mother holding baby
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
December 7, 2023 ·  3 min read

Babywearing NICU Nurses Show Preemie Babies Extra Love While Their Families Are Away

Having a child, especially a new-born baby, in the NICU is extremely difficult. The hardest part is that the parents can’t possibly be there in the hospital with their child 24/7. That’s what makes these viral photos of nurses in Germany using babywearing to snuggle preemie babies so precious. (1)

Nurses Use Babywearing to Snuggle Preemie Babies While Working

Newborn babies need a lot of snuggle time – especially preemie babies. Many parents, however, are simply unable to be in the NICU every minute of the day to do so. That’s why these nurses in Germany are being praised around the world for going above and beyond to make sure the preemie babies in the NICU feel loved and cared for. (1)

Image Credit: Kangatraining Australia

Some photos went viral showing these nurses going about their daily tasks, all while wearing a baby carrying device with a tiny little infant snuggled inside. Parents whose children are in the NICU have flooded the comment section, expressing how incredibly grateful they are for the love and support from the nurses. (2)

“This was my biggest stress and concern when my baby was in the NICU,” recalled one mom in the comments. “I couldn’t tell you how many times I told my husband one of us needed to be there because I just knew he needed to be snuggled and touched. NICU nurses are the most amazing humans.” (1)

Another mom agreed.

“So sweet!! My little peanut [was] born at 32 weeks!! He’s finally home after a long two months!!! They gave my little boy a lot of love and cuddles when I couldn’t be there! Forever grateful for those nurses who took special care of him!” (1)

Image Credit: Kangatraining Australia

The most common sentiment is how parents feel forever grateful to the nurses who cared for their children during that intense, stressful time.

“My daughter was born at 24 weeks at just 1 lb 3 oz spent 4 1/2 months in Duke’s NICU man they were amazing and cared for her like she was theirs I’m forever indebted” (2)

Read: 2-year-old immediately calms crying baby sister in viral video

The Benefits of Babywearing for Preemie Babies

Babywearing, also known as kangaroo care, is not a new concept. Women have carried their children this way for centuries, long before the invention of the stroller. Babywearing has similar benefits to skin-on-skin contact. Especially with preemie babies who tend to have more health problems, this style of carrying can calm the child. (3)

“The caregiver can be seen, heard, smelled, touched, tasted, provide feeding and the motion necessary for continuing neural development, gastrointestinal and respiratory health, and to establish balance (inner ear development) and muscle tone is constant,” said pediatrician Dr. William Sears. (1)

Image Credit: Kangatraining Australia

In the NICU, babywearing has several benefits, including:

  • Consoling the babies (3)
  • Decreased infant infection and mortality rates (4)
  • Allowing the nurse to still complete their necessary tasks (3)
  • Building caregiver-baby trust (3)

Of course, everyone benefits from more snuggles – especially premature babies.

Barriers to Kangaroo Care

Despite all of the benefits, many hospitals don’t regularly use babywearing as a care tool. Some infants can’t be carried around in this way because they are too high-risk and require constant monitoring or special equipment. (4)

Another reason, cited by nurses, is that the nurses are understaffed, and wearing a baby while working will slow them down. The hope is that at the very least, parents will receive more education on the benefits of babywearing so that they can implement it when they finally get to bring their precious preemie home and make up for the lost time. (4)

What do you think? Would you be happy knowing that your baby was getting extra cuddles from their nurses when you couldn’t be there?

Keep Reading: 20 Photos Of Parents Before And After Having Kids That Will Make You Want To Send Their Babysitter Money

References

  1. Photos: Babywearing NICU Nurses Give Preemie Babies Extra Love.” For Every Mom. Bri Lamm. January 30, 2020.
  2. Kangatraining Australia.” Facebook.
  3. Nurse Perceptions of Babywearing for Neonates With Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.” Journals. Williams, Lela Rankin PhD; Grisham, Lisa M. NNP-BC; Gebler-Wolfe, Molly LMSW; Kelsch, Karen MSW; Bedrick, Alan MD; Bader, M. Y. MD. October 9, 2020.
  4. Babywearing Education in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.” Research Gate. Robyn Miller.