I really hope I do not make any hospital employees angry by making these suggestions, but here a few things that I recommend you ask for before you leave the hospital. Keep in mind, of course, that availability will vary as will policy... but, as the saying goes, it never hurts to ask for:
- A couple extra cans of formula (if you're using it for feedings OR to fortify breast milk)
- A couple bags of preemie or newborn size diapers, whichever your child is in at that point
- The phone number to the nurses who are used to caring for your baby (you will trust them much more with your questions in those early days than the people at your regular pediatrician's office)
- A signed prescription form listing your child's height and weight (this can be used at the WIC office or supplemental insurance offices so that you do not have to cart your preemie through germ-filled rooms)
- A spare pumping kit. One of the valves on my kit tore and failed and had it not been for my back-up kit, I would have been one frustrated lady in the middle of the night out in the country...
- Two of whatever pacifier your baby is used to. It took me ages to track down just the right kind of Soothie pacifier after we couldn't find the ONE we had brought from the hospital.
- At least a 3 day supply of any feeding, O2, trach, apnea monitor, etc. materials you will need including tubing, adhesives, syringes, and leads (those wires that attach to your baby).