Infants (Birth - 1 Year) 

Helping Your Infant Cope With Hospitalization

Infancy is an exciting time for both you and your child. Infants know familiar objects and faces. They begin to show an interest in and react to their surroundings. Infants learn quickly that crying brings the parent or caregiver to their side and they seek interaction with other people.

Common hospital issues may include separation from parents; stranger anxiety; lack of stimulation or over stimulation; and pain. The following ideas can help parents and caregivers during their infant's hospital stay.

Play:

  • Listen to music such as lullabies.
  • Provide familiar toys from home such as stuffed animals, music, blankets and rattles.
  • Use mirrors, mobiles and brightly colored crib toys.
  • Place toys to encourage kicking, rolling and crawling.
  • Play peek-a-boo.

Medical play:

  • Play peek-a-boo with doctor hats and masks.
  • Allow your child to watch you play with medical equipment and dolls.
  • Let your child explore and play with safe medical supplies such as stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs.

Preparation:

  • Bring your child's favorite toy, blanket or stuffed animal.
  • Prepare yourself - if you are prepared, you will be more relaxed around your infant.
  • Keep routines as normal as possible.

Coping ideas:

  • Hold, cuddle and rock your baby.
  • Speak in a soft voice.
  • Play music or sing.
  • Offer a pacifier.
  • Shake rattles.
  • Keep home routines as much as possible for sleep, meals, naps and bathing.
 
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