Your Baby: Preparing to Visit
Newborn babies, especially premature infants, are at high risk for infection. Here are important steps that you and your family members can take when visiting the NICU. Carefully following these procedures will help protect your baby and maintain a safe environment in the NICU.
- As soon as you enter the NICU and before you visit your baby, you'll need to go through a thorough hand-cleansing process.
If you are visiting twins or triplets, for example, you must wash between visiting each baby.
Your nurse will teach you how to best use the sanitizing foam.
Always wash your hands before and after changing diapers, and before touching or feeding your baby.
Remember to wash your hands when coming into direct contact with breast milk whether breastfeeding or pumping.
- Remove watches, jewelry and jackets and roll up your sleeves past your elbows.
- Open the scrub brush packet, take out the blue stick and use it to clean under your nails.
- Once you have cleaned under your nails, put some soap and water on the sponge side of the brush and lather it up.
- Scrub from your fingers to your elbows for a minimum of three minutes, using the clock on the wall as a time reference.
- Leave your sleeves rolled up for the entire visit.
- Parents may visit their baby anytime except during shift changes (daily between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m., 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. and 11:00 and 11:30 p.m.; and on Thursdays between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. when our NICU team members are conducting patient rounds.
- All visitors must wash their hands after entering the NICU and before visiting the baby. (Please see the Preparing to Visit Your Baby section in this binder.)
- There should be no more than two visitors at your baby's bedside at one time. You will be asked to provide a list of people who can visit your baby in the NICU when you are absent. For security reasons, we may need to check photo ID so please ask your visitors to bring ID with them.
- Our nurses perform cluster care with your infant. Please check in with your NICU nurse to help them coordinate daily activities.
- Premature and ill newborns are vulnerable to infections. In order to protect them, visitors of all ages who are ill must first check in with the Charge Nurse. The Charge Nurse will determine if a visit at that time is safe for your baby.
- In order to ensure confidentiality, our medical staff is unable to share information with anyone other than the parents.
- Physicians and Charge Nurses have the authority to restrict visits based on the situation in the NICU at the time (in emergency medical situations and occasionally during admissions, for example).
- Siblings younger than 3 years old are welcome to visit for brief periods of time. We suggest that children of this age be accompanied by an adult who is not the parent of the baby so that you can focus on your baby.
- We recommend that an adult, preferably a parent, accompany siblings who are younger than 12 years old. Visits by children who are not siblings should be avoided.
- The Sibling Visitation Checklist, which is located in your admission packet, must be completed along with a copy of an immunization record must be recorded in your baby's chart before a sibling can visit.