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How To Bond With Your Baby in the NICU

5 tips to help you navigate the situation, overcome fears & create a strong bond with your child

how to bond with your baby in the NICU

As they say, it’s the little things that count. And nothing could be truer than when you find your tiny little newborn or premature baby in the NICU. Beyond the all-consuming fear and worry that overwhelms every parent of a baby or preemie in NICU is the fear of not being able to bond with your child. Initially, breastfeeding may not be possible and skin-to-skin contact may be out of the question. But that’s not to say that there aren’t other ways to bond with your NICU baby. Here are a five little things you can do to get to know each other:

  1. Diaper Changes
    - Finding ways to be a hands-on parent in the NICU is entirely possible. Ask the nurse if you can be the go-to for changing diapers and other routine care for baby outside of medical attention.
  2. Express Milk
    - Though breastfeeding may not be possible at first, it may be helpful to meet with the hospital’s lactation specialist to discuss pumping your expressed milk that can then be bottle-fed to your baby.
  3. Join In
    - Shadowing nurses on their daily rounds can help you stay in the loop about baby’s care and wellbeing. Plus, participating in their upkeep will make you feel like you’re a part of the process.
  4. Track Milestones
    - Celebrate each and every first for baby. Be it a feeding, a bath, or the first time you and baby are able to fully embrace one another, commemorate it with a big celebration.
  5. Be Ready to Snuggle
    - And when you get the go-ahead from your doctors? Have all the cozy comforts for baby ready. Soft-to-the-touch swaddles, blankets and towels will make every transition all the easier.

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