A THOUGHTFUL neonatal nurse has designed a diary to help families keep track of their babies’ progress during a stay in hospital.

Lisa Jones, who works at neonatal nurse at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan, was inspired to develop the keepsakes after her own 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.

Lisa created the personal log after not being able to find a diary herself to log the progress of her son Jacob, who was born at 29 weeks gestation - about 11 weeks premature.

She set about making her own diary following her return to work. As well as helping parents to detail the progress their child makes on the unit, the creation also aims to help them 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 - on detailing treatments received and another with space for nurses to write updates on more general progress.

"I've tried to put in what we need to now to 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 added.

Mandy Cooke, neonatal services manager, said: "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."

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.