Author: Leigh Townsend, NICU Family Support Navigator
We recognize that this is an especially stressful time, given concerns in the community around COVID-19. Restricting visitation to ONLY parents at this time will help us limit exposure and keep your baby safe which is always our top priority. Below are some simple ways that you can help siblings, family and friends connect with your new baby while visitation is restricted.
- The safest way to connect with siblings and family is by using digital platforms such as Facetime, Zoom chats, Google Hangout, HouseParty app, or Facebook video calls.
- Set up a free Caring Bridge page so that you can share regular updates on your baby with family and friends. Visit www.caringbridge.org.
- Take photos and videos and share with friends and family. Print photos for big brothers and sisters so they have their own.
- Bring family photos into the unit and place them at your baby’s bedside. If you have older children, let them help select the photo and frame.
- Let older children pick out a small stuffed animal to place on a shelf at the baby’s bedside.
- Encourage older children to draw pictures or write letters to their new brother or sister. Post the drawings at the baby’s bedside. If they write letters, tell them you will read them to the baby.
- Let close family or older children help you get organized for bringing the baby home. Accept offers to help you shop or let your children plan the baby’s nursery.
- Let family and friends assist you during this stressful time. Accept offers for help with older children, pets, meals and daily tasks.
Your family and friends may not be able to visit the NICU, but knowing that they are helping you in other ways will help them feel connected.