Supporting you when your baby is sick or premature

More than 1 in every 10 UK babies is born prematurely or sick. As well as professional support there’s so much 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, however there are so many ways you can make a real difference to their health and wellbeing.

Small Wonders are 12 bite-size films following families and their journey in neo-natal units.

Topics covered:

  • Birth
  • First hours
  • Expressing breast milk
  • Holding your baby
  • Your time in hospital
  • Feeding independently
  • Preparing for home
  • First months at home
  • Twins and triplets
  • Bereavement

What is Small Wonders?

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

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

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

We have worked closely with over 200 families, experts and endorsing organisations to produce these films and the DVD has been endorsed by over 20 organisations, including UNICEF and RCPCH.

How do I watch Small Wonders?

For a quick look at the Small Wonders, click here. You can also watch online on the Baby Buddy app, on our YouTube channel, and on the desktop version of Baby Buddy.  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.

Ways parents can participate in their baby’s care:

  • Regular skin-to-skin/kangaroo care. Skin-to-skin contact reduces susceptibility to infection and 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

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 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 have had a premature baby 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!"

"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.”

Want to know more about Small Wonders?

Visit the Small Wonders Impact and Evaluation page.

To find out how Best Beginnings can work with you in your are and use our Small Wonders resources email Nilu, our Head of Evaluation and Impact at [email protected]