Kangaroo Care

If your baby is well enough, you will be able to plan a good time and comfortable place with the staff on the unit to try Kangaroo Care – skin-to-skin contact when a baby is held directly against its parent's chest. It gives a wonderful feeling of contact between you and your baby, and also helps to keep your baby warm.

Do not be afraid to ask the staff if and when you can try Kangaroo Care. You need to take care not to pull any of the cables or tubes that may be attached, but the nurses will help you lift your baby out of the incubator and make sure everything is safe.

Kangaroo Care is often the first time parents feel that they are really having contact with and looking after their baby and it can be a great way of establishing a lasting attachment. The baby also receives so much comfort that this contact can have a very positive effect on his or her health.

There are many other benefits including:

  • improvements with lactation and establishing breastfeeding
  • greater weight gain for the baby
  • after Kangaroo Care, babies tend to sleep more deeply which supports their health and development.

Nappy changing

Over time, care staff start to show parents how to do some of the routine tasks such as changing a nappy. This is a good way for you to do more and to take an active role in your baby’s day-to-day care. You may well feel all fingers and thumbs to start with. That’s OK, practice makes perfect.


Feeding your baby is a superb way of helping care for him or her, particularly as it is the time when premature babies are most likely to be awake. The variety of ways that tiny babies can be fed is detailed in Section 5 of this guide.


To start with, the nurses may be very reluctant to wash your baby. The problem is that washing, even with warm water, could cool the baby down, which is something that they want to avoid. The little flakes of dried-on blood and waxy ‘vernix’ (white substance which coats the skin of newborn babies) left over from life in the womb will do no harm and are best left where they are. Once your baby has grown a little and is stronger, you may be able to join in with the fun of bathing. It can feel a little daunting at first, but it won’t take long before you feel confident to do this with little or no help from staff.

* Copy courtesy of Bliss

Look after your baby

Nursing staff will always be there to advise you


The staff will support you to be involved with your baby's care

The staff will support you to be involved with your baby's care

The staff will always put the needs of the baby first