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10 Coping Tips for Parents with a Baby in the NICU

Journal and Celebrate Milestones

Remember how spilling the beans to your childhood diary helped soothe your first wounded heart? The power of journaling somehow becomes magnified as an adult and serves as a very authentic tool when coping with the NICU experience. In fact, putting pen to paper and journaling about your NICU experiences not only helps you share your emotions and thoughts, but also can help you track your baby's progress. Then, in years to come, you'll have something that you can look back on and reflect.

As you journal, include pictures and details. Consider a special NICU journal that helps you mark milestones unique to the NICU experience, such as when you hold your baby for the first time, the first bathing, when nursing becomes possible or the removal of certain treatment devices.

With those significant milestones, be sure to celebrate. Gaining weight in the NICU or saying "farewell" to a set of tubes can become moments of joy and pride deserving of some cheer and a little relief.