Information and stories from the NICU World
How can you manage your life when you have a baby in the NICU and also have other children at home. This situation can be challenging but here are some tips to help you manage this situation:
1. Establish a routine: Creating a routine can help both you and your other children feel more in control during this time of transition. Try to keep regular meal and bedtime schedules and schedule some one-on-one time with each child even if it’s only 5 min of your uninterrupted attention.
2. Communicate with your children: It's important to let them know about the situation communicate and let them know what to expect. Explain to them in simple terms what is happening with the new baby, why they are not at home, and why they need to be patient and understanding.
3. Get support: Reach out to family members or close friends for support during this time. It's okay to ask for help with your older children's activities, meals, and other tasks.
4. Include your children in the process: You can help them feel involved in the process by having them make cards or artwork for the baby, or by visiting the NICU to meet their new sibling (if allowed. Be sure to check with your NICU’s current visitation policy).
5. Take care of yourself: It's important to take care of yourself during this time, both physically and emotionally. Make sure you are getting enough rest, eating well, staying hydrated, and finding time to do things that help you relax and de-stress.
6. Stay connected with the NICU staff: Stay in contact with the NICU staff and keep up-to-date on your baby's progress. This can help you feel more in control and better able to manage the situation. Feel free to call anytime day or night to ask how your baby is doing. Ask if the NICU has parents cameras to view your baby while you are at home.
7. Seek professional help if needed: If you or your children are struggling to cope with the situation, don't hesitate to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor. Ask the NICU if they have any support programs for families. Most NICUs have a Social Worker who can help you navigate your emotions and provide information on community resources in your area.
Remember, this is a challenging time, but with the right support and resources, you can successfully manage having a baby in the NICU and older kids at home.