Yay! Your baby is home! Most babies thrive when they come home. Our 26-weeker was on O2 for a few months. A lot of what we did was based on his specific condition:
1. He never had an apnea in the hospital, but all babies on O2 go home on an apnea monitor. Did your baby have apnea in the hospital? Are you going to be seeing a pediatric pulmonologist? Our pulm was so awesome! Anyway, we pretty much went AMA and did not use the apnea monitor
we told our pedi and our pulmonologist. We spent 4.5 months in the NICU, our LO had ridiculous reflux and projectile vomit after every bottle etc. we did not need the stress and hassle of that useless apnea monitor. If your baby actually had a lot or severe episodes of apnea, that is another story. Not all babies that need O2 have apnea. We did everything with advice and help from our pulmonologist. Your babies doctor knows the whole story. And you know your baby the best!
2. The apnea monitor did not have numbers. I hated that thing! We couldn't tell his blood O2, which is what we really needed. So, our pulmonologist prescribed a pulse ox. We used it religiously for a very short time. Once we figured out that his O2 settings were adequate we only used the pulse ox when we were worried. Sometimes twice a day. If I was worried about apnea, I would have used the pulse ox 24/7. You set the parameters for the pulse ox, so you it will go off at whatever point you want it to.
Living with O2...we got the huge tank. We got the tiny travel tanks. BUT we requested and pushed for two medium tanks on wheels. They were about 3 feet tall if I remember correctly, maybe 4. Anyway we could carry our babe and walk around with it. Our LO needed just the slightest bit of O2 for months and months. We would pulse ox him and it would take 20 to 30 minutes off the O2 before his stats started falling (when his little lungs and muscles tired out from breathing so hard). Anyway, we started keeping a tank in our bedroom where he slept and a tank in the family room. We would just unhook one, take him where ever and then hook him back in. We had a cosleeper in our bedroom an a pack n play in our family room. We had all his supplies in both places (diaper changing, nose sucker, tape etc.)
Oh, taping the cannula was so stressful and the tape the hospital used and sent us home with sucked. We had the best luck with gentle paper tape from the drugstore.
Feeding a preemie is so hard! Washing bottles, preparing formula, pumping and/or trying to breastfeed, yikes! We bought a lot of bottles and I figured out how to wash them in the dish-washer. We used Dr. Brown's and there are so many parts!! I made up a whole days worth of formula at once. That helped a lot.
Congratulations on bringing home your little one! It seems so overwhelming at first and then it gets so much easier! Well, I had PPD and needed meds, but it did get so much easier