Child care after the NICU

At some point, you may have to go to work outside the home. Deciding when to go and what type of child care is best for the baby can be hard for parents. And parents of NICU graduates have some special concerns.

All babies tend to pick up germs and come down with colds and other common childhood illnesses when they start day care. You may wonder whether day care will be risky for your baby's health.

Talk to your baby's health care provider before you choose a type of child care. If your baby is now healthy, you probably don't have to worry. But if your baby was very premature or had breathing difficulties, he could become quite sick from common illnesses.

The health care provider may recommend that you look into having a child care provider come to your home. If that isn't possible, you may want to find a child care provider who cares for a small group of children in her home.

Make sure the caregiver has a policy about frequent handwashing, especially after changing diapers or handling tissues. She also should never allow sick children to attend child care.

Make sure your baby's immunizations are up to date before he starts child care. And ask his health care provider if he should receive treatment to prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

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Last reviewed: August, 2014