A Parent's Guide to the NICU
Parenting in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
In most cases, you can be with your baby in the NICU at any time.
The staff of the NICU will give you instructions on special
techniques before entering the area. Sometimes, masks are needed.
Occasionally, during a procedure, or when the hospital staff are
making "rounds," parents may be asked to wait for a few minutes
before coming into the area. Although most NICUs permit visitation
of babies by other family members, limiting visitors is a good idea.
Many sick and premature babies are very susceptible to infection.
Siblings should be carefully checked for signs of colds or other
illness and be helped with handwashing before visiting their baby
brother or sister.
Most parents find that becoming involved with their baby's care
gives them a sense of control and helps them become closer to their
baby. This is also important for the baby, helping the baby feel
secure and loved. Once a baby's condition is stable, parents are
encouraged to hold and rock him/her. Staff in the NICU can show you
how to care for your baby in many ways. Learning these aspects of
care is helpful in preparing you to take your baby home.
Responses of Parents
Parenting your Premature Baby
Breastfeeding the High Risk Newborn
Things to Know Before