E.G. asks from Cambridge, MA on February 07, 2008
Best Gift for Mom of Preemie?
I have a coworker who just gave birth to a premature girl. I think she weighs about 3lbs at this point. Does anyone have a suggestion for a good baby gift? I find that all the "preemie" size outfits are way too big and I would like to get her something she could really use now. I feel like getting her something her girl could grow into will just remind her how small she is. In addition, I know she is stressed out about being home but the baby still being in the NICU. Thanks for your suggestions.
R.R. answers from Boston on February 26, 2008
Books are always a wonderful gift. They are timeless and sentimental. Choose some classics for a variety of ages that she can "grow into". You can personalize each book with a message inside the cover. I received a gift like this, and we still read the books and think of the sender fondly every time we open one of her books.
B.J. answers from Boston on February 09, 2008
My preemie is 26 years old now. If you can get preemie diapers I think that would be a help. I used cloth and I remember even that was tricky folding them small enough for his tiny butt. Being there for the new mother will help. I know I felt weird while my son was still in the hospital. I didn't feel like a new mother because he wasn't home and I was worried about him when I couldn't be there to take care of him. Also I remember everyone bombarding me with questions. I hope this helps.
K.S. answers from Boston on February 08, 2008
You've gotten a ton of great responses already, but I did not see any mention of books on Kangaroo Care...something extremely important and beneficial to premies! Here is a link to the Cleveland Clinic website that explains what it is all about: http://www.clevelandclinic.org/health/health-info/docs/39... I highly suggest you pass the info on to her if she is not already aware. There are also special pouches that can be bought online now to assist with this treatment.
K.B. answers from Portland on February 07, 2008
I found the best gifts for me were cute little blankets to keep my little one warm. Because they're so little they need to be bundled, wrapped or swaddled much of the time because their little bodies have a hard time retaining heat. That's also something the baby could use for a long time without it reminding the mom of her size. If you could find a place that makes nice handmade little quilts or afghans those usuallu seem to mean alot, but places like walmart always have relatively nice blankies too. My middle son was born two months early and was 4lbs 4oz so I have a little bit of experience. Now he's almost four and doing great. Good luck.
C.F. answers from Boston on February 08, 2008
Don't have any better ideas than the one's that you've rec'd, just want to commend you on your insight that if you get her clothes her baby will grow into, it will remind her of how small her baby is!! From experience - you are absolutely right!!!
C.B. answers from Boston on February 08, 2008
A friend of mine went through a similar experince last spring. Many people pitched in to provide the support she and her husband needed while they were spending so much time at the hospital. Gift cards for restaurants near the hospital, or for Dunkin Donuts, Au bon pain,etc if they are located in the hospital are good. A house cleaning service is good or laudry pick up and delivery. My friend told us that realy helped and kept her in touch with how much people were pulling for her. Hope that helps. You are kind to reach out to her. C
A.K. answers from Burlington on February 08, 2008
My little girl came at 25 weeks and weighed in at less than 2lbs. (She was born March 1, 2007) The only people to visit us were my family who drove 7 hours to be there even though my husband's family was local. They came for a weekend and then had to go back home... taking my 2 year old with them. It was a very lonely time for my husband and I. I noticed it was a very common thing for the other parents in the NICU. In the 4.5 mo that we were there we had a total of 6 visitors and very little support. So many people were scared to come to they alientated us.
One of the best things you can do for your friend is to be there as much as possible. Make or buy some prepared meals so they don't need to worry about cooking. Call her a few times a week and encourage her (and listen to her). If she has other children offer to help with childcare. Getting a gift for the baby is a GREAT idea though if you want it to be something the baby uses in the NICU you'll need to find out what that specific NICU allows. Pretty much ANYTHING given to us for our little one was special since when you give birth very early you often do not get a baby shower and people do not celebrate with you.
Every mom handles having a preemie differently, but the best advice I can give is to be there... that will mean more than any gift. A preemie pacifier or a special preemie NICU wrap would probably be nice gifts for her. (It is really strange to see your baby naked in the incubator... I felt SO much better when I could start dressing my little Layla).
If you have any other questions you can let me know (____@____.com). I hope her baby does well and goes home very healthy.
M.R. answers from Portland on February 08, 2008
I think a gift card for a gas station and Duncan Donuts with a note telling her that it is to help with all thoes visits to the hospital would be unique and thoughtful. Then when she comes home and is bigger you could get an outfit or something.
L.B. answers from Boston on February 08, 2008
I am also the mother of a preemie (2 lbs 6 oz) who spent 5 weeks in the NICU. She is now 2. Honestly, there's nothing that a preemie uses at this point. Preemie clothes, particularly to sleep in, would not have upset me - I don't know about your coworker. One thing that I thought might be helpful would be some sort of a meal (either homecooked or gift certicate to a take out place) for your coworker. We spent all of our time in the hospital, had no time to cook, and spent alot of money on takeout.
E.M. answers from Indianapolis on February 08, 2008
A friend of mine loaned me "The Baby Book" and "The Breastfeeding Book" by Dr. Sears when I got pregnant, and I have referred to them dozens of times over the last year. He's written several other great books, including one called "The Premature Baby Book". You can check them out on his website http://www.askdrsears.com/store/products.asp?cat=20
Hope that helps!
M.L. answers from Providence on February 07, 2008
When my friend's daughter was in the NICU, I made her a lot of casseroles and box lunches that she could eat in the car. She was so stressed out about going back and forth to the hospital that she didn't take the time to take care of herself.
Also, if she has other children at home, babysitting for them would be a huge help.
I'd probably avoid getting anything gift-y until after the baby comes home.