Whether parents can hold their baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) depends on the baby’s condition. Some NICUs will encourage you to hold your baby from birth onward. Other NICUs will want you to wait until your baby's health is more stable. Very sick babies often require monitors, ventilators, umbilical lines, special heating devices and other equipment which is difficult to move without disrupting the healing process.
It has been proven that the human touch and hearing parent’s voices is beneficial even for the sickest babies. It is best to consult with your NICU team as to the best approach for you and your baby. When you get the go-ahead, ask your team to teach you how to perform the kangaroo hold or skin to skin contact when holding your newborn which is very beneficial as well.