Transitioning Newborns from NICU to Home

Family Information Packet

Your Health Coach has prepared this information packet for your family to help explain the medical needs of your newborn as you prepare to leave the hospital. A Health Coach helps families/caregivers adjust to working directly with the health care providers as well as increasing your ability and confidence to care for your infant.

When infants are born before their due date or with health problems, families often need help managing their baby's health care after leaving the hospital. Since they spend the first part of their lives in the hospital, the babies and their families may find it helpful to have extra support.  

Your Health Coach will work with your family to teach you to care for your infant, connect with the right doctors and specialists for treatment, and find resources in your area. The role of the Health Coach is as an educator, not as a caregiver.

Planning must start before hospital discharge and continue through followup with the primary care provider. After discharge from the hospital, your infant's care must be well coordinated and clearly communicated to avoid medical errors that could harm the baby.

After your infant is discharged, your Health Coach should follow up with you by phone within a few days to make sure the transition is going well. Your Health Coach will want to know how your baby is doing, whether you have any questions or concerns, if your infant has been to the scheduled appointments, etc.

This information packet contains tips for getting care, understanding signs and symptoms of illness, medicines and immunizations, managing breathing problems, and feeding. 

Health Coaches who want to print materials to create customized Family Information Packets should select PDF files for the Cover Page and each relevant topic. These fact sheets can then be assembled into a packet for each family.

Page last reviewed December 2013
Internet Citation: Transitioning Newborns from NICU to Home: Family Information Packet. December 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/hospital/nicu_toolkit/nicu-packet.html