Gift Ideas for Preemie's Mom?

Updated on April 02, 2008
A.S. asks from Tucson, AZ
23 answers

My SIL just had her second baby. She is 6 weeks premature and in the NICU. She is doing OK and they are not expecting any major complications. I am wondering what we should get her? She lives fairly far away, so it would have to be something I can put in the mail or something that can be delivered.

Any preemie parents out there who have some suggestions?

Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your great suggestions!
I talked to my mother-in-law, who is still up at my SIL's helping out. She said they are well supplied with clothes, diapers, formula for supplementing, nursing supplies, a good breast pump, etc. Maybe I should have mentioned that her older son was a preemie as well--he is now eight, very tall for his age and doing fine.
Baby is still in the NICU and is expected to be there for several weeks. I got them a keepsake footprint kit, a gift card to Olive Garden (they do takeout and their family eats there a lot!), and some books for their older son (he is 8, just a few months older than my son). I asked my MIL to keep me posted if there is something in particular they need as things progress.

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A.A.

answers from Phoenix on

I had a preemie in the NICU for 2 months...the best gift ideas, as far as I was concerned was family fotos, musical stuffed animals, stuff that they can put in the incubator!!! One great idea is recording a special message on a CD so that she can play it to the baby!! Hope this helps!!

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M.S.

answers from Albuquerque on

Onesies with all snap fronts? My son was in the NICU and we could only put on things that had all snap fronts due to the wires and then after words we found them easiest for docotres appointments.

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B.G.

answers from Phoenix on

You could get her something different-safe cleaners to use around her new baby. I love the Get Clean line from Shaklee, you might have seen them on Oprah. They have made a huge difference for my daughter. I have a friend who sells them. You can check out her website at www.shaklee.net/liveclean4u they ship the products too. I'm sure she would be happy to answer any questions for you.
Good luck!
B.

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K.M.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi A.,

I had preemie twins, and I just wasn't prepared for how tiny they would be. I would definitely suggest getting the smallest sleepers you can find-no one is usually prepared when a preemie arrives, and the clothing really helped us. Also, I really appreciated when my friends gave me the preemie diapers. You might even consider getting her a video monitor(kind of pricy, about $100-but worth it for the peace of mind)
It helped us to be able to see the babies and make sure they were well as they slept.
I hope this helps:)

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N.C.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi A.,
My instant thought upon reading your request was "deliver a meal" and then I read that you're far away. Are there any chain restaurants, like Applebee's that you could send a gift card? One less meal that anyone has to make is always a plus. Applebee's has curbside pickup so if she can't make it out they'll just bring it out to the car. The other idea is preemie clothing. It is incredibly expensive and the less your SIL has to buy the better. Hope this helps.

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D.J.

answers from Phoenix on

Breastfeeding supplies might be welcomed. Breastmilk is the best thing that a mum can give her preemie, but a lot of times they can't nurse quite yet. Things like a breast pump, storage bags, etc. might help her get started and prevent the transition to formula. Good luck!!

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R.D.

answers from Phoenix on

Clothes. It is so hard to find preemie clothes.

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S.F.

answers from Eugene on

I've had four preemies. Any cute preemie or newborn clothes (what most people do, but good quality ones can be hard to find), and something nice and pampering for MOM... especially if she went on bedrest. Remember good quality, hypo-allergenic/ organic items (blanket, detergent, etc) are the rule... the baby's skin is ultra sensitive. greennest or gaiam might have suggestions...

Note for those who live nearby a preemie mom: A nice cooked meal brought over is very welcome, as well as an offer to drive her for a visit if she lives far away and hasn't been given the green light to drive yet.

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M.G.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi A. ~
My son was 6 weeks premature also and spent 2 weeks in the NICU. The best things I received were Preemie clothes and socks. My favorite brand is Mini Wear at babies R Us. I also received preemie diapers (LOTS of them), Vanilla Scented Soothie Pacifiers (for when baby comes home) and the Baby Sleep Book by Dr. Sears to read while I was in the NICU and my baby was sleeping. My girlfriends also gave me a nice jogging suit so I would be comfortable in the NICU all day, as well as the easy access it provided for breast feeding/pumping and to Kangaroo with him. Old Navy has some great ones. Best wishes to your SIL and congratulations on your new niece!!

