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Experts may recommend keeping screentime at a minimum for kids under two, but for infants in the NICU, some time with an iPad is just what the doctor ordered.

The early days in the hospital with a premature baby can be a stressful and difficult time for new parents. There are a lot of challenges, one of which is finding ways to bond with a baby when sometimes parents aren’t even able to have much physical contact. But technology is coming to the aide in a new bonding method that some hospitals are starting to adopt.

At Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, parents are able to spend some one-on-one time with their newborns thanks to iPads. When babies are kept in isolation they miss out on crucial time to bond with parents. Using FaceTime, which the nurses have dubbed “BabyTime”, allows both babies and parents to benefit from interaction. It helps minimize the stress new moms feel about not being able to be with their babies. “Even though I couldn’t hold her, she stopped crying when she heard my voice,” Rachel Little, one of the first moms to use the program said.

“We needed to connect mothers to their babies’ care when they couldn’t physically be there. This technology proved the best solution,” Julius Caceres, RN who helped develop the program explained. “When doctors and nurses are treating a newborn in the NICU, mom now can be right there asking questions and getting updates, even if she’s on a different floor.” The hospital is now working to expand the program and add more iPads after its successful launch earlier this year.

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