My nursing career has only been in Pediatrics! I feel extremely comfortable with toddlers, preschoolers, tweens, and even teens! Since working in the Pediatric CVICU I have started taking care of babies regularly, which is something I didn’t have too much experience with! Babies are absolutely precious however they come with a few challenges. Here are some tips and tricks I have picked up to share with you along the way:
1. CHECK YOUR WAVEFORMS
Are your alarms beeping? Don’t panic! The first trick is to look at your waveform. Is the waveform consistent? If not, it may just be a baby being a baby. Babies love to kick their feet. It’s possible they kicked off their pulse oximeter. Babies love to pick. Maybe they picked off their leads. It’s also possible their parents are patting their backs or tummies. When in doubt, look at your patient first.
2. TUMMY TIME
Is your baby having a hard time settling? It could be their tummy. Babies sometimes need extra help passing gas. You can help by bicycling their legs or even venting their G-Tube.
Babies need to trust you. Earning a baby’s trust can be as easy as singing “Baby Shark” while smiling. This is my go-to and it works like a charm!
4. WARM EM UP
It is as easy to lose a baby’s trust as it is to earn it. Avoid scaring or startling your baby by warming up your hands and stethoscope before touching them!
5. DISTRACTION IS KEY
When in doubt, distract your baby! Use your penlight, play Moana, or use a baby mobile!
6. UNIQUE VITAL SIGNS
Remember that baby’s vital sign numbers run higher for heart rate and respiratory rate. Heart rate is usually 100-160 BPM and respiratory rate is 30-60. Blood pressures, however, run lower in infants and can be very difficult to capture on their tiny extremities. The easiest limb to get a measurement from is an infant’s leg, but the numbers may not be accurate.
7. THE POWER OF THE PACIFIER
Did you know that intubated babies can still suck a pacifier if it’s cut in half? *Check your institution’s policies before using a pacifier.* Some babies sooth better with a pacifier than with medication. A special baby treat is to use sweetease, a sugar water solution, on the tip of the pacifier.
8. SOOTHING SWADDLE
My fail-proof baby trick is to swaddle my them up nice and tight. I make sure they don’t get too warm by placing ice packs beneath them. This can be tricky with all their lines, so make sure you pad them accordingly. Swaddling helps the baby calm down and makes them feel safe.
Have any other tips and tricks? Share them below!