Best Gift for Mom of Preemie?

Updated on March 28, 2008
E.G. asks from Cambridge, MA
46 answers

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.

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R.R.

answers from Boston on

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.

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B.J.

answers from Boston on

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.

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K.S.

answers from Boston on

Hi,
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.

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C.G.

answers from Portland on

E.,

When my son was born, he was almost a month early. He was smaller than a premie for clothes, too. My mother in law had a fantastic idea that was inexpensive and worked really well for us. We went out and bought boy's doll clothes! They are made just as good as baby clothes and worked well. The other place that we got some nice sleepers at was Carter's Childrens wear. It is a store that specializes in only children's clothes. I found nice onesies and sleepers there, although they were expensive.
It is really stressful having a baby in the hospital. I was fortunate enough to stay with my son while he was there. An idea that might help your friend is to make a nice home made meal or some kind of snack/dessert that she can take with her to the hospital. I know that when I was there, meals did not come with my staying with my son. I tended to eat vending machine food most, with a rare trip to the cafeteria since I did not want to leave him. I know that I would have appreciated having something that I could have ate while still being close to him. I know that I was not focused on myself or eating while I was there, it was more of an after thought. Like "geez, I'm starving- I should go get something to eat." then, two hours later, I would pull myself away just so I did not feint at the insisting of the nurses. She also may appreciate just an offer to have some one check in at her house to make sure things are ok. Or even help with a little cleaning. I am not sure how close you are to her, but all these things would be helpful if you feel comfortable enough to do any of them. If not, just a card saying how much you are thinking about her or praying for her is good, too. Any how, just a few thoughts to try and help. :) C.

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K.G.

answers from Burlington on

film
time capsule
hand/foot print card materials (she won't be this small for long)
she will still need premie sizes once she can go home (the outfits will fir til just about 8lbs, so not a bad idea.
a journal
video recorder

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S.D.

answers from Hartford on

There is really not much you can do about preemie outfits being to big but there are some stores that have extra small preemie outfits. I believe Babies R Us carries some. I am speaking from experience my son was a preemie at 8 wk early and 4.8lbs. It's not always gifts that are nice just letting her know your there for anything is a big help....maybe running an errand or putting a meal together for her and her family or something along those lines. Because again when your baby is still in the hospital and you get to go home,it isn't easy and if she is anything like me I spent as much time as possible next to my son. To let him know we were there.

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C.T.

answers from Hartford on

I gave birth to a preemie who weighed only a little over 3 lbs. It was a very scary time for me and my husband. The best gift we were given for our daughter was a pink stuffed puppy from my sister in-law. She said it was a guard dog to watch over our daughter until she was able to come home. That pink puppy, "Penelope", sat atop her incubator for her entire hospital stay and seeing it always made me smile. it reminded me that even though she was so little, someday she'd be able to hug and snuggle that little dog. My daughter is now almost five and "penelope" is her best friend. She still sleeps with her every night.

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K.M.

answers from Bangor on

Hi there! It is so kind and thoughtful of you to think in the way that you are. I have a great gift idea which doubles as my stay at home mom business... I make signs for shops all over New England and I attend craft fairs all year long. Weekly I receive orders for baby showers, house warming etc., If you are interested I could send you information - if you would like to email me at [email protected]____.com, i can mail you back with an attachment including pictures. My signs range in cost from $7-$30 depending on the size you choose. Some ideas for text include, "A princess sleeps here", "sugar and spice and everything nice", "Daddy's girl".... I do my writing free hand in a primitive font so I can write anything you would like. I specialize in signs with Kids' names for example,"Lauren's Place", or "Anna's Castle".... I finish the sign with a wooden children's applique (butterfly, school bus, frog, truck, daisy, flower pot, kitty and more). You choose your colors. No pressure but its a nice, unique gift that you know she doesn't already have. If you are interested, drop me a line. Good luck!
K.

