Friday, October 15, 2010

Surviving the ER with a Baby

Let me begin by saying, you don't want to be in the ER with a baby. Not for the baby, not for you, not for your other kids, not for your spouse.
Generally speaking, you don't want to be in the ER, and you certainly don't want to take anyone extra with you if you can avoid it.
So first, I suggest keeping the number of someone who can watch your offspring, in case of emergency, handy.
Next, you're going to need to remember that even though the beds get clean sheets and pillow cases, the visitor chairs and floors do not get cleaned between patients and have all the germs of all the people who have used them. The nurses can't wash the soles of their shoes between patients, so the germs from the floor of the room with the coughing up blood patient get tracked onto the floor of the patient with the broken wrist. Therefore- KEEP BABY OFF THE FLOOR.
Does your kidlet like a stroller? Bring the stroller.  But also bring your most comfortable sling.  If you don't have time to grab it, call someone to have them bring it to you.  You're going to be tired as is, you certainly don't need to wear your arms out when babywearing is so much easier.

Don't put off nursing the baby because you're in a strange place.  If your wee one is nursing, take advantage of the fact that you can help calm and soothe your baby, and boost his/her immune system by nursing him.  The nurses and doctors aren't going to forget how to do their job if you're nursing, but if your wee one is hungry and screaming, they might just get distracted.
Toys.  If at all possible, only hand baby toys which can be sterilized before you leave, and if a toy hits the floor, it needs to go in a plastic bag and not be handed back to baby. Remember that bit about the floor? Nothing that touches the floor gets handed to baby. Ever.
Sippy cup hits the floor?  Bag it. Pacifier? Bag it.
Now here's where you get a break.  Most hospitals no longer have rules against cell phones in the ER.  If you've got a smart phone and an unlimited data plan, you can go to youtube.com and find great content like Celebrity Lullabies with Ricky Gervais
Don't have a smart phone with a data plan?  Do you have a MP3 player?  Baby just might be okay with listening to one of your earbuds, just remember to keep the volume down.

You can survive the ER with a baby in tow, just remember to keep baby off the floor and be prepared to be there for quite a while.
Goodluck, and may you never need this advice.
Baby enjoying the same rules applying to inpatient care rooms.

Do you have any tips on surviving the ER with a youngling?

2 reflections:

Amy @ babybabylemon said...

You can also ask to be switched to a different ER "room" if the person next to you is coughing or something. Also, depending on what it is and the age of your child, don't be afraid to use hospital supplies as toys.

Slee said...

i forgot to add that there's no rule against carrying the baby in the hallway if it's not crowded.