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When can I visit my baby in the NICU?

Parents are encouraged to spend as much time as possible with their babies in the NICU. The NICU social worker can talk to you about accommodations that are available for parents such as cots, recliners or nearby housing such as the Carolyn Scott Rainbow House, used exclusively by the families of Children's patients.

Siblings must be at least 3 years of age and toilet trained to visit. Any child under the age of 14 entering the Family Waiting Room must be screened by hospital staff at the reception desk in the waiting room. Brothers and sisters of the baby (siblings) may be at the bedside if you think the experience will be a positive one.

To keep noise, lighting and other outside stimuli to a minimum (which are critical to your infant's proper development), you should limit the number of people who visit at one time. There is a sound level detector in the ceiling of the unit, which flashes red when the noise level is too high. Please consider this when having several visitors at the bedside.

The most important way we can protect babies from infection is the use of good hand washing. All family members and visitors should wash their hands using the sinks at the entrances to the NICU each time they enter the unit and as needed.

In addition, it is important to make sure that no one who visits the baby is sick. This includes anyone with a runny nose, cough, cold, fever, sore throat or diarrhea. They should not visit until they feel better. Even a simple cold can cause major problems for a baby.