NICU Guide for Families

Please feel welcome to the Brandon NICU as part of our health care team. We want you to feel comfortable being here and helping to care for your baby. Your baby's nurse will guide you in the care you can provide as a parent, which will likely increase over your time here.

We work to create an environment that is safe, clean, calm, quiet, and healing to help your baby recover.  Your nurse and other members of your care team will suggest ways we can work together to achieve this.

For your convenience, we have established this guide to support you and your family during your time in the NICU.

Transportation to the NICU from outside Mott Children’s Hospital

Babies may be transported either by ground (ambulance) or by air (helicopter or plane). When it becomes apparent that a baby will need this extra care, a transport team is assembled. This team consists of Doctors, Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, and specially trained nurses called NNP's (Neonatal Nurse Practitioner). They bring special packs that contain equipment and medicines needed to care for babies, including a transport incubator to keep babies warm and monitor their vital signs.


Parking is available in the Patient/Visitor parking ramps. Parking validation is available at all Security Welcome Desks, including long term parking passes for parents. Visit our parking services page for more information.

Getting to the NICU

The NICU is located on Level 8 in Mott Children’s Hospital. All parents and visitors are required to stop at a Security Welcome Desk. These are located at the entrances to Mott on Level 2 and Level 3, as well as all inpatient floors. Guest Service Specialists (GSS) are available at all Welcome Desks and are responsible for parent/visitor identification and badging, health screening, and customer service needs. All parents and visitors will be asked health screening questions and we request sick visitors/children do not visit. Wheelchairs are available.

What to expect when your baby arrives in the NICU

As soon as a baby arrives in the NICU, some procedures are performed to help monitor his or her condition. Wires are also attached to the baby's chest, with sticky disks, to monitor the baby's heart rate, respirations, and blood pressure. A saturation probe is wrapped around either the baby's foot or hand to monitor how well the baby is tolerating the support we are providing. An intravenous (IV) catheter (a small plastic tube inserted into a vein) may be started, or if the baby already has in IV, we will connect it to our intravenous fluids and pumps. An umbilical catheter (a small plastic tube) may be placed through the umbilical cord. This is done to make blood drawing easier and also to monitor vital signs. The baby may also require help with breathing either through use of a ventilator (breathing machine) or nasal cannula.

Meals and dining

Guest meal trays are available to families and guests for a nominal charge by calling 734-232-FOOD. You will receive a bill in the mail for the meal trays after your infant is discharged. Insurance/Medicaid does not pay for this service. Breastfeeding mothers receive guest meals at no charge. There is also an after-hours box-meal service available by calling 734-763-2525.

A nutrition area is located in the Family Lounge. Families are welcome to help themselves to coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

Vending machines, the cafeteria and convenience food may be found throughout the hospital. Visit our dining options page to learn more about other dining options available.

Food storage

Food and beverages may be kept in the room refrigerator on the top shelf only. For safety reasons your food and beverages need to be stored in closed and dated containers. An additional refrigerator located in the Family Lounge is also available for your food storage.

Milk storage

We offer a Milk Room for you to store breast milk that you pump for your baby. The Milk Room is located on the 8th floor, the same floor as the Newborn ICU.  GSS or any NICU staff can help you locate the Milk Room; where you will take your breast milk that you pump for your baby. For your convenience, there is a breast pump located in your baby’s room and/or there is a separate pumping room near the Security Welcome Desk. Pumping supplies are available in the pumping room. Lactation Consultants are available to assist you.


One or two caregivers may stay in the baby’s room overnight. Please provide the first and last name of overnight caregivers to your baby’s nurse. Siblings are not permitted to spend the night in the hospital. 

There are many local hotels and motels near the hospital, as well as the Med Inn – a hotel located inside the main University Hospital, and Ronald McDonald House (certain criteria required and this is arranged through the social worker).  Visit our hotel accommodations page for more information about lodging, or call 800-544-8684.

Preventing infections 

Hand washing is extremely important. Please use the hand sanitizer bottles and/or the hand washing sink in your baby’s room. It is important for everyone, including parents and family members, to clean their hands before touching your baby and whenever they enter or leave your baby’s room, in order to decrease the spread of germs in our environment.

Calling the NICU to check on your baby

While you are recovering in the hospital, or when you are at home, but unable to come to see your baby, please feel free to call us. Parents are invited to phone the NICU at anytime, however your baby’s nurse may be unable to speak with you during shift change (7:00-7:30 am, 3:00-3:30 pm, 7:00-7:30 pm, and 11:00-11:30 pm).

