This post contains affiliate links. For more information about our affiliates, read our disclaimer.
Have a friend or a relative with a baby in the NICU?
Deciding what to get them a gift can be difficult. Here are some suggestions on things to gift your friend/relative, that they will actually find helpful!
While in the NICU, most mommas aren’t so much concerned about what they’re eating. They’re trying to worry about the health and livelihood of their baby. They are probably just eating hospital food or takeout in order to stay alive. Which is just fine! But there’s nothing wrong with trying to help them make yummier food choices.
It made a huge difference for me when people would bring me food gifts. I was so glad to get away from hospital food for a meal, or even just have a treat!
Here are some food gift ideas for the NICU Momma:
- Gift card to a close restaurant. Don’t make momma go very far from her kiddo, but gift cards to a nice place can help persuade her to go get some yummier food. I received a gift card to a local diner when my baby was in the NICU, and it made for one of the most relaxing evenings I’ve had. To get away from the hospital just for a meal was a lifesaver!
- Healthy treats. Lots of people will bring a NICU momma chocolate, because it’s a comfort food. And for the first little while she will enjoy that, but in the long run she will want something that gives her a little bit more sustainable energy. I ate a ton of chocolate for the first day or two and then realized it was just making me feel worse, so I moved on to the trail mixes and protein bars that I had been gifted. Those are the treats that I ended up appreciating the most, because they provided a marked benefit to me.
- Flavored water. While I know this one isn’t a “food” per say, it’s still digested energy so it counts. Plain ol’ water can get really boring, and sometimes it’s fun to have something to mix it up. Flavored waters are usually allowed into the hospital and the NICU Momma will appreciate the change in routine.
This is another way to help persuade a distraught mother to take care of herself. If you give her a bubble bath kit, she will feel like she at least has to try it. I received lots of yummy smelling lotions, and I can’t explain the effect it has to smell something besides hospital. It’s like a refreshing reminder that there’s life beyond the IVs and white walls.
Just think, that NICU Momma went through child-birth too. She’s hurting physically, though most people are more worried about her kiddo than her. Which is okay, but it’s never good to neglect the momma.
Send her self-care pampering items to help her feel like she needs to remember to treat herself. A few minute soak in the bathtub or a yummy smelling lotion can make a world of difference. Here are a few of my suggestions for things to help her out:
NICU visits are expensive. EXTREMELY expensive. And while the expense is most definitely worth it, the hole it creates in your wallet can be a real problem.
Especially if they are far from home to be near the NICU (which they probably are). They have food expenses, cars to refill, bills to pay back home, all of this while juggling towering medical expenses.
Worried that they’ll spend it on something other than bills?
This is one of the few situations where I’d say, it’s still okay to give them cash. NICU mommas are again, worried about their kid. If they don’t spend it on bills, they will spend it on something that is even more important to them at the time. My husband and I spent some of our gift money on mementos for our baby, and that was very comforting to us. We also needed toothbrushes, deodorant, and other staples, because we weren’t anticipating being gone as long as we were.
NICU parents know what they need better than you do, so this is one of the best gifts that you can give them.
Those were a few things that could tremendously help the NICU Momma to feel a little better, whether physically, emotionally, or financially. And when you go visit them, make sure you know the 6 things you should never mention to them by For Every Mom!
#Bonustip: If you don’t have the cash to spend on the NICU Momma, at least send her a card with a note telling her that you’re thinking about her. She needs to know that she’s not alone and people are mindful of her.
Thanks for reading!
Have you been to the NICU? What’s something you wish you had? Tell us in the comments below!