Hold Your Preemie Close
Bonding with a baby in the NICU can be tough. Many preemies are attached to feeding tubes, IV lines, and ventilators. To top it off, they're sleeping in a plastic-enclosed isolette. "We try to get parents involved early," explains Dr. Yanowitz. "As soon as the baby is stable, we encourage 'kangaroo care.'" It's called this because of the way you hold your baby: directly on your chest, under your shirt. Studies have shown that skin-to-skin contact can help your baby maintain body warmth, gain weight, sleep deeply, and reduce stress. Plus, it gives you the perfect opportunity to bond with your newborn.