Visiting the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)

A home away from home.

Family with children walks down hospital hallway

Anyone may visit with the parents as long as they are 16 years and older. Siblings of the baby or siblings of the parents who are under 16 are also welcome in the NICU. Everyone must check in at the security desk in the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital lobby. We ask that you limit the number of people at the bedside to four, including parents. This will help keep the noise level down—too much noise can be stressful for your baby, and we need to have enough space to care for your baby while you are here.

Patient care handover takes place at 7 am and 7 pm Parents are welcome to stay, but other visitors are asked to leave at these times.

Family presence guidelines

  • No more than four people per family—including siblings—are allowed in the baby’s room at one time.
  • No one under 16 years of age, unless you are the baby's parent, brother or sister of the baby, or brother or sister of the baby's parents may go in the baby’s room.
  • Friends and family must visit only when you are with your baby.
  • Please ask friends and family who are sick to wait until they are better before visiting your baby.
What should I do when I arrive on the unit?

You will need to sign in at the front desk. This will allow us to locate you if you have friends and family visit. You will be shown how to scrub in, and you must do so every time you visit. There are lockers in the scrub room to place your belongings in if your baby is located in an open bay nursery. Families with closets in their room may store their belongings there.

We recognize that during this stressful time, it is important for you to stay connected to your family and friends. A calm, quiet setting is important for your baby’s well-being.

  • Turn your cell phone to vibrate or silent mode before you enter the nursery, and refrain from having phone conversations at your baby’s bedside. 
  • To protect your baby, we ask that you use our approved phone wipes, which are available at the front and back desk, as well as by the scrub sinks. Always wash your hands after using your phone.
  • Parents and visitors must scrub in prior to visiting their baby. Arms need to be bare from elbows down. Remove all jewelry and safely store it in the scrub room lockers. Scrub from your elbows down for 30 seconds. Parents and visitors must wear hospital gloves if they have fake nails, are wearing shellac nail polish or anything other than regular nail polish.
  • Please understand that you may not take pictures of other babies and may only take pictures of the members of the health care team with their permission.
Map of parking garage entrance


Parents of children at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and their visitors may either park in Ramp 3 or use valet parking at the main entrance circle drive off of Michigan Street. Parking is free at all Spectrum Health ramps but you must have the parking validated at one of the hospital information desks.


The Renucci Hospitality House provides affordable, homelike accommodations for families whose loved ones are hospitalized at Butterworth and Blodgett hospitals and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. If these accommodations are full, Spectrum Health's concierge service can also help you find a local hotel.

Renucci Hospitality House
290 Ransom Street NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Ronald McDonald House
1323 Cedar Street NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Spectrum Health Concierge

Exterior of Renucci House building.
Chef about to put a pizza in the oven


Helen DeVos Children's Hospital has an on-site cafe featuring casual favorites, including pizza and salad stations, and an ice cream window. Additional dining options are available within Butterworth Hospital, and a food court across Michigan Street between the 25 and 35 Michigan Street buildings.

On-site resources

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital features many amenities dedicated to family rest and rejuvenation. Highlights include a multi-faith chapel with 24 hour access, children’s play areas, family laundry facilities, and kitchenette space including two dishwashers, sinks and microwaves.

View of a kitchenette room with fridges and a countertop

Contact Us

For more information or to schedule an appointment