Your newborn has a unique personality, as well as special ways of reacting to the wolrd around her. When you are with your baby, observe her pleasure or discomfort at certain sounds, sights, touches, movements, tastes or smells. When she withdraws or gets fussy, stop or reduce whatever stimulation is bothering her. When your baby is calm and alert, see what's soothing or enjoyable for her.
If your baby was born prematurely, don't expect her to have much interest in the world for a few weeks or even months. Similarly, if your baby is very sick, she needs all her energy to recover. As your baby feels better and matures, she will become more interested in the world around her. To encourage your baby to respond to you, try some of the following strategies.
Connecting to Baby
Baby: A Keepsake Journal: This booklet ($7.95) provides a place for parents to write about their new baby, including milestones, difficult days, days of celebration, hopes and dreams. Order your copy now.
Excerpted from the March of Dimes booklet, "Parent: You & Your Baby in the NICU", written in collaboration with Deborah L. Davis, Ph.D., and Mara Tesler Stein, Psy.D., authors of "Parenting Your Premature Baby and Child: The Emotional Journey".
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© 2009 March of Dimes Foundation. All rights reserved. The March of Dimes is a not-for-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3). Our mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.