Gifts for premature baby and mother

(18 Posts)
PullyWoolOver Sat 18-Aug-12 16:24:52

My amazing friend has just given birth at 32 weeks - we're still in shock at this early arrival! Baby and mother are both doing well, although naturally will be in hospital for a wee while yet.

I live quite far away so while I desperately want to rush over and give my friend an almighty hug, I won't be able to for a bit. I'd really like to send her some presents while she's in hospital. However, I'm not sure what she'll be needing right now. Blanket for baby? Some tiny sleepsuits? Chocolate? Cake? Books?

I don't really have any experience at all with premature babies, or what my friend will be going through right now, so I'm wondering if anyone here can give me some advice? What can I send her that will be really useful/ helpful?

TIA x

CMOTDibbler Sat 18-Aug-12 16:34:39

I really appreciated a little star bear that my colleague gave us as it was easily washable so could go in with ds.
She'll appreciate lovely hand cream (you wash your hands an awful lot), and maybe vouchers for M&S or somewhere else convenient to the hospital that they can pick up ready meals from without worrying about the cost

StormGlass Sat 18-Aug-12 16:37:40

Blanket for baby sounds like a nice idea, we were allowed to personalise DS's cot in SCBU with our own blanket, also with little cuddly toys.

Books or magazines are also a good idea - time can drag a bit if you're sat in SCBU all day.

I also really appreciated getting texts etc from friends letting me know they were thinking of us when DS was in SCBU.

hippoCritt Sat 18-Aug-12 16:37:44

Send a card as fast as you can! Gifts, newborn clothes for when baby can go home or even tiny early baby it was nice to have some clothes of their own usually clothes are provided in hospital. I found some people didn't bother with anything until baby was home, not even a card made me think she was going to die. I found that really hard. I got some chocolates always welcome here, just make sure you congratulate and don't stay away for fear of not knowing what to say. Text email just to say you are thinking of her, how are they getting on? It is a very hard emotional time.
Magazines maybe, I don't think I could have read a book, tea and biscuits of rthe parents rooms, lots of sitting around waiting for doctors rounds.mic I think of anything else I will pop back, but you sound lovely to even think about what to do go with your instincts, you know your friend.

Sleepsuits and vests are good! Do you know baby's weight, so you can get the right size? A hat or two is also good, as when they are that small they need help staying warm. Maybe a couple of packs of micro size nappies, as they can be hard to find.

For mum, if you think she would appreciate some reading material, Your Premature Baby, 0-5 Years by Nikki Bradford and Sandra Lousada, and Coping with Your Premature Baby by Dr Penny are good.

Healthy snacks are good too - it is very difficult to find time to eat but very important to stay well fed and hydrated.

I hope baby does really well and comes home soon. DS was born at 31+5 and came home at 34 weeks.

PullyWoolOver Sat 18-Aug-12 16:38:24

Thanks for those suggestions CMOT - see, it didn't even occur to me that she'd want to eat! Fantastic idea. Thanks again.

PullyWoolOver Sat 18-Aug-12 16:42:18

Gosh, x-posted with more replies! Thanks all, these are really great tips. I will make sure I stay in touch with her often and think I will make up a little box of things for her and the baby including nappies, magazines, tea and chocolate, some tiny clothes and toys.

Thanks, I would never have thought of these left to my own devices, it's really helpful of you all.

TiddlyBears Sat 18-Aug-12 16:46:00

I am lucky too not to have experienced a premature baby. I am glad they are both doing well. When I was expecting my son my partner gave me a diary from WH Smith (you can get them in Mothercare too) called 'Baby's First Year' to document memories from pregnancy, birth and the milestones. It might occupy your friend while she's with baby, and be a nice gift for baby when she's no longer a baby!

When DD was in the NNU we had to provide nappies (once she was big enough to fit in shop bought ones) and we needed to buy 'micro' nappies so that might be an idea. Pampers make them and you can buy them at boots. Yes to M&S vouchers for food, we ended up eating lots of takeaways and rubbish because we were exhausted.
Someone bought me a really nice photo frame which we put the first pic of DD in and the same person bought a beautiful note pad, I found it really useful to write down my feelings and to doodle when I was in the NNU, so that might be a nice idea.
My kindle was a lifesaver, I read so many books during the 3 months DD was in hospital, so maybe reading materials or if she has a kindle, amazon vouchers?
Congratulations to your friend. DD was born at 26+5 and is a perfect 6 month old (3months corrected).

