"Absolutely fantastic films. Very informative and a great insight into what’s to come when having a premature baby. So glad that I got a chance to watch these as it really helped myself and my partner.” 
~ mum to a premature baby

An introduction to Small Wonders:

Supporting you when your baby is sick or premature

More than one in every ten UK babies is born prematurely or sick. And there’s a lot that you as a parent – and some things that only you as a parent – can do to make a real difference to your baby’s chances of growing up fit and strong.

It can be very distressing to be told when you’re pregnant that your baby is likely to be born prematurely (too early). However there are lots of things you can do to help care for your baby and evidence shows this can make a real difference to their health and wellbeing. 

The 12 Small Wonders films, each in bite-size chapters:

Small Wonders is a series of twelve films that follow fourteen families through their experience of having a baby on a neonatal unit. You can also download the supporting Small Wonders Booklet.

  1. Introduction (7 minutes) 
  2. Birth (11 minutes)
  3. First hours (20 minutes)
  4. Expressing breast milk (24 minutes)
  5. Holding your baby (19 minutes)
  6. Your time in hospital (20 minutes)
  7. Feeding independently (19 minutes)
  8. Preparing for home (15 minutes)
  9. First Months at home (19 minutes)
  10. Twins and triplets (19 minutes)
  11. Bereavement (24 minutes)
  12. One year on (8 minutes)

What is Small Wonders? 

Seeing how other parents have coped in a similar situation can be comforting. Seeing them get involved in their baby's care can help you feel more confident to get involved in your own baby’s care once they are born. 

The films, endorsed by seven Royal Colleges and many charities, aim to support families of sick and premature babies through their experiences and forms the heart of a National Change Programme.  

Working closely with Small Wonders Champions, healthcare professionals and hospitals across the UK, our aim is to ensure that the DVDs are used effectively as a tool to enhance family-centred practices, and that all families receive the resource in a way that supports them to be at the cornerstone of their baby’s care.

Best Beginnings has supplied Small Wonders DVDs to around 150 neonatal units in hospitals across the UK. The films do address some sensitive situations, some of which may not be right for you at this time. If you are in doubt, ask the advice of your hospital staff first.  

We have worked closely with over 200 families, expert profes­sionals and endorsing organisations to produce these films and the DVD has been endorsed by over 20 organisations, including UNICEF and RCPCH. Small Wonders is the first set of films of its kind and follows real parents’ experiences of having a sick or premature baby.

How do I watch Small Wonders?

You can watch the Small Wonders films online, in our Baby Buddy app, on our YouTube channel, and on the desktop version of Baby Buddy.  You can also download the supporting Small Wonders Booklet.

You can buy copies of the Small Wonders DVD, which comes with the supporting booklet, from our online shop. If you are a parent of a sick or premature baby you can receive a copy of the DVD for free through your hospital. Most hospitals in England now have the DVDs but you can check by asking a member of staff or click here to see a list of which hospitals have the DVD.

As a parent you can participate in your baby’s care at the earliest opportunity, including:

  • regular skin-to-skin / kangaroo care (skin-to-skin contact reduces susceptibility to infection, can help to stabilise a baby’s temperature and reduce the length of hospital stay. It also improves awareness and helps mother to produce milk)
  • providing and feeding breast milk to your baby, for example, through expressing (breast milk is very important because it reduces infections and advances mental and emotional development)
  • providing comforting touch and comfort holding (time spent holding or touching your sick or premature baby allows you to bond, which increases your baby’s responsiveness and lets you get to know one another)
  • day-to-day care such as nappy changing or bathing your baby.

Kangaroo Care:

Parents talk about why Small Wonders is needed: 

Best Beginnings collaborates with other organisations to ensure that families receive the best possible support. For more information regarding premature and sick babies, visit the Bliss website or call their Family Support Helpline for free on 0500 618140.

What do mums and dads think of Small Wonders?

"I found the films useful as I am in a similar situation as some of the parents and it gives a good idea of what to expect. I think it was helpful for mothers and fathers who are preparing for home as it gives you an idea of what to expect once your baby is home."

"I have had a premature baby previously but I learnt a lot from watching these films. There are a MUST for parents who haven’t had previous experience of a neonatal unit. Really good!"

If you are a healthcare professional or would like to know more about Small Wonders and the National Change Programme:

Visit the Small Wonders Evidence, Impact and Evaluation page.