Handling your preemie baby

A premature baby needs extra special care.


If you’ve had a premature baby (born before 37 weeks) then he’ll need extra-special support.


Caring for him can feel like a challenge when he’s in a neonatal unit surrounded by nurses and medical equipment. The neonatal team caring for your baby will advise you on how you can help your baby feel more comfortable.

We also asked premature baby charity Bliss for suggestions on ways to help your baby:

Keep him shielded from loud noises and bright light

Both can bother premature babies, so talk quietly, keep curtains drawn and lights dimmed if possible. Covering his incubator with a blanket is helpful when he needs complete darkness.

Position him comfortably

Help him maintain his natural, curled up position by lying him on his side, so his back is well rounded and he can bring his hand to his face and lie with his feet together.

Create a small nest from a rolled-up bed sheet

Make sure it’s high enough for his feet to rest on it, as this will help him feel secure.

Get him used to you

Place a piece of clothing that smells of you near his face – this will help him feel you’re close by.

Have skin-to-skin contact

Do this whenever possible as it will calm him down. When you can’t hold him, place a hand on his head, or let him grab your finger. Try not to make any sudden movements – always touch your baby softly and gently.



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