Health Encyclopedia

 

Document Search by P03033



Preparing the Infant for SurgeryPreparación del Bebé para la Cirugía

Preparing the Infant for Surgery

Photo of infant's foot

What part about surgery is most stressful for an infant?

Infants are too young to benefit from preoperative planning, education, and explanations. However, recognizing what is stressful to infants can guide you in planning for your baby's surgery. Things that are stressful to infants in the hospital may include the following:

  • Separation from parents

  • Having many different caregivers

  • Seeing strange sights, sounds, and smells

  • New and different routines

  • Interrupted sleep

  • Day and night confusion

How do I prepare my infant for surgery?

  • It is important to keep your baby's routine the same before the day of surgery.

  • Make sure you, your baby, and your family are well-rested.

  • Bring your baby's favorite security item and perhaps some soothing music to the hospital. This will help create a more familiar environment for your baby. You may make a tape of your voice reading or singing for the nursing staff to play when you are not there.

  • Let the nursing staff know what your baby's usual schedule is, including sleep patterns and feeding habits.

  • Make plans for at least one parent to be with your baby as much as possible so that he or she will have familiar touch, voice, and smile.

  • The most important part about preparing your infant for surgery is for you to try to remain calm. Your baby will sense if you are frightened or stressed. Be well-informed about what to expect on the day of surgery and ask questions to alleviate any fears you might have. Relaxed, nonverbal communication, such as voice, facial expressions, gestures, and body language can give positive assurance to your baby.

  • Be patient with your baby. It is normal for him or her to cry and be fussy during this stressful time. He or she may be very clingy and become hard to comfort and console. Give a lot of love, and let your baby know that you will be nearby.

  • The brief period before surgery when the baby cannot eat or drink can be difficult. Plan to distract, rock, walk, and comfort him or her during this time.

  • Remember, too, to take care of yourself. Simplify your life during this time and do not be afraid to ask for help from family and friends. Remaining positive and calm can help reduce your baby's anxiety.

 
Related Items
Wellness Library
  Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome
  Taking Baby's Temperature
  What You Can Do For Baby's Teething
  Influenza Shots Urged for Young Children
  Tips to Lower Toddlers’ Choking Risks
  How to Bathe Your Baby
Adult Diseases and Conditions
  Lead Poisoning
  Birthmarks in Infants
  Your Child's Growth and Development
  Vision, Hearing and Speech Overview
Pediatric Diseases and Conditions
  The Growing Child: 10 to 12 Months
  The Growing Child: 1 to 3 Months
  The Growing Child: 4 to 6 Months
  The Growing Child: 7 to 9 Months
  The Growing Child: 1-Year-Olds
  AIDS/HIV in Children
  Myasthenia Gravis in Children
  Breastfeeding Difficulties - Baby
  Breastfeeding Difficulties - Mother
  Breast Milk Collection and Storage
  Thrush
  Breast Milk Expression
  Clubfoot
  Breastfeeding Your Baby
  Surgery and the Breastfeeding Infant
  Inguinal Hernia in Children
  Male Conditions
  Airway Obstruction Overview