To protect your baby’s privacy, staff will not take phone calls or give information about your baby to friends or family. Please ask them to contact you directly for updates.

  • Front desk phone number: 734-763-4111
  • Toll-free number, for parents only: 1-800-521-4369

Cell phone use in the NICU

Because babies are sensitive to sound, we try to preserve a quiet environment on the NICU. We ask that you set your ringer to silent/vibrate and to please talk in quiet tones at all times, in all locations. For safety reasons, your baby’s care team will have their phone ringers turned on.


To help maintain this healing environment, we ask that the TV volume on the pillow speaker be set low. You are welcome to quietly use a portable device or to use the TV in the family lounge. Staff will request the TV be turned off in certain situations: daily patient rounds/shift reports, parent education, and/or during care activities for your baby. We request no gaming systems be used in the NICU (X-Box, Wii, PlayStation).

Computers, Internet and Wireless Internet

The television in your room is part of our Get Well Network, which also offers you internet access using the provided keyboard. The hospital also offers wireless internet, and there are computers available for your use in the Family Center on Level 2. Learn more about the Get Well Network.


Neonatal and pediatric patients (under 21 years of age or followed by a pediatric service) are allowed up to four (4) parents/caregivers & family*/visitors between 9:00 am - 9:00 pm. Between 9:00 p.m. – 9 a.m., two (2) parents/caregivers & family* are allowed.  Patients in open bays will be limited to two parents/caregivers & family*/visitors at a time.

Up to two (2) visitors are allowed for pediatric patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are being evaluated for COVID-19.

*Caregivers & family - For purposes of visitation, is defined by the individual patient, parent(s)/legal guardian or personal representative(s) and is usually one or more individuals who play a significant role in a patient's life. "Family/caregivers" members may be related in any way - biologically, legally, or emotionally. Thus, a patient's family member may include a person(s) who is not legally related to the individual. "Family/caregivers" explicitly includes, but is not limited to, a spouse, a family member, a friend, a domestic partner/civil union partner/significant other, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and a pediatric patient's parents, regardless of the gender of either parent. In pediatrics, particularly with infants and young children, family members/caregivers are defined by the patient's parents/ legal guardians.

Brothers and sisters may also visit if they are healthy. Our Family Center’s also offers a special siblings program, featuring a supervised environment where siblings can let out some energy and have fun. 

To protect pediatric and obstetric patients from exposure to childhood illness and other infectious diseases, all children under age 14 will be screened at the Security Welcome Desk before visiting the NICU.

We ask that no more than four (4) people be in your baby’s room, quietly, at a time. Other visitors may wait in the Family Lounge. Visit our visitors page for more information for visitors and guests.


Please leave the door slightly open at all times so that we can hear your baby’s monitors, pumps and ventilators.   

Personal belongings

All personal belongings and bedding should be kept in the wardrobe, the cabinet, and the 3-drawer nightstand. Please refrain from keeping personal belongings on the counter, with the exception of pumping supplies and bottles.

Family support

The NICU team includes social workers who meet with all families to provide emotional support and referrals to community and financial resources. Child life specialists are available for your baby’s developmental needs and can offer support to siblings who may need help understanding and adjusting to the NICU environment.  There is also a white Parent Information binder in each patient room that we encourage you to review. Visit our support and resources page for more information about support that is available to our families.

The Family Center on the 2nd floor is available to your family as a place to spend time away from the unit. Visit the Family Center page to learn more about the programs and services offered. The weekly Family Center schedule is also posted in the Family Lounge on the information board across from the laundry room.

Peer support

Having a newborn baby in the NICU, whether preterm or full term, is a stressful and emotional time for families. Often the most effective family support comes from connecting with peers (other families who have lived a similar experience).

Brandon NICU has specially trained graduate parents available to offer you peer support. Their NICU experience make them especially helpful to parents struggling with the challenges of having their baby in the unit or after going home. This program is designed to further a culture of Patient and Family Centered Care.

All Peer Mentors are volunteers at Michigan Medicine who have received extensive training and provide non-medical support to families and patient. All conversations are kept in strict confidence. You can connect with a mentor via email, phone call or in person chat.

If you would like to be connected to a Peer Mentor, email your contact information here.