the presence of the family is fundamental in the care of hospitalized child, because it is a source of protection and security by providing an environment less aggressive. the objective of this study was understood the concepts of the nursing staff about the mother's companion. this is an exploratory qualitative research, developed in a hospital relating to infant care in the northeast, held between april and may of 2007 through semi-structured interview. data were subjected to thematic analysis and the ethical respected. we identified that the mother is recognized as important person in supporting the child, but has not received proper care by healthy professionals. perceived as agents in the process work, the mother does not participate in decision making, but carries the responsibility of nursing care. so it is important that nursing reorient their work with the aim of building links and a comprehensive care.