Parent Tips - Bonding in NICU/SCN

We asked parents on our Facebook community to share their experience on the best ways to bond with your baby whilst in NICU/SCN:

"I used to sing to my baby everyday and once we were in special care I started reading her books, it made us feel like 'real' parents." Samantha

"Kangaroo care. Push for it. Make sure from the doctors your baby is stable enough for more than one session a day. Push for it with the nurses once the doctors clear it. We cuddled for hours on end once stable. I told her what we had done the night before and morning. What was going on with friends and family. And because we did kangaroo care for so many hours every day now at 8 months (5 1/2 corrected) anytime she is upset or cranky I put her on my chest (not skin to skin) and she calms down. It's her safe spot and there is nowhere better in her eyes when she needs me. And I love that." April

"Kangaroo care definitely u need to keep asking as more often then not ur only allowed once a day" Charmaine

"If you don't get kangaroo care straight away (I didn't get to hold Stella for the first 5 and a half weeks of her life), talk to them about everything.... all the time. I also had an ipod in her humidicrib playing music. She actually disliked one song played on the ipod and would always react to it! If you are able to, take on as many of their cares as you can, it helps you with feeling involved in their care and a great way to bond." Theresa

"I too was unable to hold Evan for over 7 weeks. So I sung to him read to him and held his tiny hand everyday x " Tarsha

"I was separated from OSKAR so I had a bunny rug with his smell I could take home with me n a little stuffed toy (giraffe) with my smell on it - so he would always know I was his mummy as everyone else was holding n doing stuff to him except me:( . A picture of him on my phone stopped my heart from breaking every time I walked in the house. I also sang my lullaby to him:) which I still do to this day. " Tara

"I think kangaroo care is wonderful if you can get it, but don't underestimate the power of singing, talking, touching, reading and just sitting with bubs. Your voice is the most important thing. Also, try to celebrate having them as best you can even if the circumstances are not optimum, after all it's the start of their life and it's a miracle!" Cat

"I loved kangaroo care and breastfeeding when able but just doing cares was a huge bonding thing at the very beginning. Sometimes just feeling like u r part of the care they r given rather than a bystander watching others care for your child can b a really bonding moment." Kelly-Maree

"Kangaroo care for sure. Still remember the first time they placed Emily on my chest. But also just doing the cares, really helps to feel involved. I also found it helpful to be there for rounds as much as possible, to know what was going on, and learning what the chart and all the numbers etc meant. Helped me feel involved in her care and more like a normal parent. Also just hold their hand. Emily loved to wrap her hand around my finger and would grip so tight. Another one when unable to do kangaroo care was just placing hand on lower back/bottom and gentle bum pats, seemed to often soothe her. And yeah just talking to her so she would know the voice." Wayne

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