NICU Care Package Gift Ideas
One of the most difficult things a woman can go through is when her baby needs to be in the NICU.
There are lots of emotions and challenges that come with this, such as feeling insecure about your ability to take care of your other children while you stay at the hospital for long periods of time.
It can be really hard to know how to help NICU parents. They’ve just delivered their new baby into the world and instead of coming home, they’re looking at an extended stay in the NICU until their preemie is strong enough to come home.
By creating a NICU care package, you’ll be able to make their stay in the NICU a little easier.
Providing a special gift for a family whose baby is in the NICU is incredibly helpful. Here’s what you can put in your NICU survival kit!
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NICU Care Basket for Mom
Reusable Water Bottle
Every NICU mom needs a reusable cup that can keep drinks hot and cold for extended lengths of time. NICU moms spend MANY hours in the NICU and some don’t leave at all. One great thing about the Yeti cups is that they are large and keep drinks hot and cold. I LOVE MY YETI CUP!
Another great thing about this Yeti cup is that it is super easy to wash and keep clean. I recommend the 30-ounce Yeti cup over the 20-ounce cup because it alleviates having to refill the cup as often.
As with any hospital stay, the air is dry and your lips get chapped really easily. Even during my regular maternity stays, I always packed chapstick in my bag. Even more than a regular hospital stay, NICU moms find themselves talking to lots of doctors, nurses, and specialists, and that alone can make your lip even drier. Throw an awesome Burt’s Bees chapstick into her NICU care package.
Hand sanitizer is an absolute must for any hospital stay, but especially when you’re a NICU mom with a preemie in the NICU. I love the everyone brand products, and I use the soap and bubble bath with my own kids. I can only imagine that everyone hand sanitizer is of the same quality as the soap. And, it’s even better that this is a multi-pack as well, because after putting one in your hospital bag, the car, and at home even, it’s always nice to have a couple of extras.
Whether it be for tears or a runny nose, every NICU family can benefit from quality tissues. I love the Puffs tissues with lotion in them because they are super soft. The last thing a NICU mom needs is a rough, dry, sore nose.
If you happen to know what their favorite snacks are, you can throw some in their gift basket. It is a thoughtful gift for a preemie mom because you specifically thought of, and bought, what she loves to snack on! I love snack gift sets like this because there are several food items that are high in protein which is super important for the health of the new momma!
Food Gift Cards
Without a doubt, this is one of the most important gifts for parents who have a baby in the NICU. I have had several friends with babies in the NICU and so many of them have talked about how hard it was to leave their baby and go somewhere to get food, or stop on the way home and grab food because of the cost. Buy her some food gift cards! You could also load some money on her hospital card if she has one.
If the baby being in the NICU was completely unexpected, it would be super helpful to buy the momma a book about what to expect in the NICU. It will help ease her mind if she knows a bit about what to expect. Or, you could always buy her a book she would choose to read for joy. A book you could add about another mom’s journey through the NICU is called Half Baked: The Story of My Nerves, My Newborn, and How We Both Learned to Breathe.
With all of the handwashing and hand sanitizing she will be doing, every NICU momma will benefit from a really good moisturizing hand cream.
There will be days when she doesn’t feel like it or doesn’t have time for it. Washing your hair isn’t always a high priority when your baby is in the NICU. Buy her a really good dry shampoo. She will thank you for it every time she uses it. I am including a dry shampoo that’s a bit cheaper than many. Just because it’s cheaper, doesn’t mean it’s inferior in how good it works!
NICU Journal: Preemie Care Book
One thing preemie moms with babies in the NICU love to see is PROGRESS! What great way to track their preemie’s progress, than with a preemie journal. There are places to track and share thoughts about her NICU journey.
Gas Gift Cards
If the NICU mom you’re thinking of is going to be traveling back and forth between the hospital and home, she will greatly benefit from a gas gift card. It is one less expense she is going to have to worry about while her baby is in the NICU.
One thing a lot of NICU moms have shared is that the hospital is often cold. A great gift to add to her NICU care package is a comfortable jacket she can wear while visiting her baby in the NICU. One of the things I love about this jacket is that she could always use it for a pillow too if she gets a chance to take a nap.
Just looking at this blanket makes me want to take a nap. Every NICU mom needs a soft, lightweight blanket to keep in her hospital bag.
If she is breastfeeding, it would be helpful if you bought her an extra set of bottles and flanges. It can be hard to get to a sink to wash pump parts. Having an extra set will make her time in the NICU easier.
