Having your baby in the NICU might make you feel distant, but in reality, there are plenty of opportunities to bond with the baby and take a part in his or her care. Even if your baby is in an isolette and too fragile for you to hold, you can always touch and talk to him or her.
If you can hold your baby, the neonatologist may encourage skin-to-skin contact. This technique, also called kangaroo care, means that you open your shirt and hold your diaper-clad baby directly against your chest. Some doctors believe this type of contact can shorten a baby's stay in the NICU.
For other opportunities to get close, learn your baby's routine and find out where you can help, whether it's changing diapers or giving baths.