PS. The website for the Vanilla Pacifiers is WWW.childmed.com

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S.L.

answers from Phoenix on

I had triplets and they were born 8 weeks early. I would say ask her what she needs first. I ended up a load of wash every day, and they did not wear half the clothes they had. It just became easier to grab from the clean pile than to get the other stuff they have not worn yet out. Plus they go through them so fast they did not wear them for long. If she needs cloths, a couple of packs of onesies would be fine for her. I had mine swaddled all the time in tshirts and things like that. As the baby is a premie, she may not be going out much with the baby, so dress up cloths are not really needed. I would say a few packs of diapers. They grow out of the premie diapers fast, and you cannot buy them in bulk. I looked :). If she has a lot of premie diapers, that will be one less thing she will have to worry about. I would look into a costco or sams club membership too. I dont know how much a yearly membership costs, but I know at sams they have bulk size 1-2s boxs with 220 diapers in them. They also have the bulk size formulas too. A box of sams wipes costs 17 dollars for over 700 wipes.

I also loved the babies r us and walmart gift cards I got. I did not really know what I needed until I needed it that day, so the gift cards were lifesavers. On a more pricey object, if she is planning on pumping and has not bought one yet, go to www.hackleyhme.com. They sell the Medela pump in style advanced for 200 with free shipping. I have seen them in stores for about 350 to 400.

One more idea is to get her a hair/mani/pedi appointment. They are short appointments so she will not be out and away for long, and they help her feel better. I did not want to be away from my kids for too long, but a hair cut made me feel better in so many ways and the pedi helped with swelling after being pregnant. I am sorry this is so long, I hope this helps.

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A.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Gas station gift certificates! My twins were born at 28 weeks and I drove 40 miles round trip to the hospital to go see them every day. With gas being $3-$4 per gallon it can add up fast. Arco AmPm has gift certificates and so does Chevron. I'm sure tons of others do too, so maybe you could find out what is on the route to the hospital, that way she doesn't have to go out of her way, and she can fill up before or after seeing her baby.

Also, maybe you could go to Barnes & Noble or somewhere and find a really good book about Kangaroo Care. Send that with some button up shirts for mom and dad so that they can do Kangaroo holding with the baby without having to get completely undressed. Buy one or two sizes bigger than they need, that way they can put baby on thier chest and then still button up the shirt for added closeness. Kangaroo holding got me (and probably my twins, too) through a really tough week when they were being taken off the ventillators for the first time. I would hold them and close my shirt around them and we would both nap. My breathing helped to regulate thiers and I didn't have to worry about dropping them because my shirt would hold them close.

I wish your SIL and brother all the best of luck in the world, and no matter how cliche it is or how hard to hear, just know that everything really does happen for a reason.

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M.M.

answers from Phoenix on

My daughter was born a premie 10 years ago when I was only 26 weeks pregnant. She weighed only 1 lb 9 oz. I see that many other moms have advised on giving premie clothing. So I will suggest a photo album to celebrate the baby's first months. I know my daughter loves to see her photos, to remind her that even though she was so small and delicate, she was still special to all of us. She loves to read all her stories of when she was in the hospital and overall, that has made her the person she is today.

You can always contact me for the best quality products in memory celebration at www.mycmsite.com/morazan or at [email protected]____.com

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J.D.

answers from Phoenix on

My son was also 6 weeks early and spent some time in the NICU. Clothing is a great idea, but it needs to be the button up kind rather than zippers. He had so many cords, etc. that they need to have the buttons so the cords could slip through the holes. It was much easier seeing him laying there with clothes--cute clothes--rather than seeing all the cords. Good luck!

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K.D.

answers from Phoenix on

Consider a book on premature babies. You'll have to go to the book store and look through them - she doesn't need one with a lot of scary pictures or all the information about their possible complications. She's probably scared enough, but having some information about a preemie baby might help. Maybe look for a book that gives ideas about games to play with a preemie to help their developmental progress along.

Also, the March of Dimes is in the middle of their fundraising campaign for March for Babies. Consider contacting the local MOD office for information about a preemie and/or make a donation on behalf of your SIL.

Depending on how much her baby weighs - I agree with the preemie diapers as a gift. She'll need them!

