It is the season of gift-giving....and it is also a busy baby shower season! But, what about gift-giving to a family whose baby is in the NICU? Many people find this to be a challenge because the baby is too small or too ill for clothing, toys, etc. and no one knows what size the baby will be by the time he/she gets to go home. Our NICU parents, however, still need all of the wonderful things that are typically received at a shower. So, I did a little research (and based on a little NICU RN experience), I came up with a few suggestions for you:
*NICU-specific or Preemie memory books, scrapbook kits, etc. (These are available online through several resources.)
*Personalized receiving blankets....many times these can be used in the baby's isolette while in the hospital and they add a personal touch to his/her bed.
*Gift cards....for use later when baby comes home or for restaurants near the hospital since the parents will be there so often!
*Gas cards! For many families, the daily travel to and from the hospital really adds up.
What else can you suggest? I'm sure that some of our NICU Grad families have some great ideas, so drop me an email (by clicking on my name below) or click on the "comments" link.
Julie Hudson, MSN, RN