What is all the equipment for?
Whilst your baby is on the unit you will encounter many
different types of equipment used to help us look after the
babies. These are just some of them:
This is a clear plastic covered cot, which provides an
electronically controlled environment of warmth and humidity,
whilst at the same time allowing us to see your baby easily.
You can touch your baby through the doors.
Once your baby is well enough and big enough, they will be moved
into an uncovered cot. This could be after a few days or it could
take several weeks.
We have many, sometimes noisy, machines on the unit that can be
quite frightening. These monitors are used to record your
baby's heart and breathing rates, blood pressure and
Some of the monitors will measure how much oxygen is in your
baby's blood. Quite often alarms will ring out when the monitor
wishes to alert the member of staff to a particular reading. This
does not always mean that something is wrong. It may be that
your baby has just moved or is wriggling and this can interfere
with the readings.
The nurse looking after your baby will explain what each number
on the monitor means. Please do not touch any of the alarms
yourself. If you are worried please tell a member of staff.
A ventilator will breathe for your baby when they are too small
or ill to breathe properly for themselves. A mixture of air and
oxygen is blown through a tube going into your baby's mouth, down
the windpipe and into their lungs to inflate them, just as if they
had taken a normal breath.
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
CPAP drivers are special machines that help support your baby's
breathing. Your baby will do all the breathing for itself,
but the CPAP driver helps by keeping your baby's lungs slightly
inflated. The machine does this by blowing a mixture of air
and oxygen through a tube attached to two soft plastic prongs or a
mask that are put into your baby's nostrils.
Babies who are born too early, or who are poorly, quite often
develop a condition called jaundice and their skin can turn a
yellow colour. It does not always need to be treated but when it
does we use a phototherapy light. This is a bright blue light,
which is placed over your baby's incubator or cot.
Often babies are too small or too poorly to be fed with
milk. They are given all the calories they need with special
fluids that are given to the baby directly by a needle that goes
into the veins on the baby's legs or arms. Special pumps
administer these fluids. These pumps are specially made for
babies and can give the exact amount of fluids that your baby