Visiting Your Baby
Parents are encouraged to visit their baby as often as they wish. In order to ensure the best care for all our babies, please follow the following visitation guidelines:
Visitors must be free from illness to protect the babies in the NICU. Please be aware that the visitation policy may be temporarily altered during potentially high-risk infectious disease seasons, such as the flu season. We thank you for your understanding.
In order to prevent infection and promote the health of your baby, ALL VISTORS to the NICU must do a three-minute scrub prior to entering the NICU. A scrub sink and supplies are located near the entrance to the NICU.
No food or drinks are allowed in the NICU, and all cell phones must be turned OFF before entering.
Visiting can occur all day, with these exceptions:
- No visiting is allowed between 6 am - 8 a.m. or 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day due to shift change
- No visiting is allowed on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. -11 a.m. due to Care Planning Rounds
- If visiting the NICU after 8 pm, please enter through the Emergency Department.
Visiting is open to parents, family, and friends. A parent or banded partner must always be present at the bedside for any other visitors to be allowed. No more than three people per family may be at the bedside at one time, including the parent(s).
The NICU staff may ask visitors to temporarily leave the bedside at any given time. This right may be exercised due to medically necessary procedures or an emergency involving your infant or any other patient in the NICU.
Siblings of the baby may visit if they are 3 years or older. An up-to-date immunization card must be presented prior to sibling visitation. We ask to that sibling visitations be limited to 30 minutes.
All visitors must remain at the bedside of the baby they are visiting. This is to ensure confidentiality and privacy of the NICU babies and their families.
NICU Sibling Visitation
Siblings are permitted to visit is permitted once each day for 30 minutes. Sibling visits, however, may need to be cut short or canceled if a baby's condition requires it or if an emergency in the NICU requires attention. Please check with your baby's nurse each day about sibling visitations.
There are other rules about sibling visitations in place to protect the health of our NICU babies, including the following:
- Siblings must be at least 3 years of age or older, and must be accompanied AT ALL TIMES by an additional supervising adult, different from the visiting parent.
- No more than three visitors are allowed at the NICU bedside at any one time, including parents, siblings, and the sibling'Äôs supervising adult.
- Siblings are not allowed to hold their brother or sister.
- To protect the NICU babies, sibling visitation is permitted only after an up-to-date immunization card has been reviewed by the nurse and a 'Sibling Screening Record' has been completed by the parent and placed in the medical record.
- No other children may visit in the NICU. Children who accompany visitors and are not siblings must remain in the family waiting room outside the NICU.
- Siblings less than 3 years of age may use the small NICU waiting room while parents complete their visit with their NICU baby only IF they are accompanied by another adult.
The single most important way to prevent infection in the NICU is to wash your hands thoroughly. We ask everyone to do a 3-minute scrub of their hands and forearms whenever they enter the NICU. You will need to remove bracelets and watches prior to scrubbing. Use the scrub brushes provided at the scrub sink when you enter the unit. At each bedside is alcohol gel hand sanitizer. Please use it immediately before and after touching your baby. If you have more than one baby in the NICU, be sure to use the alcohol gel between babies.
When you visit in the NICU please keep all purses, backpacks, cameras, etc. with you at all times. You may hang up coats or sweaters on the hooks as you enter the NICU in order to wash your hands, but it is best to keep all of your belonging with you at the baby's bedside to insure things do not get lost or disappear.
Your baby will have a monitor, and you may hear the alarms go off quite often. Alarms do not necessarily mean that your baby is in trouble; sometimes these alarms are set off because your baby is moving around. Your nurse will be monitoring the equipment closely and will explain to you what they mean, and how they work.