A few days ago, my husband and I were thrilled to join the most amazing club – The Grandparents Club!!
Our precious little sweet granddaughter arrived at 31 weeks. 3 pounds 3 ounces of pure miracle!
As we’ve walked this new-to-us road with our son and his little family, we’ve been learning lots about premature babies and their care.
And of course, we want to do everything we can to help them and shower them with love and practical help during this exciting – (yet sometimes scary)- time!
Our grandbaby girl immediately went into the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), upon her birth. There, she is being looked after by an absolutely amazing team of nurses and doctors.
The NICU journey is often long and winding for both baby and parents, and comes with very specific needs and challenges.
Although I don’t claim to be an expert in any way (as this is all new to me), I headed to my Instagram community for some advice. My friends over there didn’t let me down!
Many of them have personally spent time in the NICU as moms, or been grandmas to NICU babies.
Here is the list of ideas they gave for thoughtful gifts and ways to help a preemie baby and parents.
Newborn Gifts for Preemie Baby
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.
1. Preemie baby clothes
Although the baby probably won’t be decked out in designer wear right away, they have some very specific clothing that is helpful while in the NICU.
- Preemie button up sleepers allow for easy access around wires and monitors they may be wearing. (You may want to choose the kind with no feet if they have an ankle monitor.
- Hats for preemie babies are practical as theys have trouble regulating their own body temperature.
- Preemie baby socks can help keep those little tiny toes warm!
- One mom mentioned to make sure you save some cute little preemie baby diapers so your little girl can use them when she plays with baby dolls later. I thought that was such a cute idea!
- I would imagine a preemie baby carrier would come in handy eventually. I found this artical on the best baby carrier for preemies that might be helpful if you’re looking for one.
- Of course, when a baby graduates out of the NICU there is much celebrating. One of my Instagram friends clued me into this darling NICU graduation cap crochet pattern that melted my heart! (If only I could crochet…) But, if you don’t crochet (like me), there are also some great options for NICU graduate clothes!
- Preemie mittens can be found at the Preemie Store (in the US). They can be especially helpful if the babies start pulling at the tubes and wires that need to be on for thier health! After some searching, I found a great source for preemie clothes in Canada at the Itty Bitty Baby Boutique.
2. Milestone Cards
A NICU baby has a whole list of milestones to accomplish until they are free to go home. This set of darling milestone cards is a perfect way to celebrate and document every step.
We’ve always been big into reading books to our kids, so we started real early. In fact, we still have the collection of children’s books we read to our boys. So, now we’re having fun buying books for our grandbabies. In fact, since our grandbaby lives so far away from us, we’re recording video of us reading to her so she can have story time with Grandma and Grandpa.
4. Amazon Baby Registry
Check with the parents to see if they have an online gift registry set up. If so, you can see the specific items they need and choose what you’d like to gift them with. Then it can be shipped right to their home!
Thoughtful Gifts for Parents of a Preemie Baby
Having a newborn baby can be stressful and exhausting at the best of times. But, adding a precious preemie in a NICU to that, and it can mean a whole different level of stress, worry, and strain.
As those of us wanting to come alongside and help as much as possible, I’ve compiled a list of ideas and suggestions for gifts and ways to support parents of preemie babies. (Again, many of these ideas are thanks to parents and grandparents who’ve had experience with this firsthand.)
- Gift cards to restaurants, fast food restaurants, gas stations, grocercy stores, and department stores (like Walmart or Target). Having a baby in the NICU often means weeks or months living in a city away from home. In the case of our son’s family, the hospital they are in is 3 hours from their home. Expenses add up quickly for food costs, gas, parking, and just living expenses. If the option is available in their area, door dash and uber eats cards are so helpful, too.
- Bring them food that can be easily heated up from the freezer or that is travel friendly. (If they have access to a kitchenette.)
- Take care of simple tasks for them like laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, or walking the dog.
- If they have a dog, they might need a great dogsitter for a while.
- Gift baskets with fruit, water bottles, treats, and hand lotion. (Thier hands will dry out quick from so much hand washing and hand sanitizer.)
- Call or text them to let them know you are thinking about them. It can get lonely in the NICU!
- A new pair of cozy slippers and comfy clothes for the new mom.
- Pray for them and send them a card saying you are.
- Start a GoFundMe to help with extra expenses.
I’m sure there are many other ideas that could be included. If you have some ideas or advice for this kind of situation, please include it in a comment below. I can keep adding to this post with more ideas and suggestions as they come in!
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