Visiting information for NICU

There are new visitor restrictions for NICU. Please see 'Information for visitors' to understand how this might affect you and your whānau

As a parent you are always welcome in NICU any time day or night. You can also ring the unit directly at any time for updates. Ask your nurse for a card which has the direct dial number and room extension on it for you to use. 

If you are unable to be present in the unit for more than two days, you may arrange for a designated person to visit on your behalf. This must be arranged with the Clinical Charge Nurse or Family Liaison Nurse in advance, and noted on your baby's care map.

Your baby's brothers and sisters may visit briefly, but must be closely supervised at all times. They should not visit if they have coughs, colds,  diarrhoea or vomiting, or have been in contact with anyone with chickenpox, mumps, measles or any other infection. These infections could  seriously harm your baby, or other babies in the room.

Visiting hours to NICU

Visiting hours to NICU are from 1.00pm - 8.00pm. Other family members and friends are welcome at this time. They need to be accompanied by you; if not, we will not allow them to visit.

Because infection and illness are a threat to preterm babies, we ask your visitors' children not to visit. We like to limit the number of people around the bedside to two at any one time. Your visitors are welcome to use our family waiting room or the 9th floor atrium area which is very spacious.

If a friend or family member has a cough or cold please ask them to stay away and visit when they are well.

Visitors should focus on the baby they have come to see - not view other babies. In an adult ward no one would dream of wandering around the room, looking at other patients. Your baby deserves the same respect and consideration.

When mothers are breast-feeding, or expressing milk, please consider their privacy.  As parents, we request you focus on your own baby, and do not go into  other clinical rooms. By staying out of other clinical rooms we are  reducing the number of individuals each baby is exposed to. If you wish to chat to other parents, please feel free to arrange to spend time together in spaces outside the clinical rooms.

Use of cell phones in NICU

Please note that while in NICU, cell phones should either be turned off, or on silent/vibrate. Please try to take calls outside of the baby's room.

Infection control

The babies in the newborn service are already unwell and/or premature so it is very important to keep them safe from any infectious illness. We would like you to stop anyone you know who is sick or unwell from visiting your baby.

Anyone who has been in contact with somebody with an infectious disease should also stay away as they could pass the infection to the babies in the nursery, even if they do not feel sick themselves. Premature and sick babies are at greater risk than a healthy term baby, as they are less able to fight infection.

Which infectious diseases can cause problems?

Any infectious disease can make a baby sick. Communicable infections that can cause harm include coughs, colds, the flu, cold sores (herpes), respiratory viruses, diarrhoea (eg rotavirus), and chickenpox.

What are the symptoms of an infectious disease?

Fever, feeling unwell and lacking in energy are common symptoms of most infectious diseases. With some infections a rash or sores can appear, eg. chickenpox or herpes. Gastrointestinal infections can cause vomiting or diarrhoea.

Inform staff of any contact with an infectious disease.

Please tell newborn service staff if you or any member of your family has been in contact with someone who has an infectious disease, particularly chickenpox, even if you don't have symptoms at the time. It is very important that staff know about this so they can take appropriate action.

If you have other children:

If you have other children please wait until they have recovered from any sickness or infections before allowing them to visit your new baby.


A virus such as chickenpox has an incubation period. This is the time between your contact with a person who has the virus and getting sick yourself. The usual incubation time between being exposed to a virus and getting sick is 10 - 21 days.

People become infectious from 1 - 2 days before the symptoms appear. Spots can appear on the scalp, face, body, arms and legs and inside the mouth. With chickenpox the spots will become blisters which form hard scabs. If you have had chickenpox before, you are unlikely to get reinfected yourself. However you should still inform the bedside nurse if you have been in contact with someone who has them.

Further information

If you have any questions or want more information about infectious diseases ask the nurse or doctor caring for your baby.

A range of health information is also available from the Women's Health Information Unit on Level 9 of Auckland City Hospital and is staffed Monday (8.00am - 4.00pm), Tuesday (8.00am - 12.00pm), and Wednesday (8.00am -4.00pm) Phone 307-4949 ext 25678. In addition to written information the Unit provides access to computer research databases and the internet.

Hospital Infection Control Golden Rules

  • Always wash your hands before touching or handling your baby (this rule is also for your visitors)

  • Do not visit if you are sick, coughing or sneezing

  • Do not visit if you have been in contact with someone who has an infectious disease

  • Tell the staff if a family member, or someone you have been in contact with has an infectious disease

  • Don't touch or handle the other babies in the newborn unit.