Premature Baby Development


What is Developmental Care?

When a baby is born prematurely, they leave the dark, quiet, painless, serine intrauterine environment much too early and enter a world filled with noise, bright lights, and painful stimuli. Their immature organs are required to function long before they are ready and they are required to grow and develop in the artificial world we call the Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU).

Developmental care creates an environment that minimizes the stress an infant experiences in the NICU, while providing a developmentally appropriate experience for both the baby and the family.


By providing an individualized approach to the care of premature infants, developmental care practices promote optimal growth and maximize neurological development.


Approaches to Developmental Care include:

  • Protecting sleep while providing a healing environment.
  • Minimizing pain and stress.
  • Promoting optimal growth and maturation.
  • Providing cue based care.
  • supporting parents through family centered care.




Understanding your preemie as they grow and develop in the NICU:



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**The information provided to you on this site is to assist you as your baby progresses through their neonatal intensive care journey. This information does not replace that which is discussed between you and your baby's healthcare team. It is meant as a supplement and is not a substitute for medical advice. Please keep in mind that this information is a general guideline. Remember, no two babies are exactly alike and no two journeys are the same. Some babies may need complex long-term medical care, interventions, and therapies; for this reason there may be variations in the timing and progression of each individual baby.**