OBJECTIVE: To examine the correlation between mothers’ participation in infant care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and their anxiety and problem-solving skill levels in caregiving. METHODS: The cross-sectional study was conducted with 340 mothers whose babies were in the NICU. Data were collected with a questionnaire, a Participation in Caregiving Observation Form, the State and Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Problem-solving Skills Evaluation Form. Descriptive statistics and correlation analysis were used in the evaluation of the data. RESULTS: The mothers were with their babies an average of 6.28 +/- 2.43 (range: 1-20) times a day, participating in many basic procedures of care. A negative correlation was found between the mothers’ scores on the Participation in Caregiving Observation Form and their State and Trait Anxiety Inventory scores (respectively, r = -0.48, p < 0.001 and r = -0.12, p < 0.05), but a positive correlation was observed between the Problem-solving Process (r = 0.41, p < 0.001) and the Baby Care Skills (r = 0.24, p < 0.001) Subscale scores. CONCLUSIONS: The study revealed that mothers participated in many basic caregiving procedures in the NICU and this participation resulted in reduced state and trait anxiety levels and an improvement in the mothers' problem-solving skills with respect to baby care and related problems.