Bonding with Your Baby
No member of your baby’s care team is more important than you. Your consistent presence is vital to your baby’s welfare. Even if you cannot hold your baby for medical reasons, your voice, which he/she has known since before birth, is comforting. And your touch is very meaningful for both of you. We will help you learn ways to interact with your baby while he/she is ill.
We encourage you to cuddle and hold your baby as soon as it is possible. “Kangarooing” or providing Kangaroo Care is one way parents enjoy nurturing their babies. It involves holding the baby closely against your chest, skin-to-skin. It is healing and comforting to both parent and child, and we are careful to maintain your privacy by pulling a curtain around you and your baby.
We encourage you to take part in other family activities with your baby including talking and singing, changing diapers, bathing and feeding your baby. The more you handle and take care of your infant, the more confident you will be taking care of him/her when you get home.
Feel free to bring items from home for your baby. Here are some helpful guidelines to follow:
- Clothing and blankets should be freshly laundered, washed separately using a mild detergent.
- Toys and mobiles should be soft, small and easy to clean. The NICU staff can help you decide if items are appropriate and will let you know when you can bring in a mobile for you baby’s enjoyment. Avoid stuffed animals which can hold dust and are difficult to clean.
- Cards and pictures are sweet additions to your baby’s environment and may be placed at the bedside. Because siblings cannot be allowed to enter the NICU (due to the risk of infection), we encourage siblings to draw a picture for their new brother or sister.
- Religious or other personal articles can be comforting and may be placed at the bedside.
- Battery-operated tape players may be brought to the NICU so you can play recordings for your baby. Try taping yourself singing, speaking or reading stories. Feel free to bring tapes of lullabies and classical music also.