There’s nothing like the feeling of cuddling a newborn baby to make all of your troubles melt away. The help wanted sign is now out for volunteers to rock the tiniest and most vulnerable of newborns. The Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at The University of Kansas Health System is reviving a volunteer program to rock babies born too soon for various reasons. The program named “Rock-A-Baby” requires volunteers to take an eight hour training course on how to hold babies connected to many medical wires and keep them safe. The training is worth it said the first volunteer to sign up and remembers how she felt rocking her first baby.
“Holding that little sweetheart, getting to talk to her and just let her know somebody’s there for her … it’s a blessing,” Kathleen Harvey, retired attorney said.
Premature babies don’t sleep like full-term newborns. They are often wide awake and want to play. “Holding these babies provides what we call comfort care,” Brittany Bright, RN in the NICU said. “There is evidence that holding and rocking these babies helps with their development and can result in their ability to go home sooner.”
The Rock-A-Baby program has a need for volunteers to rock babies born addicted to drugs, babies who have had surgery on their tummy and babies whose parents can’t spend the time they’d like with their newborns because of work and family responsibilities at home. People interested in volunteering must first apply on the Kansas Health System website. The video below includes interviews with Kathleen and Brittany plus b-roll of NICU babies being rocked.