One of the best things you can do to facilitate bonding with your baby is to participate in their daily care as much as possible. Every hospital may have different policies & the level of your involvement may depend on your baby's condition so be sure to ask your doctor or nurse about how you can get involved.
Ask your baby’s nurse when the care times are so you can participate in the care of your baby. Based on your baby’s condition these times may change so be sure to confirm with the nurse each day when these times will be scheduled. Don't be afraid to request that they alter the schedule according to when you can be present.
What can you do during a care time? You can change your baby’s diaper, take their temperature, or clean their mouth. You may also be able to assist with a gavage feeding, when changing the linen in your baby’s bed and giving your baby a sponge bath if they are able to tolerate it.
Hopefully your lactation consultant got you started the day of or day after the delivery. If not, request a consultation to learn how to pump as soon as possible. Breastmilk is liquid gold for your micro preemie. This article explains the importance and necessity of breastmilk for your baby. It may be a few weeks before oral feeds are attempted, until then your baby will be fed through a tube that goes into her mouth or nose and down to her stomach. Initial feedings will only be very small, a fraction of a teaspoon at most when babies are very early.
This video is very informative in helping you get the most out of every pumping session.
Bring in a Small Toy or Receiving Blankets for Your Baby
After washing the blankets sleep with them under your pajamas to transfer your distinct scent to the blankets. Put them in Ziploc bags and ask the nurse to use the blankets when it is time to change the baby’s linen. Small toys like Beanie babies are often helpful for the nurses to use for positioning the babies.
*Note that hospitals have different policies for infection control and may not allow stuffed animals of any sort in the isolettes.
Read a Story or Nursery Rhymes to Your Baby, Sing Softly, or Pray
According to The Mayo Clinic at around the 18th week of pregnancy hearing begins to develop in the fetus. Your baby is most familiar with your voice and our heartbeat, so hearing you read or sing softly can be calming for your baby.