Early Babies provides essential information for parents and healthcare professionals about the development of preterm babies in neonatal units.

Developmental Care News, May 2017

Extracts from May 2017 DEVELOPMENTAL CARE NEWS


Keeping up ….

Eight key principles for patient-centred and family-centred care in the NICU are outlined in brief by Roué and colleagues in the April issue of Archives. Level of evidence is stated with ample referencing. A useful summary for people who don’t quite know what to make of “developmental care”.  Roué  J, et al. Eight principles for newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit. Archives of Disease in Childhood – Fetal and Neonatal Edition  18 April 2017.

Improving family support: The top 10 recommendations for comprehensive family support proposed the National Perinatal Association (USA) working group  on psychosocial support are described by Hall and colleagues in a paper that also  provides a self-assessment tool, and  ideas for quality improvement projects. Hall S, et al. Transforming NICU Care to Provide Comprehensive Family Support. Newborn & Infant Nursing Reviews, 2016; 16: 69-73.

When to give sucrose: Although the convention has been that offering sucrose 2 minutes before a procedure is most effective for reducing  infants’ pain reactivity, this view has been challenged  by Meesters and colleagues . “Waiting 2 minutes after sucrose administration—unnecessary?” Archives of Disease in Childhood – Fetal and Neonatal Edition.  October 2016.

The car seat challenge.  If you are testing babies in car seats before they go home remember that the angle of the seat will be different when it is fixed in the car and the motion of the car will also affect the infant. Arya R, et al. Is the infant car seat challenge useful? A pilot study in a simulated moving vehicle. Archives of Disease in Childhood – Fetal and Neonatal Edition, 2017;102:F136-F141.

Infant Medical Trauma in the NICU is a conceptual model proposed by D’Agata and colleagues to describe the stressful experience of preterm infants, exposed to many procedures and separated from parents, experiences  potentially linked to adverse long term outcomes.  Unpacking the burden of care for infants in the NICU. Infant Mental Health Journal, February 2017.

Welcome! packs

Some units prepare welcome packs for  families  when their baby is  admitted to the neonatal unit.  We asked you what  would be useful to include — here are your suggestions;

  • A cooler bag for transporting expressed breast milk
  • Muslins to use as wraps or scent exchange cloths—especially if made of soft bamboo fabric
  • A small  washable toy  to grasp
  • A credit card sized mirror for watching the baby during skin-to-skin. This could have information like contact number for the unit printed on the reverse side.
  • A   disposable camera—especially if mobile phones are not permitted on the unit
  • A diary with a pen
  • A map of the hospital, with details of facilities such as food outlets
  • A little book to read to the baby e.g. “Guess how much I love you”,
  • Ink stamp pad for making footprints.
  • Details of “Caring for your Baby on the Neonatal Unit: A Parents’ Handbook”
  • A keepsake bag for saving little things like cord or first hat etc
  • A laundry bag for keeping the baby’s own clothes for washing at home.
  • An expressing pack
  • Stickers for EBM bottles
  • Car parking permit


Thanks to the following for sharing their ideas Fiona Kavanagh, Beverley Hicks, Gillian Kennedy, Emily Hills, Cherry Bond, Kayleigh Light, Liba Mason, Jennie Schooling.


opening of nidcap centre

second blog

A parents’ handbook
Our first project is a handbook for the parents of premature babies in a newborn intensive care or special care baby unit. It is about the vital part that parents play, right from the start.

A new Blog from Early Babies

This is our first blog!  Here are some notes about recent papers we have found useful.  Subscribe to “Developmental Care News” on our home page for more news.

The Journal of Perinatology often has supplements that cover topics related to family centred developmental care (FCDC). The December 2015 edition (Vol. 35)  titled “Interdisciplinary Recommendations for the Psychosocial Support of NICU Parents” guest edited by Michael Hynan and Sue Hall, is the result of a collaboration between 50 people representing  academic institutions, professional and parent organisations across the USA.  The recommendations for involving the family read like a FCDC manifesto and could be useful when you need something compact for explaining  what FCDC is all about.  Other articles make recommendations for peer –to-peer support, for mental health professionals in the NICU, for palliative and bereavement care, discharge planning and staff education. Best of all (as this journal is not always to access) all the articles are available at www.support4NICUparents.org.

Scroll down to the bottom of the Home page to “Read the Recommendations”, and click to read the recommendations without the narrative and also to access the full set of papers. The site also has many other resources for parents and professionals including a FCDC bibliography.

And look out for …...

Support to mothers of premature babies using NIDCAP method: a non-randomized controlled trial, Sannio P et al Early Human Development. April 2016 , 95:15-20.

The vaIidity and reliability of the EValuation of INtervention Scale (EVIN): Preliminary report. Warren I, et al, Acta Paediatr. 2016 Feb 20. The EVIN quantifies developmental care interventions; it is a handy tool for  for training, self-assessment, audit and research.

Sensory processing patterns in children born very preterm, Crozier S et al  AJOTJan/Feb 2016 70(1): describes the prevalence and types of sensory processing  and their associations with neonatal risk factors.


Copyright © 2014 - 2017 - Early Babies - All Rights Reserved. London Web Designers - Notting Hill Web Design