• Frequently Asked Questions

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    The neonatologist or pediatrician at your birth hospital will make the arrangements for transfer of your baby. In most cases, your baby will be transferred by the Cincinnati Children’s Transport Team, a group of nurses and respiratory therapists who specialize in transporting babies with special needs. They will transfer your baby in an isolette to keep him warm and will seatbelt him to keep him safe during the ride.

    Most babies can be well taken care of in their birth hospital. Babies who require the care of pediatric subspecialists, such as pediatric surgeons, or require the care of many subspecialty teams are usually best cared for at Cincinnati Children’s. The neonatologist at your birth hospital will help you decide where to find the best care for your baby.

    • Cardiology (heart)
    • ENT (ear, nose and throat)
    • Endocrine (hormones)
    • Gastrointestinal (gut and liver)
    • Genetics (congenital anomalies)
    • ID (infections)
    • Nephrology (kidney)
    • Neurology (brain and spine)
    • Ophthalmology (eye)
    • Orthopedics (bone)
    • Surgery
    • Urology (urinary system)

    Parents are encouraged to visit their baby whenever they can, 24 hours a day. Soon after admission, your baby’s nurse will work with you to design a visitation plan, helping you to understand your baby’s schedule.

    Rounds are the time each day when the whole care team (physicians, nurses and other staff) gathers at your baby’s bedside to discuss the next steps in your baby’s care. Rounds occur in the morning in every unit, and parents are encouraged to be present.

    Parents are encouraged to be present for rounds, to hear the care discussion and ask questions. However, we understand that not everyone can be present for morning rounds, so one of the physicians, nurse practitioners or nurses will call and update you on the care plan each day. You can also call at any time and speak to the bedside nurse caring for your baby.

    You will be updated daily by a member of the care team, but if you would like to speak to the neonatologist, ask the bedside nurse to call him or her when you arrive.

    Babies requiring surgery are cared for at Cincinnati Children’s. The surgeons and neonatologists make rounds together in the NICU, and share in the care of your infant. Your baby will be assigned a primary surgeon, who will perform all of the surgeries your baby requires.

    Although it can seem scary at first to provide care for your baby in the NICU, the nurses will help guide you so that you can be an important part of your baby’s care. Parents learn to change diapers, take temperatures, give baths, dress their baby and give medications as their baby is getting better. And remember – your baby knows your voice, so reading, talking and providing gentle touches are ways to reassure your baby.

    We have a large group of people on rounds, all working to help your baby get better. On rounds, the nurses, physicians, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, pharmacists and social workers all provide input to form the best care plan for your baby.

    Newborn screening
    State law requires a blood test that screens your baby for many treatable diseases that can occur in early childhood.

    Hearing screen
    A hearing screen is completed by an audiologist on all babies to evaluate for hearing loss.

    Hepatitis B vaccine
    You will be asked to sign a consent form for your baby to receive the first baby shot against hepatitis B.

    Circumcisions are usually done one to two days before discharge. You will be given educational material to read and will be asked to sign a consent form before the procedure is performed.

    We will contact your pediatrician by phone before discharge and also send a discharge summary  of the information from your baby’s hospital stay.

    A discharge planner from the nursery will help you arrange your follow-up appointments, but we usually recommend that you see your pediatrician within one week.