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Helping your Infant cope with the Hospital 

 

Infant Birth-12 months

 

Infants can sense if you are stressed or anxious, so be prepared. The more prepared you are the more relaxed you will be around your baby.  It is important to keep your baby’s routines and environment as normal as possible. Bring your baby’s favorite comfort items like a blanket, toy or pacifier. It may also be helpful to bring a familiar bottle for after surgery.  Also, understand that baby’s get fussy in new and uncomfortable situations, so be prepared to distract and comfort your baby.

 

Developmental milestones:

 

• Learns through senses

• Development of trust

• Attachment to primary caregiver

• Minimal language

• Babies increase their skill set over the year

 

Hospital Stressors:

 

• Separation from parent

• Impaired basic needs

• Stranger anxiety

• Limited caregiver involvement

 

Coping behaviors:

 

• Crying, fussing

• Hand- mouth activity

 

How to help Infants cope with hospitalization:

 

• Caregiver presence and participation in care

• Caregiver contact (hospital staff may need to show caregiver how to hold neonate with equipment)

• Comfort positioning during procedures (not restraining)

• Avoid hunger and maintain warm room temperature

• Decrease number of caregivers

• Sound soother/ mobile

• Comfort items like a blanket and favorite toys

• Caregiver education

• Interdisciplinary care conference

 

Pain management and distraction techniques:

 

• Light up toys

• Soft music

• Comfort positioning

• Sweet ease (sucrose on pacifier)

• Rocking and soothing to return to normal