Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program

Hospitals around the world are increasingly offering NIDCAP,
which all hospitalized newborns and infants and their families deserve
Your hospital may be one of them

Regardless of the hospital that is caring for your infant,
your healthcare team is dedicated to caring for your baby and your family

On this website,
you will find NIDCAP care suggestions and resources
to support you and your baby to

Get to know one another in the hospital
as you build a close and trusting relationship


As a key member of your baby’s healthcare team, consider asking a lot of questions and letting the nurses, doctors and other professionals know that you want to participate in caregiving 

When an infant comes into the world prematurely or ill, requiring a hospital intensive care unit (ICU) as the first nursery, that experience thrusts the whole family into uncharted territory.

The ICU may be a shocking place – bright lights, cold temperatures, loud sounds, a tangle of tubes and, regrettably, experiences of discomfort and pain and, for the family, fear and uncertainty.

More importantly, these experiences, both physical and emotional, may interfere with healthy development.

  • From decades of observing infants, Dr. Heidelise Als (Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital) and her colleagues pioneered a way to understand the infant
  • Based on these observations, NIDCAP was developed to create supportive, developmentally appropriate hospital environments for preterm and medically at-risk infants and their families
  • NIDCAP is vital to healthy development
  • Informs our unique caregiving approach
  • Teaches us what the infant expects for comfort, wellbeing and sense of security
  • Partners with each family and the healthcare professional team with the infant as an active participant
10 Pearls of Wisdom

NIDCAP helped to change our son Brandon’s life. My hope is that every family whose baby must be in a newborn intensive care unit can access this program. We believe it’s vital to the development of every child!

—Vicki Bjornson, Mother


For more resources for families of prematurely born infants or ill infants, please visit these other pages on our website:

10 Pearls of Wisdom Books, Websites & More Directory of Family Organizations

Testimonials Videos and Podcasts Family Membership Information