Helpline 0808 801 0322


10 things you can do for your baby on the neonatal unit

Mother and tube-fed baby in hospital

We're celebrating 10 years of Little Bliss magazine with an extra special anniversary edition. Here, we share our 'ten things' feature:

Sometimes on the neonatal unit it can feel like the doctors and nurses are the ones looking after your baby, but there are lots of ways you can and should be involved in their care. Here are ten things you can do for your baby to make sure you’re not missing out on precious moments together.

  1. Watch your baby

    This is how you get to know how they are feeling, so ask for chairs so that you can sit close by.

  2. Ask questions

    If you phone up to ask about your baby, ask detailed questions like if they have slept well or eaten enough so that you have a full picture of how they are.

  3. Touch your baby

    Your baby may find it soothing to grasp your finger or feel the gentle pressure of your hands resting on their body, their head, or cupping their feet.

  4. Feed your baby

    Even if your baby is still tube fed it should be possible for you to be involved with feeding from an early stage.

    Dad tube feeding his baby
  5. Ask to do daily cares

    Activities like cleaning your baby’s mouth and changing their nappy will be opportunities for you to get to know each other. Policies vary from unit to unit but ask early on when you can be involved with activities like this.

  6. Do the first bath

    Your baby’s first bath is a very special moment. Ask the nurses to plan the first bath with you so that you can do it with their support.

  7. Skin-to-skin-contact

    Skin-to-skin, often referred to as kangaroo care, means holding your baby close against your chest. It has lots of benefits for babies and is a special activity for parents.

    Dad holding his baby in hospital
  8. Comfort your baby during procedures

    When your baby needs medical or nursing procedures ask how you can help to comfort your baby.

  9. Ask your doctor or nurse explain things you don’t understand

    There really is no such thing as a silly question, especially when it’s about your baby. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or nurse to explain terms or procedures you don’t understand.

  10. Talk and sing

    Talk, sing or read to your baby. If your baby is in an incubator ask if one of the portholes can be opened so that your baby can hear you more easily.

Little Bliss magazine is packed with real stories dealing with life on a neonatal unit and beyond, advice from other parents and health professionals, all the latest news from Bliss and lots of ways that you can get involved and support premature and sick babies and their families.


Help us by sharing this post
  • E-mail this story to a friend!
  • Tweet this
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google
  • LinkedIn