Study Finds Mother's Voice Helps NICU Babies Sleep Better

Babies who have to spend the first few weeks of their lives in a NICU can be helped greatly just by hearing the sound of their mother's voice.

Having a baby is one of the most amazing and magical times for any individual. However, all too many of us know that it doesn't always go as smoothly as planned. If a baby is born early then he or she will likely have to spend a little time in an incubator in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). It may seem horrible and parents may feel helpless, but it is needed to help them finish growing and developing.

There are a lot of rules in the NICU that can be hard on new moms and dads, but that are imperative to follow. New parents are allowed minimal contact with their babies and since they are only a handful of days old, all that one may want to do is hold them and take them home. Parents can be with their little ones a lot of the time, but even the best of us can't sit there 24/7. We have to eat, go to the bathroom, and may even have other kids at home that need us.


via tesco-baby.com

What makes the whole process even more tricky and painful is the baby's need to be near their mom. While being in the NICU is obviously necessary for a premature baby's health, the newborn may struggle to sleep while away from his or her mother. There is a reason that babies fall asleep when being held close to their moms and gently rocked.

While you may not be able to have the contact that you want and need with your newborn, you may still be able to help them to get some rest. As reported by Belly Belly, researchers at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital discovered that hearing mom's voice can be just as important as feeling her presence. Various hospital noises can disrupt a premature baby's sleep, but their mother's voice can get them right back off to dreamland.

If you one day find yourself in a position where you have a baby in the NICU, or are in that position now, these tips may very well put your mind at ease, at least a little bit anyway. If you can't hold your newborn, then simply talking to him or her will do more good than you know. Plus, if the hospital staff will allow it, a recording of yourself being played to your baby may also work wonders in helping them to get their much-needed sleep.


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