Please Volunteer to Be a NICU Baby Cuddler

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If you have the love and the time, you may find that your special calling in the world is being a “baby cuddler” at a local hospital. I’m going to tell you what that means and how you can help.

What Is a Baby Cuddler?

It is exactly what it sounds like. Volunteers go into NICU units in hospitals around the country and hold babies.

Sometimes babies in the NICU don’t have parents there with them 24/7. It’s understandable that Mom and Dad have to go home to be with their other kids, or go to a job, or just need to get some much-needed sleep. Having you stand in the gap and love on their baby when they can’t be there will give those parents so much solace.

Some babies are born of drug-addicted moms who may be neither willing nor capable of giving the special kind of love babies need. Those babies can suffer all sorts of horrible problems that fall under the heading of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

NAS may mean that a baby is born prematurely, or that it has seizures and/or birth defects. Some babies have tremors, tight muscles, vomiting, sleep problems, and trouble eating and breathing. Babies from moms who abused drugs are also prone to high-pitched, excessive crying.

If I’m being honest, it’s hard for me to even write about. Picturing those tiny, precious angels suffering from such violent and ugly problems hurts me so badly, I can barely think about it. You probably feel the same way.

Before I go any further, if you or someone you love is pregnant and addicted to drugs or alcohol, there is help for you. Talk to your doctor right away and click here to find help through your state.

As a baby cuddler volunteer, your job is to give babies what doctors say is so very important – skin to skin contact and human comfort.

You don’t walk around with the baby, nor do you feed it. You’ll sit with it and simply be present. You can sing, or talk, rock or pat. Doesn’t matter so long as that fragile treasure feels loved and safe in the arms of someone who cares.

The hospital where you volunteer will train you, but you already know the most important part.

Your love is genuinely healing.

When a baby is swaddled safely in the arms of someone who cares, science has proven again and again and again that healing is happening.

There is no higher calling than to love one another, and loving a baby is a legacy we can leave that could potentially last for generations. An infant who is loved can grow into a Mom or Dad who has children and then grandchildren.

How to Become a Baby Cuddler

Don’t expect to show up at a NICU and pick up a baby. For good reason, that’s not the way volunteering as a baby cuddler works.

Each hospital has its own rules and needs. Sometimes hospitals will call upon the public via TV interviews or on hospital websites. I would suggest that you call the hospitals in your area and speak to someone in charge of volunteer services.

You can also visit Born to Kuddle where you’ll find a state by state list of volunteering opportunities.

Would you like to be a baby cuddler? Have you already volunteered in a NICU? Please share your ideas and experiences in the comments. If you have additional info that would help folks find a way to help, tell us about it.

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297 comments on “Please Volunteer to Be a NICU Baby Cuddler”

  1. Deborah Mclean

    I would love to be a baby cuddler. I taught at a pre school for 24 years and loved every moment of it. This is something that I’ve always wanted to do.

  2. I’d love to be a baby cuddler! I looked into doing this and then covid hit. I’m a retired psych RN. I’ve taken care of the adults withdrawing. It breaks my heart for babies to be born addicted and want to do anything I can to help them.

  3. Charlene Hupp

    This is my calling, my love for children is beyond words.
    My one and only was born 7 weeks early and stayed in nicu a couple months.
    I have cared for multiple children for 27 years and loved every day and every moment.
    I would love the opportunity to love and cuddle these babies.❤️

  4. Regina Noriega

    I just love this program I never heard about it before reading it on Facebook but my husband and I have adopted a set of twins that were born addicted to drugs my sister was their biological mother they are now 22 years old they were born premature with lots of problems but we were there every day and every night until we were able to bring them home we love our children so much and we know it was the love that felt from us that kept them fighting for their lives! My husband would tell them stories and read books, I would sing to them but most of all we would pray for them! We believe Hod placed them in our lives, we have 5 older children and at the time of our twins be born our daughters were 16 & 14 and our older sons were in the military, so God pick us to be their loving family! I would love to become a baby cuddler to help other babies in this world.

  5. Katherine Nemecek

    I am a retired elementary school teacher who LOVES children! I have 2 grandbabies of my own. I have recently moved to Charleston and am looking for a way to give back.

  6. To help out other mamas ( and dads) and paying it forward to all those who have helped me with more preemie babies and everything I went though. I’d be so honoured to help out.