Help with your baby's care during their stay in the NICU.

How You can Help With Your Baby's Care

Because your are vital to your baby's recovery and growth, we will include you in as much of your baby's physical care as his or her condition permits. There many things you can do for you baby at any time, such as...

  • Call the NICU to see how your baby is doing.
  • Leave a telephone number where you can be reached at all times.
  • Ask to talk to your baby's doctor when you have questions.
  • Be with your baby as often and as long as you want.
  • Place a small cloth with mother's scent in the crib or isolette. Babies strongest sense is smell. Avoid wearing perfumes when using the cloths.
  • Family informational materials are available upon request.
  • Discuss with your baby's nurse kangarooing or holding your baby.
  • Discuss feeding with your baby's nurse. She will be able to explain how this process works.

When Visiting Your Baby

  • Discuss your baby's plan of care with your child's nurse daily. 
  • Carefully remove the blanket cover from the baby's isolette so that you can see baby, but continue to protect the baby's eyes from the bright lights.
  • Shield baby's eyes from the bright lights when holding.
  • Let baby hear your voice and gently call their name.
  • Once your baby can tolerate increased stimulation use a gentle but firm touch to contain their arms and legs.
  • Help "nest" your baby with snuggly and bendy bumpers so he or she is developmentally supported and comfortable.
  • Encourage visitors to speak quietly while in the NICU.
  • Learn to recognize your baby's signs of stress ( yawning, splaying of fingers and toes, looking away, sneezing ) . This may indicate your baby needs to rest and sleep.

How to Hold and Feed Your Baby

  • Hold your baby for gavage feedings.
  • Let your baby's nurse know the time that is most convenient for you to come and do a bath or your baby' cares.
  • Offer your baby a pacifier. The sucking reflex is the strongest and can be most comforting to your baby.
  • Learn ways to calm and soothe your baby, swaddling, holding the baby close or offering a pacifier.
  • Take baby out of the crib or isolette with or without assistance.
  • Learn to recognize when your baby is alert and ready to interact.
  • Hold your baby in a position where your face is visible.
  • Talk to your baby's nurse about adding the things your baby likes and dislikes and she can add these to your baby's plan of care.
  • Ask your nurse when it would be appropriate to bring clothes for your baby.
  • Ask your nurse about developmentally appropriate toys for your baby.
  • Ask your nurse if it's the right time to introduce music therapy.