November marks Prematurity Awareness Month, a time to shed light on the significant number of premature births around the world.
As reported by March of Dimes, in the U.S alone, each week sees an average of 7,384 babies born before full term; that’s a little over 10% of live births. Having a baby in the NICU can be a frightening and overwhelming experience for many parents, and they need all the resources they can get.
Preemie and NICU Gifts
So, we’ve connected with incredible brands dedicated to supporting and empowering parents of preemie and NICU babies.
You can feel good about shopping with these companies – their founders have also spent time with their babies in the NICU, and they are now making their communities a better place for our most vulnerable citizens.
So, in this post, we’re curating a list of meaningful gifts specifically for parents of preemies and NICU babies.
Kangaroo Care, or skin-to-skin contact, is one of the best things you can do for your preemie. Joeyband™ has your back during those long cuddle sessions, ergonomically supporting you and your baby, and giving you your hands back to read a book, drink some water, and otherwise relax while you deliver the best care possible. Great for parents of all shapes, sizes and physical abilities, suitable for singletons, twins, and triplets. Joeyband is a registered FDA class 1 medical device, trusted by hospitals across North America, and is the exclusive skin-to-skin product of La Leche League International. The co-founder of Joeyband created this product after her newborn baby fell off her chest during skin-to-skin contact. She never wanted another family to experience the pain of an infant fall. Now used on over 100,000 newborns, the Joeyband community is not only protecting babies, but improving their quality of life during the fourth trimester.
Our Preemie Adventures, by Adam Wood
Adam Wood’s passion for writing came after his son was born prematurely, weighing just 1 pound and 4 ounces, and found very little books on the subject. He began doing public speaking, advocacy, creating online content and writing his first book, Our Preemie Adventure, to showcase life in the NICU with a humorous twist. In 2022, he and a neonatologist co-wrote Our Respiratory Adventure: A NICU Story and A NICU Christmas Adventure. Their hope is to educate families about life in the NICU and bring cheer through their funny and educational storytelling. Adam continues to support families through his social media accounts and on his website, which helps to connect parents with resources in their local area. He also works to bridge the gap in care for dads in and out of the NICU in the hopes to make a better support system for all families.
Bonsie Skin to Skin Babywear was designed by a mom and therapist in an effort to simplify the important practice of skin-to-skin contact. Bonsie’s unique design is loved by NICU parents and recommended by medical experts for several reasons: they allow nurses and doctors to easily place sensitive medical equipment on babies while keeping them warm, diaper and outfit changes are easier, and parents don’t have to undress their babies to practice skin-to-skin contact. Skin-to-skin contact is crucial for premature babies because it boosts brain development, strengthens their immune systems, stabilizes heart and breathing rate, regulates temperature and blood sugar, and leads to greater weight gain. For these reasons, research shows that increased frequency of skin-to-skin contact can lead to earlier discharge from the NICU. Bonsies are available in size preemie.
Little Ward Books is a family owned publishing company. Their mission is to raise awareness about the NICU experience, provide comfort and resources to those with a child in the NICU, and support family literacy to those in the NICU and beyond through their Reading Through the NICU program. “Our NICU Journey” is an inspiring keepsake book that follows first time parents as their children find the strength, courage, and perseverance to come home. The illustrations were created from photos of the NICU and real members of neonatal medical staff. This book is perfect for an uplifting gift for new NICU parents, NICU graduates, and healthcare professionals who are dedicated to serving this fragile community.
Consider FLRRiSH your very own NICU support group. Whether you’re a preemie mom, dad, or caregiver, our services are here to empower you and give you the tools you need to feel more confident, sane, and at peace throughout your journey. Parents of premature babies shouldn’t be left alone. Because a NICU mom founded FLRRiSH, our support services come with a unique understanding of the preemie experience.
Just as your baby is cared for by doctors, you will be cared for by a community of parents who know what you’re going through.
For the NICU graduates and other children, Pants for Peanuts make sizes that don’t exist elsewhere. Comparing your child's size against their peers can be challenging for some parents, which is why Pants for Peanuts offers sizing without age. All pant sizes come in multiple lengths and are longer and leaner than other brands. Finding pants that fit can be a real problem for preemie parents, and Natalie understands the frustration. Natalie, the founder of the company, delivered her daughter at 35 weeks; her baby weighed just three pounds. Since day one, Natalie’s daughter has struggled to catch up on the growth chart. She began making pants for her daughter and other preemie children as a way to offer support and community connection. Natalie’s mission is to save parents time and discouragement while helping kids feel good in their clothing.
These one-of-a-kind made-to-order birth weight dolls capture the size of your baby at birth, reflecting their weight, height and head circumference. These dolls are wonderful memorabilia for parents, remembering how far their preemie baby has come, or as a keepsake for parents who have lost their baby.
Tiny Pounds of Love’s founder, Maayan, has spent a lot of time in the NICU, both with her son and as a volunteer with special needs babies. Creating these unique dolls is Maayan’s way of giving families a bit of joy or comfort along their journey.
Finn and Co is the home of the unique Finn Panda, designed to help comfort babies during hospital stays, as well as foster the bond between mom and baby, even when they have to be apart. Finn comes with a removable scent patch that mom or caregiver can wear and then reattach or keep near her baby so her scent is nearby. A recording device that records up to one minute can be played back once or on repeat, so babies can hear their mom’s voice. A black and white design appeals to babies’ early vision development, and an antimicrobial treatment ensures Finn Panda shows up with all the love and none of the germs.
Finn and Co also supports the hydrops fetalis community by having a one of a kind hydrops collection where proceeds are donated to hydrops research. The founder of Finn and Co, Michelle, created the Finn Panda after her son spent 57 days in the NICU. Jayme, the owner of the company, now continues Michelle’s passion project. Jayme’s daughter was born at 33 weeks and is a hydrops fetal survivor.