NICU Parent Resource Guide

The Connections Program for High-Risk Infants and Families made this guide to help parents while they are in the NICU with their baby. We talked to other NICU parents about what kind of help they needed during this time and what activities might have helped them to feel more more confident as a parent, and included them in this guide.

Common Feelings Caregivers Experience

parent hands picture

Note: You may feel all, some, or none of the following throughout your NICU stay as no two journeys are the same.

  • Nervous or scared to see your baby look so small, connected to tubes and wires, having having doctors and nurses do procedures, etc.
  • Feeling sad because things didn't go as planned during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and after the baby was born
  • Finding it hard to keep in touch with your friends and family
  • Challenges with feeling like a parent to this baby
  • “Waiting for the other shoe to drop” - when you feel as if something “bad” will happen, even if baby is doing well worried about how your baby is doing medically and if they are developing as they should
  • Feeling frustrated because you don't have control over what's happening or you're not getting clear answers
  • “Sensory overload” due to all the sights and sounds in the NICU

We recommend that you speak up for yourself and your baby whenever possible.

Both parents play a special and equally important role in helping their baby grow and develop. Being involved in your baby's care and activities is important for their growth and development.
  • Ask your nurse about how to interact with your baby. This may include “hand hugs”, kangaroo care, using a mirror, engaging in care times, reading to your baby, etc.
  • Feel free to ask many questions and repeat as often as needed

Psychiatry (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Anschutz Health Sciences Building

1890 N Revere Ct

Suite 4003

Mail Stop F546

Aurora, CO 80045


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