The Top 3 Mistakes NICU Parents Make (and How to Avoid Them)

NICU mom holding NICU baby's hand, green blanket, nicu

When your baby is in the NICU, it can feel like you’ve entered a whole new world!

There are all these medical terms you don’t know, equipment you’ve never seen before, and lots of challenges you never imagined facing…

Here’s the great news: You’re doing an AWESOME job!!

This is all new, and you’re handling it like a seasoned pro- but that doesn’t mean there’s not a little room for improvement, right?

Here are the top 3 mistakes NICU parents make and how to avoid them:

Trying to be Multiple Places at the Same Time

Listen, NICU parents, you’re amazing, but you have yet to break the code to time travel or cloning. The world doesn’t stop when your baby is in the NICU (unfortunately) and you can’t be everywhere at once.

You do not have to spend every minute of your day by your baby’s side. It’s okay to go home, shower, and rest. You need to spend time with your other children, family members, or even your dog! You might have to put in some time at work each day- and that’s COMPLETELY okay. Your baby is in wonderful hands, and you can rest assured knowing that the doctors and nurses are looking after your little one every minute!

Staying Positive NO MATTER WHAT!

A positive outlook is wonderful, and it keeps you going during some tough times- but having a baby in the NICU isn’t easy, and it’s okay to fall apart once in a while!

When you’ve had a hard day, or you’re overwhelmed, or frustrated, or just sad that your sweet baby has to go through this- sit with your feelings for a while.

If you need a good cry, go for it! Get the worry and frustration out so you can reclaim your positivity and keep moving forward.

Trying to Do It All

NICU parents are some of the strongest people I’ve ever met, but that doesn’t mean they never need help! If you’re lucky enough to have family and friends that want to help you out during this challenging time, let them!!

Say yes to all those wonderful offers of meals, errands, childcare or pet care. You have a LOT on your plate right now, and you don’t need to try to do it all single-handedly. Let others give you a helping hand so you can focus your time and attention on your baby. Unsure of what to ask for? We’ve assembled 12 Ways to Support a NICU Family that you can share!

The NICU journey is an adventure like no other, and it takes a very strong person to navigate all the ups and downs. Traumatic birth, preemie, or otherwise! You are truly rising to the challenge, and your baby knows it!

Take some time to yourself. Take a few minutes to breathe and relax. Take time to meditate. Remember you can't pour from an empty cup. When you take care of yourself, you’re far better equipped to take care of your baby!