Children's Therapy Inpatient Services and NICU Followup Clinic

Bonding, Feeding, Motor Skills: Fragile Babies Benefit from Early Intervention by Neonatal Therapists 

Premature babies struggle with circumstances that may impact the development of their feeding, motor, sensory and attachment systems. While in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), they are cared for by a dedicated team of professionals—at Valley Medical Center that team includes therapists from the Children's Therapy Department. Follow up care for infants discharged from the NICU is provided by Children's Therapy.

Occupational therapists, physical therapists and speechlanguage pathologists work in our NICU six days each week, collaborating withmedical staff and nurses to provide evaluation and treatment of these fragile babies. Therapists work to improve feeding skills, promote optimal positioning, promote motor development, regulate arousal level, and assist parents in bonding with their new babies.

Our therapy staff also works to link up babies and their families to our NICU follow-up clinic for continued care after discharge. Early intervention and work with therapy staff in the NICU is key to promoting overall development and outcomes for these infants.

Research Opportunity

Researchers at Seattle Children's are currently recruiting infants (under 6months) to study brain development during the first three years of life. To qualify, the infant has to be under 6 months and born weighing 4lbs 6oz or less. For more information on the study please click here.

Other Resources for Families and Caregivers 


  • NICU Words - dictionary of common NICU medical terminology
  • Connect2NICU - provides a dictionary of terms used in the NICU Unit and descriptions of the kind of caregivers you will meet while your child is in care there
  • Baby Age Calculator - Easily find your baby's adjusted age
  • My Baby Today - tools and information to help you be the best parent possible in your baby's first year
  • Aimee's Babies Newborn, Three, Six, and Twelve month apps - Early childhood development, founded by a pediatric occupational therapist, for parents, therapists, pediatricians, and anyone trying to give a child the best start possible.

Parent Support

  • PEPS (Program for Early Parent Support): Free, 12-week support program offered by Children's Therapy. Coming soon — watch for details!


  • - Created to provide support to parents as they face the emotional journey of the NICU; empowering parents with knowledge, offering support, and encouragement along the way.
  •  Feeding Matters - Brings together the parents of infants and children who struggle with eating and the physicians who treat them, including provider and resource directories.
  • - Provides comprehensive navigation resources and support programs to parents of preemies, babies born with special health care needs, and those who have experienced a loss due to these or other complications.