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NICU Guidelines

Our goal is to provide family-centered care that is delivered in a secure and healing environment. The guidelines listed will orient families and friends on what to expect when coming to our NICU.

Safety & Security

  • Parents and/or support persons, please do not remove your identification bracelet until your baby goes home. We will need to verify your identity when visiting and upon discharge.
  • Visitors will also be asked to identify themselves using the telephone outside of the NICU prior to entering the unit.
  • For added security, when your baby is stable, an infant security bracelet will be placed on your baby’s ankle. Do not tamper with this bracelet, please ask your baby’s nurse if you have concerns.
  • Your baby is attached to a monitor that records his/her heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and oxygen level. These monitors are interconnected to other monitors in the NICU giving the staff the ability to see your baby even when the NICU staff member is not in the room.
  • NICU staff will be checking on your baby every hour or more frequently as needed. They will be ensuring that your needs and your baby’s needs are met.
  • When coming in through the NICU main doors, please watch for anyone following you in. The security of all the babies in the NICU is all our responsibility.


Babies in the NICU can get sick easily from microorganisms found on our hands. Please help prevent infection by properly washing your hands before entering the NICU and caring for your baby.

  • All family members and friends must do a three-minute hand wash up to the elbows after removal of all jewelry. Please place your jewelry in your pockets, purses, or lockers and remove hats or coats. We cannot be responsible for loss of any personal belongings.
  • If you still have an IV on your hand or arm, making it difficult to wash, an NICU staff member will give you instructions on how to clean your hands.
  • Before delivering care to a baby or touching the baby’s bedside, family members and friends must wash their hands or apply alcohol hand gel.

Food & Drinks

  • NICU does not provide meals for parents or family members who wish to stay in the NICU with their baby. Food can be purchased at the hospital cafeteria.
  • Parents or family members can use the family dining area to eat meals brought into the hospital. A limited amount of food can also be stored in the family refrigerator. A microwave is provided to warm up food. Please wipe the microwave clean after every use.
  • Family members staying in the baby’s room can have snacks or covered drinks on the family side of the room. We ask that family avoid bringing food in the NICU with strong odors.

Telephone Information

  • Parents may call the NICU any time for information about their baby. For security, NICU staff will ask you to provide identification when obtaining information about your baby.
  • Grandparents may receive basic phone information from the baby’s nurse. Under extenuating circumstances, another person may be designated by the parent to receive phone information regarding the baby’s condition. This designation must be done in writing by the baby’s parents.
  • Parents, please be aware that grandparents or the designated person may receive information before you when you give permission for them to receive information.


As partners in the care of your baby, it is very important that we maintain communication between you and the NICU staff. You will be able to speak to our staff during:

  • Multidisciplinary Rounds: Doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other therapists will come to your baby’s room once a day to discuss the plan of care for your baby. We welcome your presence during these rounds. It will give you the opportunity to participate in the plan of care for your baby as well as ask questions that you may have. Please consult NICU staff regarding schedule for rounds.
  • Bedside Reports: Out-going nurse/therapist will come to your baby’s room during shift change to give a report to the incoming nurse/therapist. This report occurs at 6:45 am and 6:45 pm. We welcome you to attend the report to participate in the discussion of the plan of care for your baby. Your presence and input are very important to us.
  • Communication Boards: These boards are in every baby’s room. NICU staff will be writing updates on your baby on these boards. Parents are welcome to write their goals and questions on the board as well.

Family Presence

  • • Parents are not considered visitors and are free to come to the NICU at any time.. Please check with your baby’s nurse regarding current visitation guidelines. You can also call (432) 640-4000 for the most updated visitation policies.
  • All family and friends should be free of infection or illness during visitation. Persons who feel unwell or have experienced specific symptoms within the last 24 hours should not visit the hospital or stay overnight. These symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, skin rash, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
  • During flu and RSV season, visitation is limited to parents and grandparents only to protect your precious baby.

Overnight Stay

  • A parent can spend the night in the baby’s room.
  • The Person who stays the night needs to perform the recommendations below to protect the infant from infection:
  1. Bathe daily. Showers are available in the NICU and the Ronald McDonald Family Room. Click here for map. (Towels are provided, all other personal hygiene items will not be supplied)
  2. Avoid bringing clothes and items that smell of cigarette smoke.
  3. Avoid wearing colognes and perfumes.
  • The person who stays in the room always needs to wear appropriate clothing. For your protection, please wear shoes, slippers, or booties.


  • Please speak softly while in your baby’s room. Loud conversations and noise affect the growth of your baby. Multimedia devices may be used in the room but keep the volume down or use headphones to prevent stimulation of your baby.
  • The family member staying in the baby’s room will be responsible for keeping their designated area clean and clutter free. A cabinet and desk space is provided for family use.
  • Please do not bring any valuables to the NICU. NICU staff will not be responsible for missing personal possessions.
  • Cell phones should be on vibrate or silent. Please make sure you wash your hands after using your cell phone. Cell phones hold a lot of microorganisms that can make your baby sick.
  • Feel free to take pictures and/or videos of your baby while in the NICU. A white magnetic board is provided for you to personalize your baby’s room with family pictures, decorations, etc.
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