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K.N.

answers from Phoenix on

The best thing we got when my daughter was in the NICU was a basketful of snacks. You spend a ton of time there and don't really want to leave. We also got Soothie bottles and pacifiers which seemed to regulate the formula better than the regular bottles. (The nipples have a preemie size.) Good luck

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J.J.

answers from Phoenix on

my grandosn was born early too and although he had tons of stuff form the baby shower, nothing fit. what he wore most of the time when he came home were onesies. walmart has them and they are fairly cheap. also didnthave any cute outfits to wear when out so i went out and bought all the preemie stuff that walmart had(he's my first grandchild). small socks are good, preemie diapers, preemie pacifiers( we seemed to misplace them all the time. also the bottles with the liners are great. we discovered they worked the best because we were able to push all the air out. i know its not convenient after a while but it was a blessings for us. dont send bath stuff because that stuff lasts forever. burping cloths, receivng blankets they use a lot becuase the babies have to be kept warm. a timpanic thermometer is a good idea. and Aquaphor diaper oinment becaue their skin is so fragile that you should realy put it on after every diaper change at the begining. maybe make up a cute basket. but the best thingyou can do when the baby gets home is to maybe send gift certificates to restuarants or have food delivered to them. the kids were so eoverwhelmed with all the time they had to spend at the hosptial that i knew they were only eating fast food. so i would take a hot homeade meal to them once a day and give them so time to go home and shower etc. after the baby came hom i had a bunch of frozen meals. i jsut made and estra two sevings each time i cooked dinner and forze them. i know you cant do that but its a nice thing to do. and the thing i pareciated the most ( i baby sit him) is the bounder and the bath insert. i can put hmin the bounder while i go to the bathroom etc. he is9 months now and trying to walk so he stays in the playpen or i take him with me everywhere i go.

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A.M.

answers from Phoenix on

My son was 7 weeks early and in Nicu we would dress him every day in clothes so it seemed like we were still parents able to dress our baby and that he always looked cute. Preemie clothes are expensive but you need them along with preemie diapers. The best preemie diapers I found were by pamper and you can get them at walmart they are $10.00 a small bag of 20 but trust me she will need them and with only 20 that doesn't last long at all. The hughes brand would leak way to much so pampers was the best. But having clothes was always fun for me to have and I would always dress my son. SO pampers and clothes would be great for her. Especially if she was not prepared ahead of time to have such a little one..

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S.M.

answers from Tucson on

Red Envelope has a beautiful baby gift that I got for my brother- it is a picture frame with 3 attached frames that fold out like a brochure. In the middle it has a place for the picture, and the left and right have non toxic, easy to use molds for the baby's hand and foot prints. It is so beautiful, and great to remember those tiny little hands and feet. Someday when the NICU is almost forgotten they will be able to tell their child, "Look how tiny you were."

Best wishes to your friend and her little one.

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R.P.

answers from Phoenix on

12 years ago, I had a 1 pound 13 ounce baby girl. I really appreciated a fancy pink premie dress with matching bonnet and socks.

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M.T.

answers from Flagstaff on

I always go the a higher end toy store and buy a few outfits (doll clothes). Yea they don't last long but everyone else buys baby clothes and that tends to remind you just how small your baby is. The selection is amazing!

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C.L.

answers from Phoenix on

I didn't have a preemie but I always appreciate receiving consumable products- especially diapers. They are so expensive and with all the hospital bills, I am sure they will appreciate it.

C.

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K.R.

answers from Tucson on

A., it wounds like you really love your SIL - what a blessing! I used to work in the NICU & everyone has had great suggestions! I know that sometimes parents of NICU babies tend to lose track of themselves. A pedicure, massage, time at a spa, dinner for the 2 of them to celebrate the birth of their 2nd child...would be a great gift for Mom, but she may hesitate leaving her daughter alone! Perhaps you could get in touch with one of her friends who would be willing to go to the NICU & sit with your niece for a while so your SIL could go have a pedicure or massage or whatever. Sometimes just knowing that their baby is not alone gives the parents "permission" to go do something for themselves! God Bless!

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K.K.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi A.--I was coming here to suggest something, but everything I was going to say has already been suggested! They are great suggestions, especially the gas cards and the preemie clothes that snap all the way down the front because of the wires. My baby girl was 6 weeks preemie and was in the NICU for 17 days. PLEASE tell your SIL that this is a "gift" that her baby is in the NICU. Yes, it is very tough, but tell her to ask questions like crazy. The staff should be very helpful to her. I learned SO much from the NICU nurses--having a preemie is COMPLETELY different than having a full term baby. Hang in there! You're a great SIL for asking for suggestions!

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