NICU Clothes and Other Gifts to Give a Preemie Mother
One-in-ten children are born premature – which means a lot of parents and families go through the harrowing experience of being separated from their babies right after they’re born. Premature babies - with sepsis or infection, perinatal depression, or a host of other conditions - are taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of the hospital where they are given around-the-clock treatment by specialized medical staff.
As the baby is tended to and the parents wait in the hospital for updates, it’s up to friends, family and other loved ones to band together and show support. But you may not know what exactly you should do. However you choose to standby your loved one is up to you, but we’ve compiled a few ideas here to get you started.
NICU Clothes for the Baby and Mother
When in the hospital for an extended period of time, whether as a baby or a mother, there are certain clothes that make things a whole lot easier. Think of bringing some of these with you when you visit:
1. NICU Preemie One-Piece
While expecting, parents collect clothes they can’t wait to dress their babies in. But when a baby is born premature, parents aren’t able to dress their babies in the clothes they’ve been dreaming of.
That’s why as far as NICU clothes go, a NICU preemie one-piece is a thoughtful gift to give to a parent while they wait to be reunited with their child – because it helps ease the parent’s mind in what they can dress the baby in, while also reaffirming they will be able to dress their baby once the nurse gives the go ahead.
A NICU preemie one-piece, as any other NICU clothes being worn by the baby, should have clinically compatible accessibility (think ties and snaps easy to take off for IV access, diaper changing, etc.) while also being comfortable for the baby. The design and material should keep the child warm in the hospital, be antimicrobial and easy to wash.
Looking for NICU clothes like the NICU preemie one-piece? Care+Wear has teamed up with the March of Dimes to create the perfect preemie one-piece to gift a new parent.
2. Comfortable Clothing for the Mother
One thing everyone can agree on about hospitals is they are not the most comfortable environments. While mothers are with their babies during this time, they should be made as comfortable as possible.
Comfy Clothing: So, think about the things that make you the most comfortable when you’re at home. Do you wear a pair of big, fuzzy slippers in the morning? Or wear a robe when walking through the kitchen to the living room? Even a pair of cozy socks can make all the difference in the world for a mother in the NICU.
Cute Blankets will also be helpful, especially when the baby is healthy enough to start breastfeeding. This will give the mother privacy from others who may be in the room and keep the baby and mother warm during this time.
A Care Basket of Personal Items
While spending time in the NICU, mothers often forget about taking care of themselves because they’re so focused on the health of their babies. A care basket full of personal items will help them take care of the basics without having to worry.
Like when you’re traveling, you’ll want to include travel-sized versions of toiletries in your care basket. Think of the essentials like a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hand and facial moisturizer, lip balm, tissues, face wipes, cotton swabs, dry shampoo – anything you think that could make life easier.
As much as mothers will want to spend their time focused on their babies, they also need to ease their minds and distract themselves with something else from time to time. By packing your care package with entertainment options, you’ll help the mother pass time while she waits to be reunited with her child.
Here are some can’t-miss entertainment items you can pack in your care basket:
- Earbuds and a gift card to Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Pandora or Audible
- An extra phone charger or an external battery with a charging cord
- A book of puzzles such as Crosswords, Sudoku, Brain Teasers or Nonograms
- A set of different magazines on topics the mother finds interesting
- Or if the mother is more artistic, you can pack something like a sketchbook and a set of pens for drawing, a journal for writing, or a calming coloring book and colored pencils for meditative coloring.
3. Personal Touches
What the care basket really symbolizes is your love and care for the new parent and their family. So, make sure your basket also features some personal touches.
Greeting Cards: One such personal touch you can make is a lovely greeting card with a lengthy inscription about what the parent means to you. Bonus points if it’s a handcrafted card. You can also include a picture of yourself and your family themed around showing your support – a great photo op being if you all wear matching shirts with inspirational messaging.
Personal Notes: If you’re not artistic, a note will work just as well. Or, you can include cards for the whole nursing staff the parent can give when their baby and they are ready to leave the hospital to thank them for providing such great care.
Some of the best gifts to give a parent in this situation aren’t anything money can buy, but time and effort making sure things at home continue to be in order.
Daily Tasks: A few things you can do is offer to drive to and from the hospital, babysit during hospital visits if they have other children, walk or feed the dog or other pets, pick up groceries, help out with phone calls – anything you can think of that will ease the burdens the parent is experiencing during this time.
Quality Time: Sometimes even just hanging around in silence will help the parents in feeling like they have support and that if there’s anything they need done or to talk about, they have someone who deeply cares there waiting.
Because the most important thing to do during a situation like this is being present and providing support at every step of the way.
If you need a place to start, learn more about the Care+Wear partnership with March of Dimes and how purchasing the NICU one-piece helps babies around the world. For additional Care+Wear Gift Guides click here.