Leaving the NICU can be an exciting and emotional time for parents of premature or medically fragile infants. As a friend or family member, you may be wondering how you can continue to support your loved ones during this transition. One way to show your support and care is by giving thoughtful gifts that can help make their journey a little bit easier.
Here are some gift ideas for parents of NICU graduates:
1. Door and Stroller Signs to Protect Vulnerable Babies
To help protect their baby from germs and illness, parents of NICU graduates may want to discourage strangers or well-meaning acquaintances from touching or holding their baby. Gifting a "Don't Touch Me" sign, such as those offered by Three Little Tots, can help parents communicate their wishes in a polite and effective way.
For families with immunocompromised children, you may also consider gifting a door sign or magnet that asks visitors to wash their hands or wear a mask before entering the home can be a helpful way to communicate this message and protect the health of the child.
2. Post-Partum Doula or Lactation Counseling
A NICU doula can provide valuable emotional support and guidance as parents transition to caring for their baby at home. Gifting a NICU doula service, such as those offered by NICU doulas or postpartum doulas with NICU experience, can be a meaningful and practical way to show your support for the family. A NICU doula can provide education about infant care and development, help parents navigate medical appointments and equipment, and provide emotional support and validation during this challenging time.
Breastfeeding can also be a challenging and emotional experience, especially for parents of premature or medically fragile infants who may have difficulty latching. Gifting a session or package of lactation counseling can provide valuable support and guidance for parents as they navigate the breastfeeding journey.
3. Baby-Wearing Wraps
Baby-wearing can provide many benefits for both babies and parents, including promoting bonding, reducing crying, and freeing up hands for other activities. Gifting a baby-wearing wrap, such as a Beluga Baby or Boppy, can help parents continue to provide this important form of care while also staying hands-free.
4. Pumping Products
For parents who are exclusively pumping or supplementing with pumped milk, having the right pumping products can make a big difference in their experience. Gifting a high-quality breast pump and pumping accessories can help make pumping more comfortable and efficient. Here are a few of our favorite products:
5. Breathable Crib Mattresses
For babies with respiratory or allergy issues, a breathable crib mattress can help reduce the risk of suffocation and provide a more comfortable sleeping environment. Gifting a crib mattress such as the Newton Baby can help parents ensure that their baby is sleeping safely and soundly.
6. Smart Baby Monitors that Track Breathing
For parents who are anxious about their baby's breathing or heart rate, a smart baby monitor that tracks these vital signs can provide peace of mind and help them feel more connected to their baby's well-being. Gifting a monitor such as the Owlet Smart Sock or the Nanit can be a meaningful and useful way to show your support.
7. NICU Graduate Clothing
After spending weeks or months in the hospital, parents may want to celebrate their baby's homecoming with special clothing designed just for NICU graduates.
Gifting onesies, shirts, or hats with NICU slogans can be a thoughtful way to show your support and help parents celebrate their baby's journey. Littlest Warrior and Dear NICU Mama offer NICU grad apparel for babies, parents, and siblings alike.
8. Children's Books about Preemies and the NICU
Reading children's books about preemies and the NICU can be a helpful way for parents and siblings to process their experiences and celebrate their baby's journey. Gifting books such as "Earlybird" by Julie Bergess-Manning or "Small But Mighty" by Alyssa Veech can provide comfort and support for the whole family.
Leaving the NICU can be a joyous and overwhelming experience for parents of premature or medically fragile infants. As a friend or family member, you can show your support and care by giving thoughtful gifts that can help make this transition a little bit easier.