Just found this site. We just had twin boys back in January born at 27 weeks. I am being discharged and moving from North Carolina to Oregon at the end of May. The boys are doing great and we are going to be able to bring the first one home in a week or so, Luke. Our other son, Joshua, will be there till mid April we believe.
My question is how to get across country with these two little guys. I have been looking at all sorts of options, but driving is about the only way we can afford since we are moving. Plus we can stop as much as we need as well during the day if we drive. I also have two other older kids as well, so that adds more to the equation as well.
I am not planning on more than ever 8 hours of road time during the day added up, about 7 or 8 days total for the trip. So I can break that up how ever to make them as comfortable as possible. Also looking at car beds to see if that would help them rather than a car seat for the longer durations.
What do you all think, or have experienced. Thank you for any helpful advice you have.
I think driving sounds better in terms of exposure to infections, etc. So, before discharge the twins will do a "car-seat challenge" which lasts I think 90 min. I felt like they implied that you shouldn't have baby in the car seat longer than that without a break- take them out walk around, etc. Which you might have to do anyways.
Does the NICU staff have any opinions or advice on this? It's not unusual for babies to wind up in NICUs far from home for a variety of reasons, so transport and moving problems come up pretty often. I would be worried about feeding, and about how long the babies were spending in carseats all at once, and the general logistics of the trip in the car. If you were taking a plane, I would be worried about germs on the plane, and how long the babies were spending in carseats all at once, and the general logistics of the trip in the plane. There's no easy way to do this, there's just better and not as good. I don't know which way is better, but I would bet that the NICU nurses could speak to your situation better then I can.
Car beds are not as safe as car seats. The above link has some good info for choosing a seat that will fit a preemie well. Not all infant seats will. Driving is statistically more dangerous than flying, and it is crucial that your little ones will be restrained in properly sized seats. For more suggestions, ask in the Family Safety forum here.
It's a tough choice. That much time in a car seat is not ideal, especially for a preemie who might have de-satting issues to begin with. Flying is expensive. If flying was an option, I wouldn't panic about the germs. We had to fly across country with our preemie soon after he left the hospital, when he was 2 weeks adjusted age. I chose a non-stop flight, kept him safely tucked in our wrap the whole time, and was obsessive about washing hands/wiping down surfaces around me, etc. He did great.
If you have to drive, could an adult sit back with the babes and keep an eye on them? I'd be worried about O2 levels. Studies show even full term babies have decreased O2 levels when kept in car seats for long periods (one major problem with the ever popular travel systems)
OB RN, partner to and mama to (2008, 31 weeker) and (2011)
Would you consider taking the train? I had to move from VA to TX when my 25 weekers were less than 2 months adjusted and shipping my car and taking the train turned out ot be by far the best, easiest option for us. We had private compartments - a larger one with a bathroom for part of the trip and two tiny ones for the remainder. Oddly, having the two tiny compartments across from each other was much easier logisitcally. Hope this helps!