Infant- and family-centred developmental care

Developmental support consists of a variety of intervention strategies in addition to medical care, to protect and promote the growth and development of a baby. Developmental care includes among others the control of external stimuli, specific supportive behavioural techniques such as the positioning of the baby, skin-to-skin care, or the integration of parents in care activities and in the decision-making regarding the baby’s treatment and care. Developmentally supportive care creates a neonatal unit environment that minimises stress for the baby, the parents and healthcare professionals. It reduces pain and provides a developmentally appropriate sensory experience for the individual baby. Studies suggest that babies who receive developmentally supportive care may stay in hospital for less time and gain weight better.

Development of senses – from the first touch to recognising the mother’s voice

Recognising the baby's signs – signs that show that a baby feels comfortable or uncomfortable

Body temperature – why controlling the baby’s body temperature is so important

Pain management – different strategies to reduce and manage pain in newborns

Positioning – optimised positioning is a good method to minimise stress and to promote breathing, digestion, and circulation

Sleep stages – understanding the different sleep stages for better interaction with the baby

The family in the NICU – what support do they need to cope with the difficult situation?

Skin-to-skin care – how parents can achieve an emotional connection with their baby and build a long-lasting bond

Digital support – mobile apps and web camera systems

EFCNI Rights of parents and newborns – a list of 14 demands EFCNI makes on behalf of all newborns and their parents