PullyWoolOver Sat 18-Aug-12 19:02:52

Thanks Tiddly!

GotMyLittleLamb, I'm going to Mothercare and Boots tomorrow so will look for the teeny nappies and get some vouchers from M&S. The writing pad sounds like something my friend would like too - am really looking forward to my shopping trip tomorrow now, it feels good to be doing something to help out, even if it's just something small grin.

StormGlass Sat 18-Aug-12 19:13:19

Regarding nappies - when DS was in SCBU, all the nappies he needed were provided free by the neo-natal unit, even though he was big enough to fit into the Pampers micro nappies immediately (he was 4lb 6oz at birth). We did ask whether we were meant to be buying our own nappies, but were told that we didn't need to.

So it might be best to check with your friend what the policy regarding nappies is at her neo-natal unit before you buy them.

SEcond the suggestions for hand cream (mine started cracking from all the anti-bac washing!), M&S vouchers (because you don't eat a proper meal for weeks, esp if her partner is going up to the hospital after work) and micro nappies (both NICUs we were in liked us to supply them - they didn't NEED us to, but I think it was to make parents feel like they were involved.

Love love the baby memories book and diary ideas - I wrote a diary every day while mine were in SCBU and it is a very treasured momento, and a kind of substitute for all the 'first' photographs my friends have with their babies.

Clothes-wise depends what stage the baby is at - in an incubator they'll likely be naked. In a heated cot she'll be dressed but the unit may have clothes that they find easiest to put on - also risk of personal clothes getting lost in a hospital laundry. A couple of things in <5lb or <7lb sizes (depending on how small she is) for when discharged might be better.

Practically she may not have had time to organise anything so maybe ask if there's anyting you can buy for her. SCBU does tend to be a long-haul so check in once a week if you can to see if there's anyting they need (online grocery shop perhaps?) and to let them know you're thinking of them.

And definitely agree with hippo about celebrating the birth as soon as you can - don't wait. Then celebrate again - even if with just a text - once they're home!

Sirzy Tue 21-Aug-12 22:54:29

If your friend is staying at the hospital then miniature shower gels/shampoo etc may be handy. Hand cream is a must all the hand washing makes a mess of my hands.

I agree with the voucher for food - I would try to find out what shop is closest to hospital/home

Sirzy Tue 21-Aug-12 22:56:30

And an iTunes/amazon voucher would be good if she has iPod/kindle

For the baby I would just buy exactly what you would have if the baby was at term (although smaller if clothes!) it mAy just be longer before its needed!

balletmoo Fri 24-Aug-12 13:26:59

Yup, I agree with a lot of these. Nice hand cream is a definite plus! And all the clothes we had for our wee man were waaaaaaay too big. Def something in a preemie size. Little hat and gloves for when the wee one is a bit older and moves from NICU to SCBU where it was much cooler.

Vouchers for m&s would be a huge boon as well - decent microwave meals and snacks are vital!

Incidentally, it is worth checking out a charity called Pop'n'Grow (based on the Isle of Wight). They provide babies in NICU and SCBU with specially adapted babygrows and incubator vests so that they can be worn properly without interfering with wires etc. And they do this free of charge. They are trying to raise funds to supply all NICU units in the UK so it is worth checking with them if your friends unit is supplied. If not, they will send your friend a free grow or vest. grin

Hope that helps!

gallicgirl Mon 03-Sep-12 22:30:12

Does anyone have any good suggestions for sites to buy premature baby clothes that are suitable for nicu?

I know they don't wear much more than a hat and a vest but now the initial shock of my relative's early birth is over, I'd like to get something to make her little girl feel special, iykwim.

I've googled but can't seem to find more than the same pastel pink vest on different sites.

balletmoo Thu 13-Sep-12 08:41:50

Gallicgirl,

Pop'n'grow will send a set out for free if you contact them (can't remember the website but you should be able to google them) otherwise Mothercare also do some if ordered online. But mothercare just do the pastels I'm afraid!

clarasebal Wed 18-Sep-13 19:27:15

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