by kellyebush (9 Posts), Thu Dec 24, 2009 09:43 pm
I had a 23 weeker in May 2004 who spent 141 days in the NICU. Initially we were told by the NICU staff that we should not leave our house from October-April unless it was to go to the FREQUENT doctors appointments. Then, as my son got to be 7 1/2 pounds when he was about to be released the first weekend in October, we had a couple of nurses take us aside and talk to us about "outings." We were told that there was absolutely no way that we would be able to spend the next 5 months quarantined in our house with our DS and our other two children (girls age 2 and 4). The nurses' advice was this: go out to whereever you need to go, but leave the baby in his carrier, put the carrier down inside a store basket and leave it covered with a light blanket so that people won't notice him. We went LOTS of places, including Christmas shopping with our little guy (who was on an apnea monitor that was in the basket with him). Most of the time we made it through Walmart or the grocery store without anyone even noticing that there was a baby in our "second" basket. I had a part time job at night in retail (handling money) and my husband worked in retail sales and we made it through the first two RSV seasons after our son was born without anyone in our house getting sick. You CAN go out, even with a preemie, if you are diligent about hand washing and changing your clothes before you handle baby when you get home. Doctors will always warn against it, and if you can avoid going out then you should...but not if you are going to lose your mind from being cooped up in your house.