Monday, February 23, 2009

Mission 4 Monday- Baby Cuddlers


Baby cuddlers are needed in orphanages, neonatal hospital units, group homes, nurseries, and wherever else there are babies and young children who may not have adequate human contact early in life to begin developing social interaction skills.
Sometimes infants are removed from parental care at birth. This is especially true when the mother is addicted to drugs. The baby cuddler programs now in place at most children's hospitals grew out of the "crack baby" epidemic of the early 1990's. Touch is especially important for these tiniest of humans to develop into loving and caring adolescents and adults. You can make a life-long difference in their lives when you choose to become a baby cuddler.
When a baby is born too early, or has ailments that must be corrected shortly after birth, worried parents often can't be with their baby as often as they'd like to be. Often times, the baby is transferred to a specialized children's hospital far away from the parent's home. These parents, already highly stressed, may have other children to care for, and jobs they must keep to safeguard the family's way of life. You can provide the love and nurturing each baby needs so desperately while his or her parents must be away.
Children who have been deprived of close physical contact have lower levels of social-bonding hormones, according to
baby cuddler research by The University of Wisconsin and published in the National Academy of Sciences. Early cuddling is vital to a child's emotional well-being. Infants cared for by volunteer cuddlers may demonstrate greater growth, physiologic stability and have shorter hospital stays than babies without cuddling. You may be able to help a baby to develop social skills, increased learning ability, and stronger self-esteem. On the other hand, under-stimulated babies who have suffered neglect may struggle to form secure relationships when they are older.
As a volunteer baby cuddler, you would be specially trained to handle, hold, rock, and pat hospitalized infants. You would provide a foundation of care as you hold and soothe newborns and preemies. For instance, as part of the
baby cuddling program at the Oklahoma University Medical Center, a picture of a rocking chair is posted on the cribs of the infants who have been cuddled by volunteers, reassuring parents that their baby has been cuddled that day.
You can make a life-long difference in a child's future. Can you imagine what that means to the parents of these at-risk babies? By volunteering a little of your time to love babies back to health, you can also reduce the trauma their parents face day after day.

Baby cuddlers are needed around the world in hospitals, orphanages, and nurseries. Other opportunities to cuddle babies exist in group homes providing longer-term care to infants and children.
The training is usually free and available at most hospitals. Tuberculosis tests and background checks are usually mandatory for the protection of the babies.
To get started, simply use the
American Hospital Directory to call the hospital or long-term childcare facility nearest to you. Just ask to speak with a volunteer coordinator.
You may also want to consider cuddling babies overseas, perhaps at an orphanage, as part of a
volunteer vacation.
Opportunities abound to become a volunteer baby cuddler. With your help, many struggling and at-risk infants will start a better life.


Anonymous said...

Do you know if there is an age requirement for this or can preteens become involved too?

April said...

That is so great, Denise! I LOVE holding babies, so this might be something I'll look into. Have a wonderful Monday!♥

A Stone Gatherer said...

Now that is something I'm good at! I'll check into it in my area!

Debra said...


My Nonny worked at a hospital in the nursery and she used to love to cuddle the babies. This sounds like a wonderful ministry opportunity.

Blessings to you, my friend.

jcdisciple said...

Thanks for making me aware of this. My mom would LOVE THIS...I'm going to tell her about it.

Angela said...

Hey sweetie,,just wanted to give you the heads up about changing my Fearless Friday button to the new one...((hugs))

luvmy4sons said...

Who wouldn't love this job?! It is SO important!

bp said...

Another wonderful idea!
Praying for you this week.

Peggy said...

Blessings Denise...Awesome...I had never ever heard of "baby cuddlers" and how this would have helped me & the babies both! What a blessing this IS!!! Have you had the opportunity to do this where you are living? I think since we both
are without our own babies, we can so understand the pure JOY and importance of this nurturing! I never would have thought of this!
Fantastic family ministry & great MISSION 4 Monday! Love & cuddles!

Hi! I'm Grace said...

This is a good awareness, Denise. Thanks for this post. Have a happy Monday. :)

Laurie Ann said...

This is something I would NEVER tire of doing. I plan on doing this after I retire. I love baby-cuddling and the need is so there. I remember when my nephew was in pediatric ICU at our university hospital due to meningitis (sp?) and how many crack babies and abandoned babies there were that just needed to be rocked and loved on. What a privelege.

Anonymous said...

You are amazing, my friend, and I love you. This is a wonderful ministry and something so many don't know about. Thank you for bringing it to the attention of so many!

Esthermay said...

I'm going to share this with the ladies' groups ( too. Why not?) at my church. What a wonderful ministry!

Melanie said...

Wow.. what a great ministry! A baby cuddler... now I could do that and love every minute of it!

LauraLee Shaw said...

YOU have such a beautiful heart, dear Denise. And your blog look is GORGEOUS!!! ;)

Sarah said...

wow. what a great concept. I'm so thankful for people who can do this.
I am so afraid I would be unable to let go of them after I pick them up. :( My heart hurts so badly for babies/children in situations like this.