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NICU & Neonatal Care

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Guidelines for Parents and Visitors

At Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital we understand the emotional stress of having a child in our Neonatal Care Unit. We are here to assist you every step of the way.

For your baby's safety and security, a picture ID is required of anyone entering the nursery, including parents. 

Nursery Closed Hours

The Neonatal Special Care and Neonatal Intensive Care units are closed from 6:15 to 7:15 mornings and evenings to allow our nurses to complete their change-of-shift reports. The nurseries are also closed during medical team rounds. In the Level IV NICU, rounds are scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon. In the Level II Special Care Unit, rounds take place from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Ronald McDonald House

Families of critically ill children can rest and recharge in the home-away-from-home environment of the 14-bedroom Ronald McDonald House located within Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital. A true collaboration between the hospital and Ronald McDonald House of Houston, the House includes seven rooms that serve the Pediatric ICU and seven more that serve the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Ronald McDonald House of Houston furnished and decorated the rooms to create a comfortable environment that includes Internet service, refreshments, books, games and other services. The House also has two large family living rooms, laundry facilities and a kitchenette. Each sleep/nap room with adjacent bath is designed to give parents a place to rest or spend the night.

Bedrooms are available from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on a first come, first served basis by checking in at Ronald McDonald House office located on the seventh floor of the Hermann Pavilion. Overnight rooms are available from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 a.m. and are assigned by your child's nurse.

Married Parents

If the parents are married, both husband and wife are legal guardians of their baby, and they determine who may visit. A parent must accompany visitors during each visit.

With the parents' permission, two designated visitors or grandparents may visit by themselves. For privacy, only minimal information will be given to these designated visitors. Parents will be asked to designate a password so that the staff may give detailed information about their baby's condition by telephone.

Unmarried Parents

If the mother is single, the mother is the legal guardian of the baby, and she determines who may visit.

With her permission, the father may come into the nursery by himself. The mother can designate two visitors or grandparents who may visit without her presence. For privacy, only minimal information will be given to these designated visitors. The mother of the baby will be asked to designate a password so that the staff may give her detailed information by telephone.

Children as Visitors

Brothers and sisters of the baby may visit if they are at least 3 years old and accompanied by a legal guardian of the baby. Children younger than 3 years may not come into the nursery. Children other than siblings must be at least 13 years of age to visit. 

Preventing the Spread of Infection

Sick and premature babies can catch illnesses from adults and children. Parents and visitors who are ill should speak with a staff member about their symptoms before going into the nursery. If you have sores, suspect you have a contagious illness or have been around someone who is sick or may have chickenpox, please avoid coming to the hospital.