Nurses at Glan Clwyd Special Care Baby Unit producing diary keepsakes for families of babies in their care
Neonatal nurse Lisa Jones was inspired to develop the keepsakes after her baby was born prematurely and cared for at the hospital.
 
The diaries will record important milestones in babies’ development, such as their first bath, feed and smile, as well as progress made under the care of the unit’s staff.
 
In designing the leaflet, Lisa drew from her own experiences after her son Jacob was born at 29 weeks gestation, approximately eleven weeks premature.
 
After she had been unable to find a baby diary to chronicle his progress, she set about developing her own for families of babies on the unit following her return to work.
 
As well as helping parents to detail the progress their child makes on the unit, it also helps them to feel more involved in their care, chronicling milestones they may have missed by being unable to spend all of their time at the unit. 
 
Lisa said: “I’d worked here for a few years when I had a premature baby myself, but looking on the internet to find a diary to record everything I just couldn’t find what I was looking for.
 
“When I came back, I thought it would be good to have something for families to look back on to see exactly what’s going on.
 
“Not all parents can stay with their children at all times during their stay with us, and one of the big challenges which parents face is missing important milestones.
 
“By filling the diary in, we can help them to record and remember important steps in their baby’s development, like first smiles, baths, or wearing clothes for the first time.
 
The diaries feature two sections, one detailing treatments received and another with space for nurses to write updates on more general progress made by the babies.
 
“I’ve tried to put in what we need to know as a nurse and what I’d want to know as a parent, so there’s a really good record of each child’s time with us.” Lisa said.
 
“It goes right through over the first year of their lives so include everything you would have in a normal diary – their first Christmas, first birthday, and a tooth chart just to have as much recorded as possible.”
 
Mandy Cooke, Neonatal Services Manager, said: “Entries might include “I am breathing on a ventilator today” or “I am having naso-gastric tube feeds today”, which give parents an idea of the sort of treatment their babies are receiving.
 
“As well as recording their progress, it also gives parents an opportunity to find out more about the treatment their child receives, further helping them to feel involved in their care.
 
“We hope that families with us can look back on the diaries in years to come and take great pride in the progress their babies have made.”
 
“We’re keen to make sure everything we do is focussed on family centred care, which focusses on providing support to both our babies and their families, and meet National Neonatal Standards.”
 
Work is taking place to develop the SuRNICC (Sub-regional Neonatal Intensive Care Centre) at Glan Clwyd Hospital. The £18m Welsh Government funded project will provide care for very sick and premature babies from across North Wales.