10 Coping Tips for Parents with a Baby in the NICU


Interact with Your Baby

Don't underestimate the power of touch.
Don't underestimate the power of touch.
Inti St. Clair/Taxi/Getty Images

Your baby may be in the NICU, but that doesn't change his or her lineage. Your baby is still your baby, and, although the capacity to interact may vary, it's still possible.

Need some guidance? Consider asking your care team for instructions. And, keep asking every day if you can hold your baby -- it's one of the most helpful things you can do for you and your infant, but you may not have even thought it was a possibility.

Other interaction tips include talking, reading and singing to your baby. Record your voice for use while you aren't there. Hold your baby's foot or hand. Feed your baby if possible, pumping to prepare if your baby isn't quite there yet. Decorate the incubator with cards and pictures. Remember Erin? She brought her twins' bedding from home to use during their hospital stay.

When your baby is ready, try holding and rocking him or her. Then, as his or her health improves, you may hear your care team refer to kangaroo care, which is holding your baby on your chest, skin to skin. This approach helps with bonding and can be very calming for the baby.