For World Prematurity Day, our friend Lindsay Owens has shared her experience as a Mom to Micro Preemie, Cameron. Part of this is sharing what she feels are the nine NICU essentials that make great gifts to parents with preemies.
Number 1: Hospital Gift Cards
Preemie parents spent a LOT of time in and out of he hospital as they are visiting their little ones in the NICU and unfortunately most hospitals are not known for having the healthiest foods. Gifting preemie parents gift cards to the hospital snack shops or local restaurants ensures they can grab a coffee, an apple, or a snack at will and keep their energy up for those long and tiring nights.
Number 2: Self-care items for the Parents
As we covered above, NICU parents are spending a LOT of time in and out of the hospital. This means limited time for the self-care new parents need and want. Gifting them with self-care baskets or gift boxes containing lotions, lip gloss, dry shampoos, and deodorants can go a long way towards making them feel a little more themselves.
Some of our favorite local shops for goodies such as these are:
- Pepperpot Polish: Don't let the name fool you! Pepperpot Polish has a wide range of self-care items including lip gloss, bath and body oil, sugar scrubs, lotions and more!
- KV Apothecary: A lovely, mama-owned shop that specializes in natural balms and salves. They also have a wonderful line of Mama + Baby items such as scar salves, body balm and more.
Number 3: Books
Literacy is important and books are a great way parents can interact with NICU babies during those long days and nights. Board books or even Hardbound Books are great gifts for parents and baby. Check-out a great selection from our store, below.
Number 4: NICU Milestone Cards
NICU babies have to pass a number of milestones before they can go home with the parents. A way to keep track of all of these milestones while keeping the mood positive is by gifting a set of NICU Milestone Cards to the new parents! We recommend a visit to Preemie Store as they have a great selection of NICU Milestone Cards to choose from.
Number 5: Pet Care
NICU parents are spending gobs of time in and out of the hospital which means they are not able to attend to their dogs, cats (and other pets) in the way they could if they were at home. Offering to provide care for pets by taking them on walks, feeding them, or even offering to house them for awhile, can provide that extra bit of relief to new parents they need.
Number 6: Blankets and Swaddles
They like to keep things dark in the NICU. One of the ways parents can add a bit of personality to the experience is by providing their own blankets and swaddles. Gifting NICU parents blankets or swaddles are a great way of showing them you care, while also providing the resources they need as they are looking after their new baby.
Number 7: Memory Books
Similar to Milestone Cards, Memory Books are a great way to capture all of those special days and thoughts during the NICU stay. Again, we recommend Preemie Store as the best resource for all things memory books.
Number 8: Touches of Home
Sending NICU families photos of your family, handmade nodes, pieces of art and generally things that can make the hospital room feel a little bit more like home. These items show a bit of care and love and can be next to free but really make for a special gift for these families when they need it most.
Number 9: Tap yourself in
This may be a bit more complicated in the time of Covid, and is really more of an ask for immediate family, but offer to watch that NICU baby for the parents. This gives NICU parents a bit of relief and allows them to go on a walk, shower, grab a bite to eat or catch a nap that they so desperately need.