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J.B.

answers from Boston on

These aren't particularly personal but very useful: pampers gift certificate (can buy on pampers.com), a gift certificate to snapfish, or some photo place, or meals. Cook her some meals she can freeze, or arrange for meals to be brought to her home. She's probably worn out but spending time at the hospital and could use them now, or even when she gets home, it will allow her to sleep a little extra or spend time rocking her baby a little longer when she doesn't have to cook.

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M.M.

answers from Lewiston on

One of the best gifts I received was a blanket with a silky side and the other side was a very soft fabric. My daughter was also premature...she is now 2 and she still loves these types of blankets...you can find them anywhere..Carters, Walmart, Babies R Us...etc...it is nothing she has to "grow" into and something she will not "grow" out of. Hope this helps...

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J.R.

answers from Springfield on

If you or someone you know sews-have them make a "jogging suit" out of fleece. The patterns for cabbage patch dolls fit perfect. I did this for a friend's premie and it was really appreciated. It keeps them warm and can be made small to fit her just right.

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J.O.

answers from Boston on

E.,
I too am the mother of a preemie. My daughter was 6 weeks early and preemie clothes were way to big. Here are a few ideas. Walmart has layettes in the baby section that are perfect, they are smaller then the preemie clothes. Home cooked meals and helping around her home are also nice. I am not sure of your friends financial situation, but the best gift I recieved was my co workers took up a collection because they new I would be out of work for a while. They gave me a little picnic basket and it was full of Money. All cash so I didn't have to worry about cashing checks. It helped out so much. I always had a little cash on me to grab a bite or get gas, whatever. She is lucky to have you as her friend. You are so thoughtful.

P.H.

answers from Boston on

I am the mom of a preemie who is now 5, the preemie clothes owuld be perfect as she will always have the bigger sizes to grow into, but she needs clothes now. There are websites that sell them. A gift basket of clothes that will fit the baby from 3lbs-5lbs woudl be perfect. We had to roll up everything.

Also, there are books on what to expect and how to care for apreemie out there

And what would be great is to direct her to my favorite group:

Yahoo's Healthy Preemies group
I joined when my son was a week old, all of the moms are moms of healthy preemies (as in no severely sick) and can advise her on everything worry she has! they got me thru my 1st week, my 1st month, my 1st year..I am still on there daily.

She will feel guilty and that it is her fault, hug her and tell it it is NOT! the stress and guilt are awful

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J.D.

answers from Springfield on

Hi E.,

I think that music might be a nice gift. I have a Lullaby CD that I got when my second boy was (like my first) colicky. The music soothed both of us (when we could hear it over our crying). Two years later, he still asks for it at night.

There is a site called 'music for little people', and the CD is called 'Lullaby, A Collection". It has Sweet Honey and the Rock, Judy Collins, Bobby McFerron, etc. There are many other choices too. I hope that this helps your friend get a little peace and pleasure. Good luck with YOUR new babe!

J. Davis

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P.F.

answers from Boston on

I have been knitting and crocheting for 37 years and most of my work goed to the Crisis Pregnancy Center where there are many babies born preemie.. We have found that if you use an 18" doll dress it fits a lot better than a preemie size.. At least that has been my experience.. Hope this helps.. again anything for an 18" doll should work for you .. P. Ferland [email protected]____.com

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D.S.

answers from Portland on

This is a little funny, but look at the Cabbage Patch Dolls outfits. I did this for my sister in law when she had brought her daughter home at 3 pounds. I bought her doll shoes and socks also

D.
Good Luck

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A.H.

answers from Providence on

Hi E..
I'd recommend a gift for the mom; as you know, being a new mom is stressful enough, let alone being the mom of a preemie. Meals are always appreciated, especially something that can be frozen. Another thing I've done for people who have spent alot of time visiting someone in the hospital,(and traveling back and forth) is to put together a basket/bag/box of healthy snacks (granola bars,energy bars, water, juice boxes, gum, crackers etc.) so that there is also something easily available if they feel they can't take time out to eat.

