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Cleft Palate Repair

Typical hospital stays for cleft palate repair would be one to three days, dependent on the child and the surgeon. Most surgeons want the child weaned from the bottle prior to surgery. Some surgeons want the baby to be weaned from the pacifier as well. Make sure you discuss all these issues with your team. It is very important to know what their post surgery guidelines are before surgery, so you won't have any surprises.

For some babies, this is their first surgery.  We have some tips for parents and caregivers that have been received from our parents.

  • For working parents, try to take off as much time as you can. 
  • Ask the surgeon about the type of splints they use and their instructions on how long they are to wear them.  We have heard great stories about Snuggle Wraps
  • Take old clothing for the hospital stay, babies will have some bleeding and you will be doing lots of cuddling.  Also, take extra clothing.
  • Be prepared for that first look after surgery, there will be swelling and blood, that is normal.
  • If the weather cooperates, have the baby wear long sleeves and the splints can go over the sleeves.
  • Be creative with that soft food diet.  Take their favorite foods and blend them, remember to provide healthy high protein foods.  Stock up on these items before the surgery, so you don't have to leave the baby to go grocery shopping.
  • Pain relievers on a regular basis are crucial.  You don't want the pain to get ahead of the baby.  This is especially true the first few days.  Review the medications and usage with the hospital staff in detail. 
  • Try to get as much rest prior to the surgery, you will need it!

    One of our parents compiled this comprehensive packing list for cleft palate repair surgeries.

    Child's Pack List
    favorite blanket
    bumper pad 
    stuffed animals
    crib mirror
    crib fish aquarium
    CD player and CD's
    small picture album w/family photos (fun to look at)
    front button onsies (easier than over-the-head) for ride home
    old bibs
    front button P.J.'s  
    sippy cups (our entire collection, what did NOT work pre-op, may work post-op)
    open-end cups
    favorite baby food and juice (hospitals usually have the basic flavors and only apple juice)

    Parents Pack List 
    old comfortable clothes (they will get bloody) including t-shirts, sweatpants, tennis shoes
    list of phone numbers and email addresses to update family
    money for drinks and food
    magazines, books, Baby Book 
    pillows packed in a laundry sack (used later for dirty clothes, hospital pillows are too flat)

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