Middelfart, Børnesygeplejerskers Landskonference, Maj 2012 Objective: To investigate the lived experiences of neonatal nurses, that is, what it is like to be a neonatal nurse after developmental care is introduced in the unit. Methods: The study was designed as a qualitative interview study with a hermeneuticphenomenological approach. Participants were seven neonatal nurses working in an 18-bed level 2 and 3 neonatal unit at a tertiary university hospital in Denmark. Developmental care was recently introduced in the unit, parents spend many hours a day with their baby and stay overnight in guestrooms at the hospital. Results: The essential theme of the phenomenon being a neonatal nurse is found to be ‘walking the line between the possible and the ideal’. Five themes illuminate this essence. They are: ‘being attentive to the infant and the mother—infant dyad’, ‘the body tells’, ‘time is everything’, ‘working in a quiet and caring, crowded and distressing space’, and ‘teamwork — demanding or smooth and helpful’. Conclusion: Introducing developmental care in a neonatal unit changes neonatal nurses’ experiences of caring for infants and mother—infant dyads. The meaning of body, time, space and relationships are decisive and deserve to be included in nurses’ and nurse leaders’ discussion about developmental and family centred neonatal care.