Baseline is really just a technical term for “the new normal.” It is the opposite of an acute moment; it is a description of where things are now, when they are stable. With children living with illness, the baseline shifts. For some, it shifts down over time, like steps. While the ups and downs continue, the ups are not likely to be as high as they were and the downs are usually lower. Each lower step represents a lower level of functioning. As your child’s condition shifts, your goals of care and priorities for your child may also shift. Baseline can be a kind of reality check. Identifying and talking about the ups and downs makes them more real. This can be painful—even scary. On the other hand, knowing your child’s baseline, and adjusting as it changes, can help you feel more in control of your situation. Think of baseline as a tool to help you anticipate and more confidently make decisions for your child.