Babies born before 37 gestational weeks have underdeveloped senses that need protection. As you provide comfort and care for your preemie baby, protect baby’s developing senses by caring for baby in a quiet area with the following features and actions:
• Soft, low lighting
• No heavy scents or odors
• Comfortable temperature
• One hand on baby at all times
If your baby was born early, ask your nurses which positions and movements are best for your preemie. Certain positions are shown in research to enhance feelings of calmness and security, reduce stress, protect baby’s delicate skin, help increase muscle strength, minimize heat loss and evenly distribute pressure on different parts of baby’s body. Skin-to-skin care, particularly baby’s naked body to your naked chest, improves feelings of calmness and boosts sleep in premature babies. Preemies also sleep better and longer with background sounds that mimic a mother’s heartbeat.