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Baby: Special Care Nursery

Our Special Care Nursery (SCN) cares for sick and preterm babies;in most cases babies born under 29 weeks gestation or are too sick to be cared for here are  transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Townsville Hospital.

The nursery provides low to high dependency care for sick newborns requiring constant monitoring and extra treatment and for growing “prems” who are establishing feeding and preparing for discharge home.

Visiting your baby in the nursery

Visiting hours for parents are 24/7 and we encourage them to come to the nursery at any time to be with their baby. Other visitors, such as grandparents and siblings of the baby, are welcome to visit during visiting hours (11am -12pm and 5pm - 8pm daily), but must be accompanied by a parent. Only siblings of the baby are to visit in the Special Care Nursery, no other children are permitted. All visitors must be in good health with no coughs, colds or infections. There is a limit of 3 visitors at any one time.


upon entering and leaving the Nursery everyone is required to wash their hands thoroughly with the hand wash solution provided. Hands must be washed before and after any baby cares.. Babies in the Special Care Nursery are prone to catching germs and bugs and hand washing is very important to help protect your baby.

How long will my baby need to be in the nursery?

This is very dependent on your baby. Each baby is different and will be assessed by the doctors, nurses and midwives caring for them. If your baby is born premature, you can usually expect to have your baby home by the time they reach your original due date - if not a little bit earlier.

We understand that it can be a frightening experience to have your baby in the Special Care Nursery. Please feel free to ask the staff caring for your baby any questions. If your baby is born premature or sick, he/she may need to stay in hospital longer than you, but you are encouraged to visit your baby as often as you can. We can also offer social work services and chaplain services if you need these.

Last updated: 29 September 2015