Traditionally we celebrate the birth of a baby with gifts of baby clothes, soft toys and balloons but what happens if a baby arrives early, how do you celebrate then?
Don't feel you have to spend a fortune, in difficult times, it really is the thought that counts. Often what hurts the most, when a baby arrives early, is that people don't acknowledge the birth and stay away because they're unsure what to say.
Make it personal
At Teddy & Me we understand that choosing a gift for the parent of a premature baby can be a challenge. Consider the situation initially, if mum has been poorly she may be hospitalised too, a bag or basket filled with things she may want, or need will be greatly appreciated.
Choose things like hand cream (because repeated use of sanitiser dries out hands), mini shampoo/bodywash and a nice body spray plus some cereal bars (for late night nibbles). Add notelets (Try not to forget the pen!), a book or some magazines, choose something dad may like to read too, it will give them something to look at while spending long hours sitting in neonatal care.
Perfect for premature babies, the tenticles of the Octopus remind preemies of the umbilical cord, which helps them feel safe and secure. As well as calming babies, their tentacles make them less likely to pull on their monitors or tubes.
Cooked Food Hamper
If you like cooking, why not make a food hamper? Even if you're no Delia Smith in the kitchen, you could make a hamper using food from a good deli or supermarket. NICU parents spend a lot of time going to and from hospital with no time for cooking good food; and they'll need to feel strong.
There is nothing better than holding your baby skin-to-skin in what is called Kangaroo Care. It’s one of the most amazing and free of cost gifts a parent can give their premature baby. A loving and thoughtful gift is a cuddle wrap, helping to keep tiny babies warm whilst lying against mummy or daddies chest. It’s simple but effective and incredibly thoughtful; not to mention positive. One of the key things parents of premature babies hold onto is hope, a gift like this re-affirms that you understand and if not now, at some point in the future they will get to hold their precious baby.
Although life goes on outside the walls of NICU, it will feel as if nothing else exists, for parents of a premature baby everything is on hold. A positive gift choice is clothing, even if the clothes aren't suitable for use immediately, they show that you think they will be worn eventually. In future they can be kept in a memory box along with other items relating to the early arrival. Children can't imagine ever being so small, time spent looking at the contents of a memory box will generate thought provoking conversations in the future.
Ultimately showing you care is the most important thing, not acknowledging the new baby for fear that it's too early, can leave parents of premature babies felling isolated and misunderstood. Coming home to a house without any cards or baby gifts only serves to compound these feelings x