As the title says, this thread is all about "Tips, Tricks, Advice and Such" (and such means: anything else you think would be helpful for fellow preemie parents. Basically I thought it would be cool to have a single thread full of ALL SORTS of preemie related advice, I am talking about things from still being in the NICU, to going home, to being at home the first few months, to toddler years and beyond. What worked for you? What didn't? What do you wish you had a "do over" for? What advice can you share? What tips can you provide? I want this thread to remain 100% positive, I do not want to see any negative comments about what other people advise UNLESS it is clearly harmful/wrong and you can back up your reasoning why. Even if you do not agree with what someone says/suggests, it might work for someone else. Ok? ok good! Let's GO! Here are a few of mine I can think of right now...sleepy baby brain and all. While in the NICU: - Journal, blog, start a website, or even make Facebook notes about your journey. You may not think so while you are in the NICU that you will need/want it, but trust me later you will. I regret deeply not keeping all my updates for everyone to read in one place as well, I posted on here and FB but not the same things and not at the same time. So it's going to be time consuming putting it all together for Lakai. - Read your baby's medical chart! It's your RIGHT, and even if you do not understand everything that is written..you can ask the nurses and doctors about what you don't. You will find a lot of things in there you may not want to read, and things they do not fully tell you...but in my opinion it's better to know. - Get a primary nurse! or a few. Having nurses you trust and like (so important!) is key. You want to feel safe and good about leaving your baby behind in the NICU when you leave. You have EVERY right to say you do not want a nurse if you do not like one, that's what head nurses are for (as well at least!). - Take keepsakes. Maybe you think that preemie sized diaper won't be worth keeping or that CPAP mask...but one day you will! - Take video not just photos. Photos are great, but videos are even better! - Take photos with an item you can keep using for size comparison. One day you will forget how small your preemie was...trust me. At Home the First Few Months: - Limit your guests. I am not saying don't have anyone over, but limit how many people you have over at once. But not just that, make sure REALLY sure no one is ill, but also does not have anyone at home who is ill. Why? Because you are most likely to pass on germs BEFORE you show signs of being sick. So if they live with someone who is sick, they could be sick and not know it yet. Best advice our pedi gave us. - Avoid crowds. I am not saying never go out. But for the first few months, this depends on how early your prem was but also how poorly their lungs are..avoid places with tight enclosed spaces and lots of people, stores, malls...germs are crazy in these places and the LAST thing any preemie parent wants is an ill brand new home preemie! Try less crowded places, parks and such of course though. And also keep in mind when RSV and flu season is. - Hand washing. Become a hand washing freak, and make sure every single person who touches or even comes into your home does as well. I cannot stress this enough. Carry hand sani, hand wipes and such with you when you are out. Use them! Often. Do I sound a bit nuts? Well my son is two...and has had exactly two colds and we do not keep him indoors 24/7 even during flu season. - Breath. Breath? yes breath. You are free! Your baby is home, enjoy them! OH and take lots of pictures and post them on here. Thanks. I will post more later..