If you decide to go the personalized gift route, you can visit our website: www.babycalla.com. We specialize in personalized gifts for babies, toddlers, and pets. Preemies and full term infants often bond well to a "lovey" or something soft and smooth with which they can cuddle. To meet this demand we offer our Blankies which have a cotton or flannel print on one side, and a soft Minkie fabric on the other side, and are finished with a satin binding. They can be embroidered with baby's name and birthdate. St. Luke's Children's Hospital in Iowa ordered a bunch of these at Christmas for all of their NICU babies.

Good luck finding the perfect gift. Please feel free to email should you have any questions about our products.

A. Hall
[email protected]____.com

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E.M.

answers from Boston on

Hi! My little preemie is now 2.5, but she was born at 29 weeks, 3 lbs. 7 oz. I was definitely suprised at how quick she grew,,,found the preemie clothes did not last for long. We got the most use out of 0-3 month and 3-6 month clothes. The NICU that we were at did not allow children under 14, so it was difficult for me and hubby to visit at the same time unless we had a sitter for our 4 year old, so offering babysitting services is EXTREMELY helpful! Another option is a care package such as diapers, wipes, powder, and most importantly HAND SANITIZER,,they are so susceptible to germs..I still have it all over my house! Your friend is lucky to have such a caring friend!

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K.V.

answers from Boston on

Wal-Mart gift cards are extremely helpful. That way she can purchase anything from food to diapers! Doing things that are personally helpful is a good thought, as the other moms suggested. Meals and cleaning are sometimes overlooked.
Even a gas card would be appreciated. That is such an added expense that is necessary.

This has nothing to do with this thread, but I love your name. We once purchased land from an older lady in her nineties named E. and at that time I had never heard it before.

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K.T.

answers from Boston on

I think the personalized blanket for baby is a good idea. And the help at home and making/buying food is a good idea. Doesnt even have to be a full meal, stuff like muffins, breads, sandwich fixins for something fast when she is on the go to see the baby. Someone had gotten me a nice nightgown when I had my last baby and it was nice to have something new to slip into.

Personally, I wouldnt give a gift card, when will she really have the time to go shopping? Same with the manicure/spa gift cards. With a new tiny one, she wont take the time right now to go.

Best of luck to her and her baby.

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K.S.

answers from Boston on

I had a son almost 16years ago now, that weighed 3lbs 5oz. He was 14.5 inches long. He now weighs about 155lbs and plays football for his high school. Premies do grow quickly believe it or not. It does take about a year to "catch" up, but then look out!I was lucky enough to be in living in the Boston Ma area and have the best care for him. Anyway, I got premmie outfits for gifts, and yes, they were too big but he grew in and out of them very quickly. Preemie diapers are also great as newborn diapers are HUGE. The best gifts were from a friend that had a grandmother who loved to knit. She made me all kinds of cute outfits with matching hats and booties..in his size! I think she may have used a pattern for baby dolls. I would not recommend buying doll clothing from a store as that could pose a safety issue. If you know someone, or can find someone from a craft fair that can do this for you,(or if you knit) I can guarentee she will just love it.

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W.W.

answers from Portland on

Coming from a Mother of twin preemies, yes I was stressed out that the babies where in NICU and I was home.

I could have used someone to take me to the hospital, someone to talk with that understood and a journal that I could write down what the nurses told me when I called at all hours.

I was so weak and I had a child a home that went to school that having someone take care of him and or rode with me to the hospital as in my case the drive was over an hour one way.

I had to express milk at home to take in daily so having a machine that I rented at home was nice.

Also I would have enjoyed a gift verses the babies as I felt that I was no longer needed. "Did the job, now get out of the way, as we take care of these babies".

Also she may witness babies that may die while in NICU and having someone with her will be a help mentally.

Whatever you do, tell her that they do grow and grow FAST. Mine are almost 10 and I can not believe that their heads were smaller than the surface of my palm.

Good luck.

