Children's Hospital Colorado

Preparing for a NICU Visit

Best Children's Hospital by US News Neonatology 2020-1 Badge

Welcome to Our NICU

We understand that families never expect to be the in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with their new baby. But we welcome you, nevertheless, to make our hospital your home as you bond with your family. Watch this video to learn more about our caregivers, the space, and how we hope to help you and your family.

Before your arrival

Parents are welcomed and encouraged to be with their baby at any time. Visiting arrangements can also be made for other family members, friends or clergy. In order to protect your confidentiality regarding visitors, please contact the unit secretary and he or she will provide the necessary paperwork for non-guardians. A health screening questionnaire is given to parents at each visit, and healthy siblings are encouraged to stop by.

When you first arrive

When you first enter the waiting area, you will speak with the unit secretary who will direct you to your baby’s bedside. At that time, a member of your baby’s healthcare team will explain the surroundings, equipment and review your baby’s care. Please check in with the unit secretary each time you enter the nursery.

What to bring

You are welcome to bring books, clothes, toys and blankets for your baby. Please label everything with your baby’s name. Children's Colorado cannot be responsible for any items you bring into the hospital.

Learn more about your visit to Children's Colorado and how to prepare.

As your baby gets better

Prior to your baby’s discharge, we suggest that you write down all questions and concerns you may have and discuss them with a member of your baby’s healthcare team. If your baby is going home, we recommend that you bring clothes, blankets and a car seat. Colorado state law requires the use of an infant car seat. Check with your nurse if you need assistance getting an infant car seat.

Our staff will help you to be as comfortable as possible with your baby’s post-hospital care needs. We will provide detailed medical information to your primary care doctor to support a safe, smooth transition. Occasionally, some babies require special attention and community-based resources and support when they go home, such as nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy.

Other information

Breast milk can be an important source of nutrition for your baby. If you wish to breastfeed or pump, your baby’s nurse is available to assist you. We also provide breastfeeding consultation with in-house lactation specialists if necessary. Breast milk is stored and prepared for your baby in the Milk Lab, located just inside the entrance to the NICU.

Telephone calls
You are welcome to call anytime to check on your baby’s progress. To ensure accurate communication and confidentiality, we prefer to give medical information only to parents. If you would like someone else to receive information by phone, please inform the unit secretary and he or she will provide the necessary paperwork for protection of your confidentiality.

Blood transfusions
Because of small infant blood volumes and frequent laboratory testing, the need for blood transfusions is common. All blood products are thoroughly screened to reduce the risks of transfusion-acquired diseases. If you would like to designate a blood donor for your baby, it is important to notify nursery staff as soon as possible after admission as it takes a few days to screen donor blood before it can be given to a patient. Please discuss any concerns you may have about blood transfusions with your baby’s nurse or doctor.

Learn more about directed blood donations at Children's Colorado.

Taking pictures of your child
We encourage you to bring your camera to take pictures of your baby.

Home healthcare services
Nursing care, physical therapy and speech/language therapy may be available to serve you and your family in the Denver metro area and other outlying areas and states. Your baby’s healthcare team is available to work collaboratively to assist you in arranging home healthcare services with an agency in your community. After discharge, if there are problems related to these home services, one of the NICU case managers will gladly assist you in problem solving or providing information.