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NICU activities

It's so good for babies to have parents with them, yet the prospect of spending time here can feel very daunting. How can you fill the hours? We asked some parents and nurses for suggestions.

Kangaroo care

Holding babies skin-to-skin is great for them and wonderful for parents too. Research shows it helps babies learn to breathe, soothes their stress and helps their brain develop. It also helps with milk production and protects babies from infection.

Hand hugging

If you can't do kangaroo care, you can still do hand-hugging where you gently cup your baby's head and feet. Ask your nurse to show you how.

Come to rounds

Rounds happen every morning. The medical team comes together to discuss your baby and we encourage you to be there. Ask your nurse for more information about when rounds will be. While the health care team discusses other babies in the pod, we will close the door to your baby's room until your baby is the focus of discussion. Confidentiality is important for all in the NICU.

Record keeping

You can scrapbook, journal or blog; ask the parent coordinator for help getting started. There are many special milestones to remember!

Talking to your baby

A study from McGill University showed that quietly reading and singing to your babies helps you bond with them, even when they are very small. It also helps you develop routines that you can carry from the NICU to home.

Baby care

We encourage you to get involved in your baby's care. Your baby's nurse can help you learn and grow comfortable with tasks like diapering or holding feeds.

Attend family events

We have weekly drop-ins for parents and family members in the family lounge, and we also hold special events to mark holidays or share info. All events will be posted in the family lounge and on the notice boards in the family corridor. We encourage you to attend; the NICU can be an isolating experience and connecting with other NICU families can help.