_Wendy

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S.C.

answers from Boston on

Hi,
I'm new to Mamasource. I think the best gift right now would be a home cooked meal. Considering the visits at the hospital and whatever else your friend is going through, I'm sure she is eating enough to stay on the go. Cook something special for her and her family. Meals always express love and brings joy and smiles.

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C.R.

answers from Hartford on

Hi. I am also a mom of a preemie. First let me send my best wishes and all the prayers to your friends little one. Now, one of the best gifts I received was homemade dinners in portions frozen. I was able to just take something from the freezer and feed it to my older boy and husband without having to worry about being there all day to make dinner. It also saved alot of money on takeout. To be honest, while I did appreciate the things people bought, the best thing I had was someone to listen to me while I stressed and cried. Good luck to your friend.

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L.W.

answers from Boston on

Hi E.,

My son was born at 29 weeks at Brigham & Women's, weighing just 3lbs 4 oz., and he was in the NICU for 6 weeks before we could take him home with us. You are right about clothing...everything is just going to be too big at this point, though many stores do now carry preemie-size clothing. Some of the nicest gifts we received while my son was still in the NICU were homemade, preemie-size sweaters, hats, blankets, booties (if you know how to knit or know someone who does). But probably the most helpful gifts at this stressful and exhausting time would be gifts for the parents: homemade meals, soothing music CD's, gift certificates for massages, manicures (whether she uses them now or later), etc. My husband and I traveled from NH to MA everyday to be with our son while he was in the NICU since we could not afford to stay closer to him. If your friend has to travel far to visit her baby, gift cards for gas, coffee, etc. would be helpful as well - anything to make the drive to and from the hospital a little easier. And if she's able to actually stay at the hospital with her baby (as I did the last 2 weeks my son was in the hospital), a care package of books, music, hand lotions, etc., are all nice ways to make the time in the hospital a little more like home.

L.

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T.L.

answers from Boston on

My sister was a preemie, and she wore most of my doll clothes for a bit... my mom even took apart some and used them for patterns and made more :)

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T.S.

answers from Portland on

A gas card to help with the many trips she will be making back and forth to the hospital may be a nice gift. It will be very useful now and may help take some of the burden away from her.

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L.B.

answers from Boston on

I used to work in a NICU, you are a great friend to be thinking bout her. I think it is among the hardest things to go to the hospital to have your baby and leave her behind in the care of others.
A great thing to give her are disposable cameras. They can be labeled and left at the bedside. The nurses can snap pics of cute moments and milestones she may miss. Also a preemie mom baby book for her to chronicle her experience, and books about preemies. Books that mom can read to her baby while visiting are great, premies need to hear moms voice when they cannot feel her touch. She could even tape them, there are stuffed bears that have tape players in them. Or they used to have those..maybe they are CD's now.
booties and caps are good too, they can be found small enough to fit.
my prayers are with her and congrats on your new baby too!

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J.M.

answers from Portland on

You are such a great friend. I had 2 preemies and I wish I had a thoughtful freind like you. A few items might help. Zakeez are fleece "hands" that the mom or dad sleep with and then leave with the baby and they release the scent. They can be used to position the baby They are approved for NICU use. Check out thezaky.com. It is a wonderful website. A snoedel is another item that releases the mom or dad's scent. It looks kind of like a doll. I can't remember the site, but an internet search should bring it up. Both of these things come in pink or blue. Even a nice silk blanket will absorb the mom's scent and later release it. You are so right--leaving her baby behind is really hard on your friend. But just letting her talk about her fears (even crying) can help so much. If I can help, just let me know.

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C.V.

answers from Boston on

Hi E.,

I agree with Kathy, helping out "at home" would be a tremendous gift! Dinners, basket of fruit, etc...I'm sure she'll be spending a lot of time in the hospital and will be grateful with all the help she can get. I also think a gift for her would be a great idea...maybe a spa, or manicure, something that will help her destress and feel good. Along with her gift, you could add baby wash, wash cloths, towel and a beautiful pink blankie.

