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Neonatal Education Resources

All newborns are delicate, but babies in the NICU can have special needs, both during their stay and when they go home.

We offer a variety of resources to help you care for and bond with your baby while you are in the NICU. Our neonatology team has gathered educational information covering a broad range of parenting and baby care subjects. Child development and parenting literature pieces are available from our staff members to help you take care of your new baby 's needs.

You'll find:

Plus,there are NICU classes to help you care for your baby during your stay. We also have classes to prepare you for your homecoming. You'll also find education support for specific conditions and special needs you and your baby may have. And we're always here if you have questions, so you can trust that long after your newborn goes home from Cook Children's, we're here for you.

Newborn education

Infant touch and massage class

Touch can be a very important contributor to an NICU infant's recovery. The NICU Infant Touch and Massage Class meets weekly to train parents of NICU babies. Please check with the unit secretary for the weekly schedule and/or sign-up on the dry-erase board located in the progressive unit.

Safe Beginnings class

It is an exciting and nervous time when your baby finally gets to leave the NICU and go home. To help ease the transition, this class is to assist you in providing a safer environment for your baby. It includes CPR, car seat safety, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), and shaken baby syndrome. Classes are offered 3 times each week. Check with your unit nurse for scheduling or questions.

NICU babies and stress

Our all single NICU suites are designed to reduce stress on our tiny patients. To help ensure that these delicate babies are as stress-free as possible, here are a few things you can do as a parent to help your baby relax and grow:

  • Talk to your baby before touching him/her so he/she knows you are there.
  • Before beginning an activity like feeding, lay your baby in your lap for a few minutes so he/she can get adjusted to being moved out of his/her bed.
  • When interacting with your baby talk softly and hold him/her quietly and firmly.
  • Many preterm babies are not ready for vigorous rocking.
  • A gentle but firm touch without movement from your hands is easier for your baby to understand. Avoid moving your hands in stroking motions while your baby is small. His or her brain is not ready to process all that information.
  • If your little one is unhappy try tucking his/her arms in close to his/her body and wrapping him/her in a blanket.
  • Shade your baby's eyes from bright lights with your hand.

If possible, remove whatever it is that is causing your baby's stress. It might be as simple as too much rocking, sudden and quick movements, loud voices or too much light in his face.

Breast-feeding basics class

Our Lactation Services team in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has developed breast-feeding education to help you:

  • Understand the benefits of breast-feeding and what to expect.
  • Understand storage guidelines.
  • Involve and educate dad.
  • With proper latching and positioning.
  • Learn about safe sleep guidelines.
  • Increase your milk supply.

Classes are held quarterly in the NICU classroom on the second floor of the north tower at Cook Children 's Medical Center. A brief question and answer session will follow the instruction period.

To find more information on class dates and to reserve your spot, contact 682-885-7144 or

Free newborn classes

Our expert pediatricians are now offering free newborn classes for new and expectant parents. Our classes cover the basics before delivery, at the hospital and what to expect in those first few months.

Register now

Bringing your newborn home

Whether you're still expecting your baby, or you're getting ready to leave our NICU and take your newborn home, there's a lot to prepare for. Here you'll find information on everything from burps and boo boos to sleep, feeding and developmental information

My newborn

Helpful resources

Information Packets
Do you have questions about a diagnosis or condition? Let us help. Ask a Cook Children's librarian to prepare an information packet just for you.

More Information

Health Care Notebook
Parents of cardiology patients have lots things to keep up with, appointments, treatments, medications, home care and more. Our family medical planner can help you keep track of everything. The planner is FREE and is available online.

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Neonatal Education Links
Need to access information related to your newborn's condition? You've come to the right place. Below are links that have been written specifically for you.

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Through a sponsorship with Johnson & Johnson, Cook Children 's is offering health and safety tips to help you through your pregnancy, including the unexpected, and your baby 's first year. Receive timely health and safety tips by text message. These messages are provided as a service to you and are 100% free.

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Safe Infant Sleep
The American Academy of Pediatrics has a policy statement addressing just this issue. To keep your baby safe, follow these guidelines on safe infant sleep.

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Vehicle/Car Safety
From newborns to teens, here are some of the top dangers to be aware of and the key things you can do to help make your car safer for your kids.

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Family Advisory Council
The Family Advisory Council is a partnership between families and staff who share ideas and perspectives and work together to ensure that our patients and families experience the highest quality health care possible

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Your Health Care Team
Whether it's a stay in our NICU, a trip to your child's specialist, a day visit for outpatient treatment, or a stay at our medical center, there may be many people involved in your child's care.

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March of Dimes
Information on premature babies and the complications that may occur.

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March of Dimes for NICU Families
Information specifically for families with a baby in the NICU.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Information of premature births.

More Information

Recommended reading

  • Newborn Intensive Care: What Every Parent Needs to Know, by Jeanette Zaichkin.
  • Parenting Your Premature Baby and Child: The Emotional Journey, by Deborah L. Davis and Mara T. Stein.
  • Preemies: The Essential Guide for Parents of Premature Babies, by Dana W. Linden, Emma T. Paroli, and Mia W. Doron.
  • The Preemie Parents' Companion: The Essential Guide to Caring for Your Premature Baby in the Hospital, at Home, and Through the First Years, by Susan Madden.

We're here to help.

If you are interested in scheduling a tour of our NICU, please call 682-885-4375. You can find information on how to refer a patient or other NICU contact information here.