This page has important information about Having a brother or sister in the Neonatal Unit (NNU).

The Neonatal Unit is sometimes called the NNU.

It is a special ward for babies who need a bit of extra help when they are born.

Instead of cots, babies often sleep in a warm box called an Incubator.

Why do babies go to the Neonatal Unit?

Babies born a little early or who are unwell go to the unit.

When can I visit?

You can come to see your baby brother or sister at any time as long as you are with your parents.

You have to take your coat off and wash your hands.

You will need to try and be as quiet as you can.

What does the Neonatal Unit do to help your baby brother or sister?

Sometimes babies can’t breathe very well on their own.

There are special machines to help them breathe.

Sometimes babies need extra help with having food.

We give them milk through a tube which goes through their nose to their tummy.

This doesn’t hurt.

New babies can catch germs which makes them poorly.

We give them medicines called antibiotics to get rid of the germs.

Sometimes babies find it hard to stay warm.

We put them in a warm cot.

Babies sometimes get a problem with their blood that makes them look a bit yellow.

To help them we put bright lights over their incubator and give them sunglasses.

How long will my brother or sister stay in the Neonatal Unit?

All babies are different, they will stay until they are well enough to go home.

What can I do to help my brother or sister while they are in hospital?

When they are well enough you can learn how to help change their nappy or feed them.

You can help by being as quiet as you can when you are with them in hospital. You can bring them cards, pictures and toys.

If you want to have a cuddle with your brother or sister ask one of the nurses.

What can I do if I have a question?

The doctors and nurses will always help you and answer your questions.

Printable version of this page

Easy Read - Having a brother or sister in the Neonatal Unit GHPI1825_12_23 Department: Neonatology Review due: December 2026 PDF, 447.7 KB, 5 pages
Reference number GHPI1825_12_23
Department Neonatology
Review due December 2026