Clothing from home?

  1. I work in a level 3 NICU and we are trying to revise our clothing protocol for our little ones. How does your hospital handle dressing the babies with laundry brought from home? What is your criteria (age, weight, acuity, etc.) and who is responsible for laundering the articles of clothing? Do you have the parents sign a permit before placing the clothing on the babies stating that they understand the risks (infection, IV dislodgement, soiling/staining)? Thanks for all your input. It is really nice to be able to compare our unit to others and gather all the great ideas
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    Joined: Mar '05; Posts: 2

    10 Comments

  3. by   sparkyRN
    No clothes unless the infant is in a bassinet. We warn the parents that anything they bring may get lost or thrown into the laundry hamper. We ask them not to bring anything they would not want to part with(... this includes stuffed animals, pictures, toys as well as clothes.) Once they get dirty, they go into a personal belongings bag for the parents to take home and wash.
    Our feeling is any baby in an isolette or RW bed needs close observation and you can't do a good assessment if a baby is covered form head to toe.
  4. by   dawngloves
    If the baby has weaned to an OC, we like to dress them. I put the dirties in a seperate bag at the bedside, but I'm sure some get lost. The parents take them home and wash them. Had one mom bring in clothes that were clean, visually, but reeked of cigarette smoke. I gave them back to her and asked her to re wash them and about smoking and the babies preemie lungs, yada, yada.
  5. by   TiffyRN
    I guess we're pretty liberal. If the baby is big enough to be on air control in an isolette (usually 1450-1500 grams) we will put clothes on them, even if it's just a plain hospital t-shirt, depending of course if the infant is stable and doesn't have something that needs to be watched carefully (fresh incision, UAC). The parents are responsible for laundering clothes but we have a washer/dryer on the unit we can use for difficult situations (parents from out of town staying in a hotel room).

    We have a small supply of preemie/newborn size outfits that are donated. Sometimes a kid can stay warm wearing long footie pajamas when they can't if only wearing a t-shirt.
  6. by   Mimi2RN
    We have regular baby clothes for our little ones, all sizes. We don't dress them if they are in an isolette with an IV, or one that turns blue regularly.

    The clothes have been donated by parents and staff members. They are washed by staff, the hospital laundry is very hard on baby clothes. Clothes are washed with bleach and detergent, and a double rinse. We do not have any history of infection, and we have been doing this for over 10 years.

    We prefer to use our clothes as they do get lost, and parents get upset when their clothes are missing.

    We have enough clothes donated to have givaway ones for parents in need, as there are many poor families in this area.
  7. by   BittyBabyGrower
    Once they are about 1100-1200gm we dress them, while they are in the isolette, if they are stable and not being the problem child. It is part of our isolette weaning protocol. We encourage parents to bring in their own clothes, and we do tell them that there is always a risk of something getting lost, but it rarely happens. We put dirty clothes bags on the bed for the parents. All clothes need to be washed prior to the baby wearing them.

    We have found that once parents are able to bring in clothes and blankets, etc they really start to become more involved. It brings it one step closer to the baby being "all mine".
  8. by   Deidre Shiobhan
    My unit don't normally dress the babies up particularly the tiny and the sick ones , however those babies who are with us for many months and are usually very big eg. 2kg and above but still CPAP dependent . We usually advice the parents to bring babies' own clothing , mittens and booties as they do look better with their own clothing on . These babies are usually very "CHRONIC" and not easy to nurse , imagine handling a 5kg baby on CPAP . We don't provide laundry services for these babies even though we have a washing machine and dryer with HEPA filter feature .

    We will ask the parents to bring the soiled clothing back to wash but do give us some spare ones to keep for chainging . Drying should not be a problem as Singapore is a very warm country and we always ensure the clothing are dry under the hot sun ( the best way to kill germs ) .

    We also encourage them to bring books , toys , cassette player for the baby too . The reason being - we want them to be more involved in the care of these babies as they usually tend to discharge with oxygen and home care will be required therefore we do want these parents to develop a strong bond with their babies .
  9. by   KRVRN
    We usually put the babies in clothes once they are old/big enough for air mode on the isolette or open crib. We tell the parents that they can bring blankets or clothes for their baby and that we'll save them for them to wash at home.

    We have a washer and dryer in our unit that we wash all our donated clothes in. Clothes that parents bring in will be saved in a bag for them to take home (we often write "Baby's Hamper" on it for fun). We warn that sometimes things get lost, especially socks and mittens, and that plain white can get mixed up in our hospital laundry and will never be seen again. We don't worry so much about infection.
  10. by   Gompers
    Quote from TiffyRN
    I guess we're pretty liberal. If the baby is big enough to be on air control in an isolette (usually 1450-1500 grams) we will put clothes on them, even if it's just a plain hospital t-shirt, depending of course if the infant is stable and doesn't have something that needs to be watched carefully (fresh incision, UAC).
    We do this as well. When a baby is bigger and on air control, we dress them, swaddle them, and wean the isolette temp to 27 degrees. After a day or so at that temp, keeping warm, and gaining wait, we'll move them to a basinette or crib.

    We only have long-sleeved hospital T-shirts for the babies (laundered by the hospital) and then the parents bring in the rest. They are advised to wash them with baby type or hypoallergenic detergent with hypoallergenic fabric softener. We put the dirty clothes and blankets into "laundry" bags at the baby's bedside for the parents to collect. They really get into it, too, especially if the baby has been there awhile, because it's their chance to do normal parent-type things like laundry.

    We don't make them sign any papers though.
  11. by   Nyoro
    Generally, once the IVs are out and the baby is considered stable, we will allow parents to provide front-opening clothing for the baby. As soon as we drop the temp in the isolette, they get dressed fully. Of course, there are exceptions in both which babies can wear clothes and what clothes they can wear.
    Once they are out in a cot, all the babies are dressed.

    In our case, most babies never wear anything until they are out. Even then, it`s hospital issue guaze gowns. Small stuff isn`t available here, and most parents assume that no clothes on the baby = no clothes allowed.

    Parents wash the clothes they bring, and the guaze gowns get sent to laundry.

    We also do not allow any toys, etc. Parent-brought clothes go into two clearly marked sealed plastic bags - "Clean" and "Dirty". - that are put on the bottom shelf of the isolette or cot. Nothing else is allowed, EVER.
  12. by   kitty29
    We have a bunch of sleepers for the babes, and also have the parents bring in their own outfits if they want to. They lable their own, and are in charge of laundry.

    Our clothes are washed by whom ever the hospital hirers...sometimes we do some too if we are running short (we have a washer & drier for the parents, but ussually the PICU uses it more).

    The secretaries make a cute little sign to hang at the bedside telling the nurses the family has their own clothes too.

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