So you spend the first part of your pregnancy trying to keep it a secret. Then you spend the next part sharing it with your nearest and dearest…..And then you have a premature baby, a baby who just couldn’t wait to meet everyone and decided to make their entrance a little earlier than planned.
As a friend, how do you help your pal go through this huge life event? How do you lend a sympathetic ear and help them celebrate the strange NICU milestones, of which you probably have no idea!
Don't let this huge life event go unmarked!
It is important that this huge life event doesn’t go unmarked! Your friends, in their new little family, need your love and support - even if it feels like they have fallen off the grid, while they squirrel themselves away in the NICU, looking after their premature baby. Send gifts! Send cards! Send texts! Let them know you are thinking of them, and cheering their new arrival on their complicated journey home.
Do buy a 'new baby' card and gifts
Little Mouse has plenty of cards and gifts to help you pick something suitable to celebrate the new bundle of joy, whilst being stylish and thoughtful. There are gift sets, helpfully split into size categories - just drop your friend a line, ask how baby is doing…and how much they weigh! If you don’t know whether baby is in a incubator or a cot - how about a blanket and cuddly toy set? I love Princess Beatrice Bunny and her striped blanket, perfect for keeping baby and parents warm during skin-to-skin. If you’re after a more neutral option, Dino comes with a striped swaddle cloth, which is just gorgeous!
Make sure a 'new baby' card is sensitive
There are plenty of beautiful New Arrival cards in the shops, but Little Mouse goes a step further with their array of gorgeous premature baby cards. A particular favourite of mine is the Mini Super Hero card - so stylish and really lets the new little mouse know how brave you think they are.
For premature baby product advice read the Buyer's Guide
These are just a few options on the Little Mouse website, but a must-read is the Buyer’s Guide - gather all the information you can about the baby, and then take a look at the Guide, to see what type of gift will really let mum and dad know you are thinking about them.
Parents will really appreciate a gift too
Although it is important to celebrate the new baby, you should also try and remember that new parents are going through a rollercoaster of emotions - especially with the NICU stop confusing their journey somewhat. If you can, try and send them a gift too - a local coffee shop voucher normally works a treat - find out if there is a coffee shop in the hospital, that way mum and dad can pop out of the NICU for half an hour and enjoy some time to themselves.
Wait to be invited to the hospital
Try and remember to wait to be invited to the hospital - there are plenty of visiting restrictions and reasons to keep visitors to a minimum on the NICU (see our helpful guide), so if parents don’t invite you, don’t be disheartened - do some forward planning for them, if you’re local deliver some home cooked meals into the freezer, do a load of washing, or spruce up their house. You can be helpful in more ways than you know.
Remember that Little Mouse has made it super easy to return and exchange items, so if they are unsuitable, get in touch and discover your options.