Welcome to the NICU at Children’s Hospital Colorado

Welcome to the Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit or NICU at Children’s Hospital Colorado. We
know this can be a stressful time. But we hope you find
comfort knowing that you are not alone. Here we have many people
dedicated to caring for your baby. We will partner with you
every step of the way as we work together to improve your baby’s
health. This is your home while you stay with us. And we
encourage you to make this space as comfortable as possible. When
you and your care team work together, your newborn has the
best chance for success. You are a valuable member of our team
and we’ll keep you as informed as possible during your stay. If
you need to leave your room at any time, we will closely look
after your child. Hand washing is key to protecting our infants
from infection. Any time a caregiver enters your room, they
should wash their hands, either with soap and water or with hand
sanitizer. If you notice that they do not wash their hands,
speak up. Also, be sure that you and your visitors wash your
hands every time you enter the unit and before you touch your
baby. Each room has hand sanitizers so it is convenient
for you to wash your hands. The amenities in your room are here
to make your stay as cozy as possible. Like this sofa that
turns into a bed, and this refrigerator to store breast
milk. You can put your things in the cupboards so that your
caregivers can walk freely around the room. It might be
difficult to see your baby connected to machines, but they
are necessary to help them thrive. Even though your baby is
on a machine, when possible we’ll do whatever we can to
create one-on-one bonding time between you and your baby. Every
baby is connected to a monitor that provides his or her heart
rate, breathing rate and oxygen saturations. Your baby might
also need to receive IV medications, continuous fluids
or feedings through different tubes connected to pumps. Many
babies in the NICU need help with breathing and require
oxygen. The monitor pumps or machines may alarm at different
times. Your nurses will know which alarms need immediate
attention. In fact, the phones they carry can alert them to
what happens in your room, whether it’s a change in your
baby’s status or an alarm sounding. Because the nurse
needs to know which alarm is sounding and why, please do not
turn them off. While you are helping care for your baby, you
can make sure their oxygen or CPAP mask is on correctly.
Please do not touch any of the equipment unless your nurse asks
you to do so. We think of you as part of our family. And we will
care for your baby as if they were our own. You will meet many
people including nurses, respiratory therapists, nurse
practitioners and doctors who will care for every aspect of
your baby’s life. Each shift they will write their names on
the white board in your room. You will work most closely with
your baby’s bedside nurse. They typically work for 12 hours.
Each nurse cares for your baby and one or two other babies
during the same shift. During shift change at 6:45 a.m. and
p.m., the nurses ending and starting their shift will
introduce themselves to you, review your baby’s goals and
check the equipment. Your room has a call button to reach your
nurses. We will respond to your call as soon as we can. Each
morning, the care team visits you and your child during
rounds. They discuss how your baby is doing and decide on the
plan of care for the day. Your care team might not visit you at
the same time every morning, but they will visit you every
morning. If you cannot be there for rounds, you are welcome to
write your questions on the white board or ask a nurse to
relay them for you. If you have questions throughout the day,
your bedside nurse will try to find answers. We have an
attending neonatologist and nurse practitioner in the
hospital at all times who can answer many questions. We know
how important it is to moms to care for and nurture their
babies, so we’ll ensure you can feed them whenever possible. If
you want to breastfeed but it’s not possible, you can use a pump
to collect your breast milk, which we can then feed to your
baby through a tube or bottle. Our certified nurse lactation
specialists can help you establish a breastfeeding or
pumping routine. Our milk lab has bottles and labels for you,
and they can store and prepare the milk for you. You can drop
off your milk throughout the day, and they will deliver it to
you in the evening. If you are unable or choose not to provide
breast milk, we can work with you to help prepare formula to
feed your baby. Your family is so important to us. We value our
collaborative relationship as we all work to improve the health
of your baby. With your help, we can all communicate with each
other respectfully and commit to maintaining a safe environment.
Even though this probably isn’t where you want to be with your
new baby, we hope you feel welcome and comfortable here.
We’ll do our best to give you every opportunity to bond with
your child and enjoy your time together as a family. To learn
more, check out your welcome packet or visit

6 thoughts on “Welcome to the NICU at Children’s Hospital Colorado

  1. If only every nicu were like this. A private room with a parent bed would've been invaluable when I had my 32 weeker. I got to stay with my full-term in peds. They let me have the bed while my son was in the bassinet. It made an enormous difference to be able to stay with him comfortably.

  2. Spent my first year in the Denver neonatal hospital (20 oz pre-mature). They had to wait for my lungs to fully develope. Than my parents brought me home, tried feeding me, my stomach burst, and back to the hospital it was. Most of the food went down into my bloodstream so they had to cut that open after pulling out and opening my stomach. Hard to believe 24 years later I'm still alive.

  3. It makes me happy to see the love, dedication and professionalism with which they treat babies and their families. It's certainly a great hospital. I would love to work in such a place when I become a pediatric surgeon.

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