NICU Sibling Virtual Visit
Do you have a baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and older children at home? The NICU Sibling Virtual Visit gives older siblings the opportunity to virtually meet their new baby brother or sister. The goal of a NICU Sibling Virtual Visit is to foster connection between siblings at home and their new baby brother or sister even when they can't visit in person. The visit also helps siblings learn and understand why their new brother or sister needs to stay in the hospital.
The NICU Sibling Virtual Visit is run by our certified child life specialists and is available for children who are 4 to 12 years old and their caregivers. (Visits for families with children older than 12 may be possible, so please ask.)
What's included in the visit?
- An opportunity to see pictures of the NICU, including many of the machines and equipment that may be in your baby's room
- An activity booklet for older siblings to help them think about and express how they're feeling about having their new baby brother or sister in the NICU
- A virtual tour of your baby's room with a certified child life specialist
- Time for your older child/children to ask questions about their baby sibling's care in the NICU
How do I schedule a visit?
Fill out the form below to begin the process of scheduling a NICU Sibling Virtual Visit. A child life specialist will contact you within one to two business days.
What can I do to prepare my child for the visit?
These activity books are meant to start a conversation between you and your older child about their new baby brother or sister in the NICU. It's best if a trusted, loving adult who your child feels comfortable with completes these books with them. Some kids may need more time to process the upcoming NICU Sibling Virtual Visit and would benefit from going through the first few pages a day or two before the appointment. Others, especially younger children, would benefit most from doing the activities the day of the visit.
Activity book for ages 4 to 10: For siblings ages 4 to 10 years old, complete pages one through six of this book before the virtual visit. After the virtual visit, go over the rest of the activity book with your child.
Activity book for ages 10+: For siblings ages 10 years and older, complete pages one through four of this book before the virtual visit. After the virtual visit, go over the last two pages with your child.
Preparation book: Please read this entire book before showing it to your child. Select pages to share that best fit your baby's experience in the NICU and what the sibling may see during their virtual visit. Show these pictures to your older children before the NICU Sibling Virtual Visit to help prepare them for sights and sounds they might experience.