NICU Survival Tips


Your baby's stay in the NICU will be a stressful time.  Here are some tips that I hope will make it a little easier.

The best thing you can do for yourself and your baby is allow yourself to love your child.  You may feel you want to distance yourself so you won't be as hurt if the baby should die.  Instead of reducing the pain, this can make it worse and add guilt on top of the hurt.                                                                                                       
Get adequate rest and nutrition.  Your baby needs you to be strong and healthy.                                                   
If your doctor gives the okay, touch your child.  It can be highly therapeutic for both of you.  Watch your child for signs of stress (frowning, drawing in of limbs, arching back and neck, jerky movements) and he will let you know when he has had enough.                                                                                                                             
Take lots of pictures.  You will want a record of growth and development.  You might want to take one picture with a favorite stuffed animal so you can have a reference point.                                                                                 
Keep a journal.  Record your thoughts and feelings.  Write down any questions you think of to ask your child's caregivers.  Keep track of medications and procedures.                                                                               
Get to know the nurses and doctors.  Some you will love and some you would rather not interact with. Overall, you will probably find caring and friendly people who enjoy their jobs.                                                         
Always remember that this is your baby, not the nurses'.  You have a right to visit your baby.  You have a right to be kept informed on his care and condition.