Getting to know your baby

  • In this section you will learn about what your baby can already do and what they can tell us. 

    Parenting in the NICU and bonding with your baby

    If your baby is in Butterfly, this means things have not gone to plan for you or them. Many parents worry that they can’t get to know their baby when they are in NICU but remember you’ve already known each other from long before they were born. They know your voice, your smell and your warmth.

    One of our main goals in caring for you and your baby is to support you to be together as much as possible and to empower you, as their parent, to provide as much hands-on and emotional care to your baby as you are able to. We want to help you to form a really strong bond with them.

    Don’t forget you are your baby’s best advocate, meaning that you can speak-up on their behalf and tell us how you think they are coping, what they like or dislike and how you would like to shape their daily routine before they go home. You will get to know your baby better than anyone!

    What will my baby experience in NICU?

    This will depend on how sick or premature they are and how long they have to stay to get the medical care they need. Unfortunately, NICU babies do have to feel discomfort sometimes, for example, when they have to have important blood tests or they need new lines (special tiny tubes for medicine or fluids) put into their veins. As their parent, you can help them through these difficult times by being with them and providing comfort. Our staff will coach you on how to comfort them during these hard times.

    You will notice that we may try to limit disruption to your baby, such as reducing light, sound and handling for periods throughout the day and night to allow them to rest as much as possible. When they are resting, their bodies can recover and heal, and their brains can grow and develop. For most babies skin-to-skin is also great for this.

    These rest periods are particularly important for very sick or premature babies. As your baby is getting better or getting closer to their due date if they were born early, they will be able to cope with more interaction and handling. If you are unsure about your baby’s ability to cope at any time, we can give you some guidance and reassurance.

    In Butterfly, we try very hard to cluster or bundle cares together so that your baby can learn that there is a beginning, middle and end to the handling or disruption of having their nappy changed or blood pressure checked and really importantly that they will be allowed lots of rest and time for positive experiences in between.

    Does my baby have their own personality yet?

    Babies are born ready to connect with their parents and to learn about the world around them. Illness or prematurity may delay this but even when they are in NICU, they can still express themselves and tell you their needs in their own way.