The Parents’ Role in the NICU.

Mother and baby looking directly at each other and smiling.Don’t be discouraged – you can bond with your baby! Don’t let the equipment and activity in the NICU keep you from interacting with your little one. Bonding with a newborn is important for all babies, and maybe even more so for a premature baby. Check with your baby’s caregivers to decide how best to spend the time with your baby. You may be able to hold your baby’s hand, stroke his or her head, sing to, or even hold your baby. When you are breastfeeding it is important that you and your baby have “skin-to-skin time”. This is also known as kangaroo care in many NICUs. Not only does it help you to produce more breast milk, it gives you and your baby opportunities to get comfortable with each other and ready for breastfeeding. Skin-to-skin time is safe for you and your baby, and the NICU nursing staff is available to help you get started right away.

Don’t give up on breastfeeding.

What Determines When I Can Take My Baby Home?

In general, your baby will be ready for discharge when the following occurs:

  • Your baby continues to gain weight
  • Your baby can take feedings by the nipple
  • Your baby can maintain body temperature in an open infant crib
  • Your baby can breathe well and has a normal heart rate