Preemies in the NICU: A visual tour

See how premature babies are cared for in the NICU.

Resources for Families

Support for you and your family

The neonatology team at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia understands that having an infant who is sick and in the hospital can be an uncertain and scary experience for many parents. We are here to help.

“How are you today?” is a question that gets asked all of the time, but as a parent of a child in the Harriet and Ronald Lassin Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit (N/IICU) at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the answer can be pretty frightening. Some feelings can easily be described — sad, lonely, guilty, scared, happy, relieved — while others may not be so easy to categorize or put into words.

When your child is sick, it is common for parents to experience a variety of feelings; some all at once, others changing minute by minute. The swirl of emotions can be confusing and draining for any parent.

The caring professionals at CHOP are available to help you and your child.

Psychosocial and developmental services

We offer comprehensive psychosocial and developmental services for babies and their families in the N/IICU at CHOP.

Services include:

Our goal is for you to understand the care your baby is receiving and how you can be part of that care. We encourage you and your family to ask questions to find out more about how you can bond with and care for your baby during his or her hospitalization.

We can also work with you to find similar resources when you return home.

More resources for N/IICU and neonatology families

Your baby's diagnosis and N/IICU admission may have raised many questions and given little time to gather responses.

This section offers quick and useful information to prepare you for your trip to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, help you get oriented once you arrive, and help you care for your baby during your stay.

Caring for you

We want to know how you are doing, as well as how your child is. Why? Because you are an important part of your child’s health team and we need your help and insight to aid us in the care of your child.

Sharing your thoughts and feelings can be as easy as saying, “You know, I am feeling a little strange today and I don’t know how to describe it.” Or, “I am feeling a little sadder today and I would really appreciate someone to talk with.”

These words may be hard to say but they are invaluable in helping us get you the resources you need.

The nurses, social workers, child life staff, psychologists, and occupational, physical, speech and music therapists can help you feel more comfortable being with your baby. They can teach you different ways to interact and support your baby, while also nurturing yourself.

Use the links above to find out how each specialty service can help you and your child. Then talk to us. We will do everything we can to support you and your family.

Contact us

For more information about our support services or how to access them, contact Chavis Patterson, PhD, director of psychosocial services, at 215-590-1653 or email

Updated April 2012

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