Volunteering as a “baby cuddler” in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a unique form of community service with benefits for the volunteer as well as for infants and their families, and a great way to bring a sense of purpose to retirement.
Cuddling Helps Babies Develop
Volunteers provide a critical service; a staff member at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Florida, explained to a local TV station that “when infants get extra attention and cuddle time between parent visits and medical rounds they gain weight more quickly, develop stronger cognitive skills, and reach [developmental] milestones at faster rates.” And, as the opioid crisis deepens in the United States more children, many with their own health challenges, are born to addicted mothers just as they begin their own rehab battles, leaving children especially vulnerable.
Cuddlers May Experience Euphoria!
If you don’t have grandchildren of your own or grandchildren nearby, it’s a great way to get the baby fix we all need, and as you hold the child you’re likely to release endorphins and experience euphoria.
Look online for baby cuddler opportunities near you, and expect a thorough background check and training program before you get started.
(More Tuesday Tips here.)