Being With Your Baby at the ICN

We do not consider parents "visitors" here in the ICN (Intensive Care Nursery). You are part of the care team and are welcome to spend as much time with your baby as you like.

ICN nurse with baby

You are often the one who will know best how your baby is feeling and acting.

Please feel free to share any concerns or fears with your nurse or any care team member.

ICN guest policy

Please refer to our ICN visitors section or check in at the ICN front desk about any limitations or extra precautions, such as masking that may be in effect.

You can bring guests to meet your baby, but it's essential to make sure anyone who comes to the bedside is healthy.

  • We ask that no more than 2 people be at the bedside at a given time.
  • Healthy siblings who can wear a mask are welcome if over the age of 2.
  • For confidentiality reasons, guests may not be with your baby if you or your partner are not present.

Checking in at the ICN

Everyone must check in at the front desk when entering the ICN, and we will screen them for illness each day.

If you are ill or have been around a sick person, please don't come to the ICN. We do not permit anyone with respiratory symptoms into the unit. This policy ensures the health and safety of your baby, neighboring babies, and staff.

We ask everyone to remove their hand/wrist jewelry and watches before entering and wash for infection control.

We provide sinks and Purell stations to ensure your hands are clean and to avoid the spread of infection:

  • Use the sinks to wash your hands. Wet hands, lather soap for 15 seconds (or one round of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star), and then rinse.
  • Use the Purell stations around the ICN to sanitize your hands as well. It's a good practice to use Purell before touching your baby.

Learn more about our family spaces at the ICN.

Using your cellphone

Please turn off your cellphone ringers and alarms in the ICN.

If you need to use your phone, please be considerate of the privacy of others, and remember that it can be disruptive in our small space. Please limit phone conversations at the bedside.

Please respect others' privacy and pull the curtains around your space before taking pictures or videos.

Note: Cellphones can have germs, so it is important to remember to clean your hands after using your phone and before touching your baby. We have sanitizing wipes for cleaning cell phones available at the ICN Welcome Desk.

Accessing the Internet

If you have devices with wireless connections, you can log in to our guest network. Due to security issues, personal computers must have approved antivirus software installed.

Personalizing your baby's bed space

You are welcome to bring in items to make your baby's space feel more like home. Your nurse can help you with ideas that are safe for your baby and make your bed space feel special.

Please note the following:

  • Stuffed animals can be in the bed space, but not in the incubators or cribs.
  • Artwork from your baby's siblings and cards from friends are some things you might want to put by your baby’s bed.

Please label all toys and clothes that you bring in for your baby’s personal use. We have bags for you to use that you can leave at your baby’s bedside for laundry. We encourage you to take home your baby's items to launder.

Where to get food

  • The cafeteria at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center is on Level 2. Check the Cafeterias and Other Dining Options page on the DHMC and Clinics website for dining room hours and other information.
  • Food vouchers are available for ICN families. Please ask at the ICN Front Desk for details.
  • The Food Court on the Level 3 mall area has fast food options, such as Au Bon Pain, Cravins Deli, and Sbarro.