Building a healthy relationship with your newborn depends on your ability to interpret your baby’s subtle messages and to recognize when to offer the comfort of your face, voice, or gentle touch. Babies in the intensive care nursery can appear so fragile that many parents are hesitant to touch and hold them. The Gentle Hands Program teaches parents how to touch, hold, massage, and bathe their baby—using their infant’s signs of readiness as a guide. Children's Hospital Oakland's child development specialists help parents gain confidence caring for their infant by encouraging bonding moments. Research shows us that medically-challenged infants who receive touch may feed better, sleep more, have greater weight gain, and go home faster.