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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

BabyThe Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Children’s Hospital University of Illinois (CHUI) is a 52-bed, Level III NICU. Our advanced trained neonatologists, subspecialists, and nurses ensure you and your family are receiving the best care possible.

In the NICU, we provide parents and families with the tools necessary for a smooth transition to home. We teach our families how to properly feed babies, including breastfeeding practices and safe formula preparation. Parents learn about infant CPR and safe car seat use. Additionally, all families learn about safe sleep practices for their babies.

During their stay, parents are supported in learning more about their baby’s unique cues and needs. This learning is facilitated by nurses, occupational and physical therapists, and developmental care specialists. Monthly, families have the opportunity to meet with an Advanced Practice Nurse (Ask Addy & Friends) to ask questions away from the bedside in an open forum with other NICU parents. Families are encouraged to ask questions about their babies, NICU care, general health, and other topics in a safe, nonjudgmental space.

Click here to download the NICU Orientation Guide (.pdf).

Events and Activates for Families

Parents Are Great Scrapbooking (PAGES!)
Scrapbooking takes place on Wednesdays from 3–5 pm in the NICU conference room. NICU parents are invited to bring photos, footprints and other mementos to the conference room to preserve memories and get to know other parents. Scrapbooking supplies are provided and, if desired, a member of the NICU staff can take and print pictures of your baby. PAGES! is facilitated by our NICU social worker, Mary Ann Fontana, and our NICU Family Support Specialist, Jessica Bowen.

Journey Beads Group
Twice a month, NICU families are invited to construct charm bracelets from beads that symbolize their baby’s NICU journey. We celebrate their baby’s milestones and talk about the challenges with other NICU parents. The Journey Beads Group is facilitated by NICU Family Support Specialist Jessica Bowen.

Related Links:

NIDCAP Training Center
Patient & Family NICU Handbook