Explain to Parents the Effects of Excess Environmental Stress on the Infant.
Provide a list of signs of stress for their infant.
Teach them to terminate stimulation if infant shows signs of stress.
Instruct parents to, when providing developmental intervention(s):
Offer only when the infant is alert (if possible, show parents examples of alert and not alert).
Begin with one stimulus at a time (touch, voice).
Provide intervention for a short time.
Increase interventions according to infant’s cues.
Provide frequent, short interventions instead of infrequent, long-term ones.
Explain to Parents the Developmental Needs of Infants.
Stimulation (visual, auditory, vestibular, tactile, olfactory, gustatory)
Periods of alertness
Explain, Role-Model, and Observe Parents Engaging in Developmental Interventions.
High-contrast colors, geometric shapes (eg, black and white shapes on paper mobile); up to 4 weeks, simple mobiles of four dessert-size paper plates with stripes, four-square checkerboards, a black dot, and a simple bull’s eye, hung 10 to 13 inches from baby’s eyes.
Use high-pitched vocalizations.
Play classical music softly.
Use a variety of voice inflections.
Avoid loud talking.
Call infant by name.
Avoid monotone speech patterns.
Rock baby in chair.
Place infant in sling and rock.
Close infant’s fist around a soft toy.
Slowly change position during handling.
Provide head support.
Use firm, gentle touch as initial approach.
Use skin-to-skin contact in a warm room.
Provide alternative textures (eg, sheepskin, velvet, satin).
Avoid stroking if responses are disorganized.
Wear a light perfume.
Allow non-nutritive sucking (eg, pacifier, hand in mouth).
Promote Adjustment and Stability to Caregiving Activities (Blackburn & Vandenberg, 1993; Merenstein & Gardner, 1998).
Enter room slowly.
Turn on light and open curtains slowly.
Avoid waking baby if he or she is asleep.
Keep room warm.
Gently change position: contain limbs during movement.
Stop changing if infant is irritable.
Time feedings with alert states.
Eliminate unnecessary noise.
Hold infant close and, if needed, swaddle in blanket.
Ventral openness may be stressful. Cover body parts not being bathed.
Proceed slowly; allow for rest.
Offer a pacifier or hand to suck.
Eliminate unnecessary noise.
Use a soft, soothing voice.
Explain Need to Reduce Environmental Stimuli When Taking Infant Outside
Shelter eyes from light.
Swaddle the infant so his or her hands can reach the mouth.
Protect from loud noises.
Praise Parent(s) on Interaction Patterns; Point Out Infant’s Engaging Responses
Initiate Health Teaching and Referrals if Needed
Explain that developmental interventions will change with maturity. Refer to Delayed Growth and Development
for specific age-related developmental needs.
Provide parent(s) with resources for assistance at home (eg, community resources).