Items for Baby
These items for baby enable parents to care for and bond with their baby. A parent’s touch only accounts for 14% of baby’s interaction in the NICU, which can may lead to a prolonged NICU stay and future complications such as sensory issues. Items for baby also help make the NICU life as "homey" and "warm" as possible. They can bring comfort and hope to both the families and their babies.
Eye Masks- These are used to cover the eyes of the infant to allow the baby to rest. Most often hand made with flannel fabric.
Blankets- Either handmade or store bought. 16”x20” is an appropriate size for preemie blankets, and approx. 30”x30” for full term.
Hats- Knit, crochet, or store bought in preemie or newborn sizes. Round Knifty Knitters are a great tool to use to make quick and easy hats, and can be purchased at Walmart or craft stores.
Booties- knit, crochet, or store bought in preemie or newborn sizes.
Scratch Mittens- Used to help keep little hands from scratching their face or pulling at
Stuffed Animals- For baby to have at bedside it adds a touch of home to the babies isolette. Not all hospitals allow stuffed animals, so please check with your NICU contact before including.
Scent Dolls- The parent's scent can aid in bonding with babies in the NICU. These are simple dolls that are made to be worn by the mother next to her skin, and then given to the infant.
Memory Making Items
These items give parents the opportunity to capture memories with their new babies, something all new parents want to do. Many babies in intensive care are experiencing serious, life-threatening conditions; therefore, capturing moments with their babies are even more important for parents. These items help families record, remember, and celebrate their new child’s life. For instance, a picture frame can be used to display a picture of the family by the baby at all times or it can be used for the parents to keep and display a picture of their baby so that they have it with them during the times they have to be separated.
Isolette Decorations- Small decorations to hang on the baby isolettes. Hand painted wooden decorations and name plaques are commonly used. Birth record pillows are also beautiful keepsakes to include.
Disposable Cameras- Used for families who may want to leave the camera with the nurses
to capture moments while they are not there. Before donating disposable cameras check with your local NICU to see if they have a camera already available in the unit.
Children’s Books- In the NICU parents may not be able to partake in the daily care of the child. Reading to the infant can aid in bonding, and the parent’s voice can be soothing to child. Pick classic stories that are easy to read. Children’s books may also be used for sibling bags.
Hand/Foot Print Kits - Enable families to create a precious keepsake together with their baby.
Items for Parents
Journals- Used for parents to write down their thoughts, or keep important notes, questions, and terms.
Puzzle Books- Puzzle and activity books are included to give parents something to do during the downtime while they sit at the baby’s bedside. Coloring and children activity books can also be used in sibling bags to keep young siblings busy.
Tissue Packs- Needed due to the results of the emotional and physical stress of being in a NICU
Lotion and Lip Balm- unscented lotions are used for both parents whose hands can be dry from constant sanitizer use, and used in daily care to massage the infant when permitted.
Hand Sanitizer- Travel size hand sanitizer is perfect for parents who are constantly in and out of the NICU.
Travel Sized Toiletries - During a NICU stay, many families are displaced from their homes. Parents spend many hours of the day with their babies and often do not have items available for personal care.
Gift cards (gas, food, lodging, etc.) - Financial hardship is common in the NICU. Not only are parents accruing medical expenses, they often struggle to afford transportation, food and lodging during their stay.
Many of these items can be purchased in your local stores. Visit our website to purchase items specially created with families in the NICU in mind. All proceeds from the sale will contribute to grant funding to provide for the financial needs of NICU families.
Shop now: www.nicuawareness.org/store.html