Solihull Approach | Parenting

Online courses

Free online resource for parents of NICU babies making a difference one year on


Solihull Approach

As Infant Mental Health Awareness week returns, the Solihull Approach have published new research on the impact of their free online learning resource for parents of babies receiving neonatal care. Presented this week at the 2024 World Association of Infant Mental Health Congress in Finland and published in the congress journal, the study of online learning outcomes highlights the positive improvements for parents. 

As the congress spotlights the critical importance of mental wellbeing from the earliest stages of life, the attention is also on parent wellbeing and the importance of supporting early relationships. The online courses, Understanding your preterm or sick baby, feature tailored versions for when in hospital and returning home and are available on the learning platform, Both courses are designed with neonatal care specialists and psychologists to support parents to manage the emotional pressures of premature birth or early illness as well as to support them to care for and nurture their newborn.  

Feedback from almost 200 parents’ responses shows significant improvements noted in feelings of calmness, support, hopefulness, usefulness, and closeness to their baby. The incourse feedback also showed: 

For parents of premature or sick babies, the NICU period is especially significant for their new relationship and for nurturing emotional health. When a baby arrives prematurely or with health complications, parents often find themselves navigating a sea of practical information. Yet, the emotional aspect—how to bond with and support their baby—is often overlooked in a clinical context. These courses address this gap by focusing on the emotional well-being of both parents and their babies. 

In their feedback on the course, parents shared: 

The babies are not born yet but this course is making me feel a lot more confident about bringing them home and understanding what and when my babies needs anything.

” I feel more bonded with my baby now after I have completed this course.

” I have learned so many new things about my baby. This course is really helpful.

Dr Hazel Douglas MBE, course co-creator and Director of the Solihull Approach said: Babies need relationships with loving caregivers from birth to grow and thrive. The NICU environment and additional physical health support needs can sometimes create a barrier for parents and we wanted to support them to understand how important they still are. These resources are designed to offer practical support for parents to learn new ways of connecting with their babies, to build their confidence and as a result look after their mental wellbeing and that of their new baby. It’s fantastic to see the difference this is making in the early feedback assessment  

Available to all UK residents for free on, course highlights include:

Understanding your preterm or sick baby in hospital

Developed by a team of clinical psychologists, child psychotherapists, and health visitors, this course incorporates expertise from professionals and insights from parents who have been through similar experiences.

Key modules include:

Understanding your preterm or sick baby now you're home

This course offers a blend of practical advice and developmental insights, covering topics such as feeding, sleeping, and crying. Crafted by clinical psychologists, child psychotherapists, health visitors, and parents with lived experience, it aims to foster a strong, connected relationship with the baby.

Key modules include:

Both courses are available online for access any time, anywhere and are completely free to make them accessible to all parents, grandparents, and other carers. With translations in 108 languages and an English voiceover, the course ensures that vital information is accessible to a diverse audience.  

Solihull Approach

The Solihull Approach is about emotional health and wellbeing for all children, their parents, carers and grandparents. We are passionate about sensitive relationships, early years support and understanding brain development to help nurture kind, emotionally aware children as they grow.

For media enquiries, please contact Samantha Williams, Head of Marketing and Communications, | +44(0)7500817702