for discharge?

In general, we know your infant is ready to go home when:

  • He progresses to bottle feeding or breast feeding for all of his feedings and is gaining weight consistently every day.
  • She is stable on a small amount of oxygen or doesn’t need it anymore.
  • You feel comfortable you can take care of him at home.
  • She maintains her body temperature without an isolette.
  • He no longer has apnea, bradycardia or desaturation spells.

If your baby was born prematurely, this often comes together around 37 -39 weeks gestation. We will review your baby’s plan of care and condition with you on a daily basis so you are aware of the discharge plan. Please be aware as we discuss possible dates of discharge with you, that we can never be certain of the day of discharge until the day is here.

Baby SleepingSpecial Discharge Teaching for SCN Parents

There is a lot to learn about taking care of any newborn. Sometimes, there is a little more to learn for the parent of a SCN baby. The more time you spend with your baby while she is in the SCN, the more comfortable you will feel when it is time to go home. We encourage you to participate in your baby’s care—feedings, diaper changes, bathing, and  dressing.

Your baby’s nurse will teach you the basics of how to take care of a newborn as well as any special teaching pertaining to your baby’s needs. If your baby is going home on  medications, you will receive prescriptions to fill prior to the day of discharge so we can demonstrate correct dosages. Please talk to your nurse about arranging a time for reviewing infant CPR and dealing with infant emergencies. Please obtain an infant car seat and familiarize yourself with how it adjusts and how it is secured into the car.

Special Discharge Tests for SCN Babies

Shortly before discharge, we sometimes perform extra tests. Most SCN babies will have a car seat challenge, so we may ask you to bring in your car seat. During this test, your  baby is placed in the car seat and his vital signs are monitored. Depending on the results of the test, we may recommend a special type of car seat or bed. Most babies can go  home in a regular infant car seat.

If your baby is going home on oxygen, we will do a “Room Air Challenge." This helps us determine how an infant responds to breathing without oxygen.

Discharge Day!

When the day of your baby’s planned discharge is finally here, please be sure and call the SCN to make sure there have not been any last minute changes. Please bring appropriate clothing for the weather and bring the car seat, if it is not already here. Your nurse may go over last-minute teaching and instructions prior to your baby’s discharge. This is the day we have been working towards since your baby’s admission. We are honored to have participated with you in caring for the miracle of your baby.