BACKGROUND: There are limited data to inform the choice between parental presence at clinical bedside rounds (PPCBR) and non-PPCBR in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). METHODS: We performed a single-centre, survey-based, crossed-over randomised trial involving parents of all infants who were admitted to NICU and anticipated to stay >11 days. Parents were randomly assigned using a computer-generated stratified block randomisation protocol to start with PPCBR or non-PPCBR and then crossed over to the other arm after a wash-out period. At the conclusion of each arm, parents completed the 'NICU Parental Stressor Scale' (a validated tool) and a satisfaction survey. After completion of the trial, we surveyed all healthcare providers who participated at least in one PPCBR rounding episode. We also offered all participating parents and healthcare providers the opportunity to partake in a focus group discussion regarding PPCBR. RESULTS: A total of 72 parents were enrolled in this study, with 63 parents (87%) partially or fully completing the trial. Of the parents who completed the trial, 95% agreed that parents should be allowed to attend clinical bedside rounds. A total of 39 healthcare providers' surveys were returned and 35 (90%) agreed that parents should be allowed to attend rounds. Nine healthcare providers and 8 parents participated in an interview or focus group, augmenting our understanding of the ways in which PPCBR was beneficial. CONCLUSIONS: Parents and healthcare providers strongly support PPCBR. NICUs should develop policies allowing PPCBR while mitigating the downsides and concerns of parents and healthcare providers such as decreased education opportunity and confidentiality concerns. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register number, ACTRN12612000506897.