Tips on Spending the Holidays in the NICU
Having a baby in the NICU is stressful on any day. Throw in the holidays and you’ve got yourself a new set of emotions that just boarded your NICU rollercoaster.
Jed spent his first Christmas in the NICU, just 10 days after he was born. We were in a tough place and I won’t lie, it’s difficult. But you can get through it and even make some memories. The holidays don’t have to be the least bit flashy or over the top to be meaningful.
Remember you have your greatest gift with you and that’s reason enough to celebrate.
Here are my few tips on ways to get through the holidays in the NICU:
1. Decorate your baby’s isolette/crib:
Hang ornaments, a stocking, a fake wreath–whatever makes you happy! Tape up some garland and maybe even some holiday cards from family and friends.
2. Sing carols and read stories to your baby:
Not only do babies love hearing your voice, but studies also show how great reading to your baby actually is for their development. Singing also soothes them and can help them sleep better!
3. Take pictures:
Yes it’s not in Santa’s lap or under the tree at home, but that doesn’t matter. Bring a camera and capture the moments. If your baby can wear clothes already, bring them something festive to wear. Maybe even throw on a cute Santa hat!
4. Have visitors if you’re ready:
If you want the company, have some family and friends stop in one at a time. If you aren’t ready, that’s okay too. Kindly tell your loved ones you’d rather be alone this holiday season and I’m sure they’ll understand. You can even Skype with some distant relatives if your NICU allows it!
5. Open gifts:
My husband and I brought a small gift for our son, as did my mother. We opened them in the NICU with him, even though he wasn’t the least bit aware of what we were doing. It was special to us to unwrap gifts by his side, especially some with his name on them.
6. Celebrate the nurses and doctors:
Now is the perfect time to show your appreciation. Bring them some cookies, a card, any small token of your appreciation. They’re away from their own children to take care of ours– away from their families, working for ours. Celebrate with them and include them in your festivities!
Thinking of all of you and hoping you make the best out of your situation. Hang in there and remember that a lot can change in a year. Happy Holidays from my little family to yours!