Volunteer baby rockers soothe hospitalized infants

PHOTO: A group of volunteers called "baby rockers" have been soothing newborns in the pediatric unit of Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals in Lincoln, Nebraska since 2010. PlayMadonna Rehabilitation Hospitals
WATCH Volunteer baby rockers soothe hospitalized infants

A group of volunteers called baby rockers are tending to the tiny residents of a Nebraska hospital's pediatric unit.

Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals in Lincoln started the program in 2010 after opening a new unit caring for infants and children.

"When these kiddos are here without their family members it's nice to know that the baby rockers are here for them," said Jody Macke, a nurse therapist in Madonna's pediatric unit. "We see a lot of children who have sustained head injuries for a variety of reasons. So when the babies are fussy and irritable, it helps when the baby rockers are there. It helps in their recovery."

Bess Jensen has been volunteering as a baby rocker for six years at Madonna. When babies come in, Jensen offers her love and care by consoling the young patients.

"I absolutely love it," Jensen, 73, told ABC News. "I won't give that up for anything. If they are a ward of the state, we rock them all the time, but we don't always have a baby in the hospital, so it's not an everyday thing. I am the first volunteer that rocked babies."

According to Marla Buresh, the volunteer resources coordinator, the volunteers work with infants recovering from illnesses and injuries.

"A baby rocker comes in, [and] we set up a calendar on their availability," Buresh told ABC News. "Some [babies] are abused, have medical issues, have been in a car accident. They get used to their voices and their touch. It soothes them. It calms them as they're rocking and singing to them."