For the last year, the UCLH neonatal charity has provided each baby on its unit with a Zaky hand.

Used alongside carefully prepared nests made of bedding materials individual to each baby’s needs, these cleverly weighted hand-shape “cushions” snuggle around babies when their parents cannot hold them. The Zaky hands go some way to imitate the comfort of a cuddle with mum or dad, helping babies feel safe and reassured.

Gillian Kennedy, Speech and Language Therapist and NIDCAP Trainer on the neonatal unit, explains: “Newborn babies, especially those born early, need help with positioning. The Zaky hand can help a baby maintain a position which supports their own breathing effort; for example, helping the baby keep their head in line with their body so that their airway is neither squashed or too extended.”

Each Zaky hand costs £40.