I have a question for all you experienced NICU nurses: is there some reason to avoid picking up and holding certain babies? In our unit, we recently had a full-term baby. He was in an open crib and not on a vent. The poor thing would cry frequently. When I took care of him, I would hold him and rock him as often as I could. Luckily, the nights that I was assigned to him, I had only one other patient who was pretty stable and slept through the night so I could give him a lot of attention.
A few other nurses made comments about "spoiling" him, or asking if there was a problem that required me to hold him? Ironically, these were the same nurses who complained about how they didn't like taking care of this baby because he was so irritable. But when he was held, he was very content!
Also, we had a baby who was born prematurely and was with us for several months. As he got bigger, he was stable and moved to an open crib. He was with us for a long time because he got an MRSA infection. I was assigned to care for him often, and would spend a lot of time holding and rocking him because he would cry a lot when left alone in the crib. Again, comments from certain nurses about holding him so much.
Please note, in our unit we must wear isolation gowns whenever we pick up any baby, so they don't get "contaminated" by our clothing, and vice versa. And the baby with MRSA was in isolation, away from the non-infected babies.
Now, of course, with small unstable preemies you not only can’t hold them, but you must limit your contact so they don’t get stressed. But is there a reason to not hold big stable babies? Actually, it seems to me that when they are rocked to sleep, their sleep is much deeper and longer than when they cry themselves to sleep.
One more question-why do some nurses hold babies away from them in their lap, with the baby facing them during bottle feeding? Is there some reason to avoid holding a baby against you (one arm supporting them, their head in the crook of your elbow)?