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For NICU Siblings

Visiting Restrictions
For the health and safety of all the babies in the NICU, sibling visits are not permitted at this time. We appreciate your understanding and patience.

  • Sandy


    I am Sandy Strong. Welcome to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Golisano Children’s Hospital (NICU). This is a special place in the hospital where many people work together to help your baby get better. Let’s look around at what you may see and hear when you come to visit with your baby.

  • Front Desk

    The front desk is where you and your family will start your visit by signing in at the secretary’s desk.
    Then the secretary will let your baby’s nurse know you are here for your visit. The secretary will show you where you need to wash up before seeing your baby. Everyone who comes to visit in the NICU must be healthy.

  • Scrub Sink

    The scrub sink is where you and your family will wash your hands and arms for 3 minutes. This washes away the germs before you see your baby. You may want to sing a song, like your ABCs, or count while you are washing. When you are finished, the nurse will come do your health screen to make sure you are healthy before you see your baby!
    When the nurse is finished, she or he will take you to your baby’s room. Make sure you walk quietly - because some babies may be sleeping when you walk by their rooms.

  • NICU Waiting Area

    The waiting area is where you and your family can take a snack break, play or read stories away from the baby’s bedside.

    There is a refrigerator and a microwave for your snacks.

  • Your Baby’s Room

    This is what your baby’s room will look like. Rest is important, it helps babies grow and get better. Remember to do your best to stay quiet when you are in the NICU so babies can rest.

  • NICU Beds

    The beds in the NICU are different from the bed your baby will sleep in at home. These special beds help the doctors, nurses and your parents take care of your baby.


    This bed keeps babies nice and warm. The portholes are for doctors, nurses or parents to put their hands through to take care of the baby.

  • Warmer

    This is a bed with a special light that keeps babies warm.

  • Crib

    This is a bed that babies use when they can keep themselves warm.

  • People

    Many people work together to help your baby while in the hospital.

  • Sandy

    Things you might see

    Let’s look at some of the things that help staff and parents take care of your baby in the hospital.

  • Things you might see

    Next we're going to talk about some of the things you may see on your baby.

    - Stickers

    - Oximeter

    - Blood Pressure Cuff

  • Sandy

    Things you might see - Stickers

    The stickers on Sandy’s body help the doctors and nurses know what is going on inside your baby’s body. They let the doctors and nurses know how fast your baby is breathing and how fast the heart is beating.

  • Sandy

    Things you might see - Oximeter

    The Band-Aid like sticker on Sandy’s foot is an oximeter. It tells the doctors and nurses how much oxygen is in your baby’s blood.

  • Sandy

    Things you might see - Blood Pressure Cuff

    The white band on Sandy’s arm is a blood pressure cuff. It tells the doctors and nurses how fast the blood is moving in your baby’s body.

  • The Monitor

    All the things you just saw have wires that connect to a monitor.

    The monitor is a screen that displays the information from the stickers, oximeter and blood pressure cuff for the nurses and doctors. It beeps and lights up when it has important information to share. This can happen a lot for some babies.

  • X-ray machine

    Your baby may need to have an X-ray. This is an X-ray machine. It helps the doctors and nurses see things inside your baby’s body by taking a picture of it. It does not hurt.

  • If Your Baby Needs Help Breathing

    Your baby may need help from a machine to breathe. It is called a ventilator. A ventilator helps your baby breathe by sending air into the lungs.

  • Ventilator giving air through the nose

    The ventilator can give air and oxygen to your baby in different ways.

    In this picture it is giving air and oxygen through the baby's nose.

  • Ventilator giving air through the mouth

    The ventilator can give air and oxygen to your baby through the mouth too.

  • Nasal Cannula

    When your baby is breathing on their own and only needs a little help, a nasal cannula is used to make air flow right into your baby’s nose.

  • Feeding Tube

    Your baby may have a feeding tube to give your baby food, and sometimes medicine, to help them grow. The tube goes through the baby’s nose or mouth and into the stomach. It doesn’t hurt your baby.

  • IV (It sounds like "eye vee")

    Your baby may need medicine or special liquids delivered through a small straw-like tube in their body instead of in their mouth or through the feeding tube. This is called an IV.

  • Thermometer

    This is the thermometer nurses or parents use to take your baby’s temperature in the NICU.

  • Scale

    This looks like a bed, but it is a scale. The scale tells the nurse how much your baby weighs.

  • Sandy

    Thank You for Taking the NICU Tour!

    Now you know some things you might see and hear when you visit your baby. If you have any questions, just ask!

  • UR Medicine Golisano Children's Hospital logo

    This book was revised by:

    Wegmans Child Life Program at Golisano Children's Hospital


    Sandy Strong and four of her friends

NICU Sibling Tour (PDF)

Dear Parents,

We realize this can be a stressful time for you, and your whole family. You're not only trying to deal with your feelings and questions about your baby, but your older child's as well. We have created this tour to help you educate your child about the NICU environment and prepare to meet the new baby.

We believe every child is unique and that you know your child the best. We want you and your child to have a positive family experience when spending time with your baby.

Here are our Sibling Visitation Guidelines and some suggestions to help you have a successful visit.

NICU Sibling Visitation Guidelines

  • Siblings 3 years old and up may visit in the NICU.
  • Discuss the best time for a sibling visit with your baby’s nurse.
  • Siblings must be supervised by an adult at all times.
  • Siblings must be free of any signs of illness (runny nose, fever, cough, etc.).
  • A Sibling Health Screen will be completed by a nurse before for each visit.
  • Sibling visitation hours are: 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., 7 days a week.
  • Siblings may be asked to step out for rounds or change of shift if their behavior interferes with the safe exchange of information. Nursing change of shift is between 6:46-7:45 a.m. and p.m.

At all times, the medical and nursing staff reserve the right to ask visitors to leave if the need arises.

Preparing for the Visit

Young Children (Preschool-Early Elementary)

  • Review the Sibling Preparation Tour with your child before the visit.
  • Show your child a picture of your baby before the visit.
  • It can be helpful to refer to the tour information when you visit with the baby to support sibling's understanding of the NICU environment and what is being done for your baby.
  • Visits for children in this age group typically last 5-15 minutes. This is developmentally appropriate. If your child is becoming upset or disruptive it’s time to take a break. Remember, we want this to be a positive experience for everyone!
  • There is a Sibling Clubhouse for siblings 18 months to 10 years of age in the lobby of the Children’s Hospital. This is a safe place where they can play up to three hours a day/7 days a week. Ask the NICU staff for more details when you are admitted to the NICU.
  • For children in this age group, it’s often better for the sibling to visit their baby close to the discharge date when the baby is stronger and in most cases able to be touched.

Older Children

  • Review the Sibling Preparation Tour with your child before the visit.
  • Show your child a picture of your baby before the visit.
  • If your child has questions you can't answer, write them down so they can ask the staff in the NICU.
  • Plan activities the sibling can do with the baby like read a story or sing a song.
  • Think of things the sibling can bring for the baby like a drawing, a photo, a toy.
  • Have the sibling bring quiet activities they can do at the bedside when the baby is sleeping.

Your nurse can contact the NICU Child Life Specialist, if you have other questions or would like additional support in preparing your child to meet your baby.

~ The Child Life Team