Worries that infants may have in the hospital include unfamiliar environment, fear of strangers, pain, interrupted routines, and separation from family. Here are some ways to help your infant with the hospital visit:
- Prepare yourself. Infants can sense a parent's anxiety level and become more agitated. Preparing yourself for the hospital visit may ease worries and help you and your child feel more comfortable.
- Be the main source of comfort for your child. Hold, comfort, and rock your infant just as you would at home. If you have questions about medical equipment and holding your child, ask your nurse or doctor.
- Try to stick to the routines your infant follows at home.
- Bring a favorite stuffed animal, a pacifier, or a blanket to help comfort your child.
Coping, Distraction, and Support:
- Sing lullabies or play music.
- Hold and rock your infant. Stroke your infant's face, arms, or legs.
- Talk in soothing tones.
- Provide comfort items (pacifier, blanket).
- Provide items your infant can watch (mirrors, mobiles, crib toys, bubbles).
- Shake rattles or plastic keys.
- Let infants explore (mouthing, grasping, touching) and play with real medical equipment.
- Play peek-a-boo with doctor hats and masks.
- Let your infant watch you play with medical equipment and dolls.