This past September I was accepted into a volunteer program at a local hospital to become an NICU Cuddler. This means that after extensive training and orientation, I am able to hold tiny babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. This is by far the most satisfying volunteer work I have ever done and I am so impressed by the staff who take such wonderful, compassionate care of the babies and their families. Today’s exhibit addresses the specific needs of babies in the NICU.
NICU Babies: Tiny Miracles
In the NICU, babies are hooked up to an assortment of tubes, wires, and monitors which makes dressing them a tricky proposition. Itty Bitty Me Shoppe solves this with bright pieces like vests which allows for access while still looking sweet.
Having a baby in the NICU can be extremely frightening and stressful for parents. Miracle Bebe created a journal/baby book specifically for this situation. Along with places for pictures and reflections, it also includes sections like conversion charts, feeding records, and even a NICU dictionary.
With so much out of a parent’s control, sometimes the only decision that can be made is what the baby will wear. Lined with soft flannel for sensitive skin, Azalea Street Designs offers super cute onesies sized for micro-preemies.
When babies are too fragile to even be held, they can continue to bond with parents through scent. Heaven Scent Blankets are meant to be worn next to the parents’ skin, then placed in the baby’s isolette. They come as a pair so your baby never need be without one.
Maintaining body temperature is a big job for little babies, so hats are a must-have. ColorWorks Gift Shop can crochet hats for the smallest of preemies. Choose from 20 yarn colors and 5 embellishments for the perfect look.
The constant stimulation of the NICU can put stress on a wee one who needs to focus energy on growing. Often a quilt like this one from Dolce Dreams is laid over the top of the isolette to keep out noise and light. This one can be personalized with a name and date, too.
Finally, Nicu Needles sells products with all profit going towards creating handmade items for NICU babies. It all began when a hospital dress code changed and nurses had old scrubs lying around. They began sewing them into quilts, then branched out into creating purses like this showstopper!