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S.R.

answers from Boston on

Hi. My son was born 13 weeks early at 27 weeks. My thought for a baby gift would be a small stuffed animal or books. We were allowed to bring in a small stuffed animal for him with the restrictions that it could not be bigger than him. That was a little tough as he was only 2 lbs. 4 oz. and 13.75" long when he was born. Books are great, too, because your friend can read to her little one while she is still in the hospital, and she can also record the stories she reads so people can play them to the baby when your friend can't be in the hospital. We did get some preemie clothes, but he was pretty much out of them before he was even discharged (weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz. at discharge), and the hospitals typically have preemie size clothes for the babies to wear while they are in the hospital. Hope this helps!

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N.P.

answers from Boston on

My 18month old son was a 2lb 13oz preemie, who was in the NICU for five weeks. I found the stress of having a baby in the NICU and fear of the unknown so frightening. Emotional support is the best gift.

Infants this tiny don't need much, just a lot of contact with Mom and Dad and time to grow. The best gifts I received where gift cards for gas (for travel to and from the hospital), resturants (that way my husband and I didn't have to prep/cook meals) and grocery stores (for day to day items). Also your friend my still need items off her baby registery that she may need when the baby comes home.

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S.F.

answers from Salinas on

Hi,
There is a super website at www.preemiesrus.com that has many adorable outfits, sleepers, modified diapers, pacifiers, and toys. They ship very quickly and I have used them on 3 separate orders, and have been very satisfied each time. They carry preemie clothing that the baby can wear now, now, now, unlike run-of-the-mill preemie stuff at brand-name stores.

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C.H.

answers from Bangor on

I would get the appropriate size doll clothes!!!! I am sure you have heard this advice from others but I have actually done this myself. What better way to be able to show this little one exactly how little she actually was that she wore doll clothes. As she gets older she will have a wonderful story to share with her friends!!!

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J.C.

answers from Barnstable on

Hi-
I have a 1 1/2 year old daughter who was a preemie. She was born at 3 lbs. 2 oz. and spent almost two months in the NICU. She was at Brigham and Women's while I was at home on Cape Cod. It was probably the most difficult time in my life. I recieved many gifts of clothes, toys, etc. For me, what I needed at that time was money for gas as it got so expensive travelling back and forth to Boston. I don't know what her situation is (if she is living far from the baby right now) but I certainly did not need baby clothes at the time. Also, maybe a small gift for mom at this time instead of the baby-- whether a gift to get a manicure or something. Just some thoughts. I know how difficult that time was for me and I am sorry that your friend has to go through that. The time will go quickly and before she knows it that beautiful little one will be home with her!

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T.H.

answers from Boston on

I have a small home business creating customized children's artwork. They make perfect baby gifts, and one-size-fits-all! You can personalize them with the little one's name or I can paint it to match her room at home. I can also send you a gift certificate, so mom can pick out a design herself. Feel free to check out my website at www.peanutnsweetpea.com

Best of luck in your search for the perfect baby gift. I will keep your friend and her teeny one in my prayers for lots of quick growth and good health.

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N.S.

answers from Boston on

A Purple preemie heart. Here is the website to learn more http://208.112.59.164/heart.html. This suggestion came from a firend of the family. We recently asked her because of someone else we know. She said she received one and it was the best gift that she got when she had her twins.

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M.M.

answers from Boston on

How about a personalized blanket? Or a frame?

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M.L.

answers from Providence on

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.

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E.M.

answers from Indianapolis on

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!

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L.B.

answers from Boston on

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.

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M.R.

answers from Portland on

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.

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A.K.

answers from Burlington on

E.,
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 ([email protected]____.com). I hope her baby does well and goes home very healthy.


Best Wishes!
A.

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C.B.

answers from Boston on

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

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C.F.

answers from Boston on

E.-
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.

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K.B.

answers from Portland on

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.
K.

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