Make a Meal
So many moms have shared with me that one of the last things they want to do when they get home from the NICU is to make a meal for their family. If you’re able to make a freezer meal that she can use when she needs it, that would be super helpful.
Clean Her House
Another thing that would be helpful would be to either clean her house or pay someone else to. The last thing a NICU mom needs to worry about while home, is cleaning her house.
Items for NICU Baby
Books to read to baby
NICU moms really benefit from being able to read to their preemies. It’s also good for the babies to hear their momma’s voice as well. There are so many great books for NICU babies. Some of the best are: Small, but Mighty, The Littlest Peanut, and be brave little one.
Organic, Gentle Baby Wash and Lotion
Earth Mama is one of my favorite baby care product brands. Their products are organic herbal products that are gentle on baby skin, and they smell AMAZING! This Earth Mama baby care gift box would be a great addition to a NICU care package.
The Avent Soothie pacifiers are the most recommended pacifiers for young babies. The one pictured below is what I am referencing. Depending on how the NICU baby you’re buying for is doing, you may also be able to buy one of the super cute Wubbanub pacifiers.
Cute Swaddle Blankets
I LOVE SWADDLE BLANKETS! They are one of my favorite baby gifts for new moms in general, but swaddling is such an important part of caring for preemies. Even if your baby is hooked up to wires and machines, the nurses will hopefully at some point be able to help you wrap up your sweet babe in these adorable, soft muslin swaddle blankets.
Perfectly Preemie Clothing
Not knowing what kind of machines will be needed to help care for your preemie, you may want to consider adding a couple of these adorable Perfectly Preemie outfits to your NICU care package. As a mom in general, you don’t know what you don’t know until you’re there. The same can be said for NICU moms as well. They may already have cute preemie clothes, but because of different circumstances, the baby may be unable to wear them. These outfits are designed specifically for preemies, and there are several different colors and patterns to choose from. When that sweet baby is ready to come home, here are the cutest coming home from the hospital outfits!
A lot of NICU moms prefer to have baby glass bottles over plastic. It would be super thoughtful to add a couple of glass baby bottles to your NICU care package. Even if the baby can’t take a bottle right now, it’s a great visual for mom to work towards helping her baby be able to get there. Dr. Brown’s glass preemie bottles are my favorite and have been my go-to for each of my babes. They are great to help with colic and spit-up. Another great baby bottle to try is the Avent Natural bottle with a newborn flow nipple. As a breastfeeding mom myself, here are the best bottles for breastfed babies.
Everything is a celebration as your preemie baby grows! These NICU Milestone Moments cards are a visual reminder of the growth their sweet babe is making!
Easy Ways to Help a NICU Mom
Ask What Will Be the Most Helpful to Her
Ask what the best way you can help is. There are a lot of ways to offer support, such as coming over and bringing food or helping out with other children when needed. However, it is important for family members and friends to ask how they can provide any type of assistance that mom might need.
Offer to Help With the Other Kids
Offer to watch the other children when mom needs some time away from home or at night so she can get a break and sleep uninterrupted for an hour or two. You may be able to help to get the kids to and from school or help with running to evening activities.
Don’t Ask Too Many Questions
Avoid pushy questions about all the things happening with the baby and ask how they are feeling instead. This way, you show you wish to support mom without imposing on her privacy too much!
Keep in Touch!
There will be a lot of ups and downs for the family during this time. At times, it might seem like you are getting no response from mom at all. That’s why it is important to keep trying in order to show that you care about her well-being as much as she cares about yours.
Don’t Try to Give Advice You Don’t Have
Remember their story is not your story so don’t tell them how they should feel or what they should do because every situation is different and everyone reacts differently to these situations. Be there for people without telling them what they “should” be doing instead of listening to their needs first if possible!
Offer to Run Errands
Offer to do errands for mom while she is at the hospital. It’s a lot easier when someone else can take care of these things so moms don’t have to worry about anything outside of their own responsibilities!
Anything you can do or give to help a family whose baby in the NICU is amazing! My heart goes out to those moms and dads because I cannot imagine my baby not coming home with me from the hospital when discharged. The smallest things often make the biggest impact.
If you know a NICU momma who could use some support after coming home from the hospital NICU and figuring out what’s next, there is a great resource for NICU moms to connect with other NICU moms through NICU Helping Hands. Another great resource for NICU moms is called Hand to Hold. They have MANY great resources for not only moms but other family members of NICU babies.
MORE Helpful Tips for Moms
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