36 to 40 weeks gestation

I am 36 to 40 weeks gestation


Touching and holding me

Prepare me for touch with a soft voice. Hold me in such a way that supports my arms and legs tucked close to my body and hands close to my face. Kangaroo care, holding me skin to skin on your chest.


Feeding me

My sucking, swallowing and breathing is more coordinated by this age and I am likely to waken for feeds. The environment around me during feeds should be calm so that I can focus. If I am tube fed, provide opportunities for me to nuzzle at your breast, or suck on my thumb or finger or a dummy as this will prepare me for suck feeding. Let me smell your milk by expressing a little spot onto the nipple before breast feeding as this will help encourage me to feed.  Feeding is a tiring activity, and at first I may only manage to suck a small amount of milk.



The ultimate goal before I go home is to be able to sleep on my back and be awake more during the day and sleep more at night. At home I should sleep lying on my back with no boundaries or supports around me. Good quality sleep between feeds is important for my growth and development.


Light and noise

I will show increasing times of being alert, awake and socially interactive. I can look at objects approximately 15cm away with particular interest in faces. Good daylight is important for visual development but bright lights should be avoided. At this stage I can listen best to voices when other noises around are kept to a minimum


As long as I am not unwell, now is the time to start building on all the things we have been doing. I should be gaining weight well and maintaining my own temperature in a cot. Talk to the nursing staff about structuring my day more i.e. day/ night/ bath time/ play time.


Soon we will be getting ready for you to take me home so it’s a good time to make sure that you have everything ready for me.