Having a baby journal, particularly as you anticipate your baby’s arrival is a significant thing. I had wished that someone had advised me to do that.
Journaling your baby’s growth and development is a significant memento that both parents and babies would appreciate sometime in the future, most especially if your baby was born few or several weeks early.
Make a note of your new contact information: the hospital, the department ( Nursery / NICU ), phone numbers, doctors, nurses, some NICU contact parents
The Baby Journal/ NICU Journal refers to the practice of writing to document experiences and emotions during the stay of a baby in the Nursery/ Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). It is a therapeutic and reflective process for parents or caregivers of premature or critically ill infants, offering an outlet to express your thoughts, fears, hopes and joys throughout this challenging journey. It keeps track of important medical information, baby’s NICU milestones, memories of baby’s early days.
Baby journaling serves multiple purposes, including coping with the stress and uncertainty of the NICU environment, tracking the baby’s progress, and promoting emotional healing. It allows parents to record medical updates, milestones, and interactions with healthcare professionals, helping them stay informed and involved in their child’s care.
Beyond its immediate benefits, NICU journaling can become a cherished keepsake for families, offering a glimpse into the resilience and tremendous love and care you have provided to your little one during this vulnerable phase of life.
Your Baby’s Arrival in the NICU
- Talk to the nurses and doctors about your baby’s medical diagnosis, what to expect
- Ask when you should be there, for medical /nursing rounds.
- Provide your contact information to the NICU staff ( home, cell and work phone numbers )
- Choose your pediatrician ( this will be your baby’s main doctor when he/she gets discharged from the hospital )
- Ask when to bring your baby’s car seat
- Find out if the hospital offers family support programs like parents of the NICU support program, breastfeeding support, etc.
- Date you check in for delivery
- Baby’s Name
- Date & Time of Birth
- Your actual due date
- Name of the Hospital you delivered your baby
- Doctor/s Name/s
- About your birth experience
- Baby’s weight and length
- Your doctor’s first words to you
- Your baby’s stay in the NICU began
- Your baby’s eyes and hair
- You first thoughts and impressions
This refers to the significant and heartwarming occurrences that parents or caregivers experience during their baby’s stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. These moments are often small, yet incredibly meaningful, and they hold immense emotional significance for families facing the challenges of having a premature or critically ill infant.
In the NICU, where the atmosphere can be filled with medical procedures and uncertainties, special moments offer glimmers of hope, joy, and connection amidst the stress. Celebrate all your “firsts”! It might include the first time parents hold their baby, the tiny hand grasping a finger, the first smile, the moment the baby surpasses a developmental milestone, or any unexpected gesture that brings comfort and reassurance during difficult times.
Recording these special moments in the journal allows parents to relive and cherish them in the future, providing a sense of strength and positivity when faced with setbacks or tough days, contributing to the emotional well being of parents and caregivers as they navigate their unique journey in the NICU.
The first time. . .
I felt your skin ~~~
I saw you ~~~
I saw your eyes ~~~
I held you in my arms ~~~
You looked at me ~~~
You wrapped your little fingers around me ~~~
We did a skin-to-skin (kangaroo) care~~~
You breathe on your own ~~~
I saw you without equipment attached to you ~~~
You cried out loud ~~~
The first time I fed you ~~~
you wore clothes ~~~
You moved to an open crib ~~~
Your Baby’s NICU Stay
As you recount your baby’s stay in the NICU, you learn many things about your baby. Gradually, you’ll learn how to care for your baby, while still in the NICU. You will know when to hold your baby, how to feed, dress, take temperatures, change diapers, as well as learn some routine medical care. You may feel nervous at first, but your baby’s nurses will show you what to do.