Ho, ho, ho...

  1. :santa5: [font="comic sans ms"]how do you make christmas (or any holiday) happier for your nicu families?

    we used to have santa visit, each baby got their picture taken w/santa (yes, he washed his hands!!), either being held, or w/santa next to their bed. he'd bend down, we'd take the picture across the bed.

    we also either made an ornament, or put up a little stocking with a candy cane or 2 (for mom and dad).

    for thanksgiving, we'd do a handprint (washable stamp ink) and make a turkey like they do in preschool.

    parents can help, too. some of our parents decorated for cinco de mayo!

    what are some of your unit's efforts to make it a little happier?

    (of course, we were judicious about how sick the baby was and so forth. also, we would check to see if they needed a dreidel or kwanza symbol. but, even if the baby was really sick, parents seem to appreciate that we saw their babies as babies, not just a terribly sick patient.)
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    About prmenrs

    Joined: Dec '00; Posts: 12,425; Likes: 3,780
    Re-retired; from CA , US
    Specialty: 42 year(s) of experience in NICU, Infection Control


  3. by   traumaRUs
    How kind! I am sure these parents will always treasure these memories.
  4. by   palesarah
    I had such a lovely day at work today. The parents were all in good moods, the babies were behaving, and one of our dads proposed to mom in the unit with the whole family trying to peek in from the hall! It was very, very sweet.

    For our parents, some of the night nurses made nice cards with pictures, and somebody donated enough Baby Einstein DVDs for each family to be given one. Santa came for pictures a few days ago too.

    I really don't mind working Christmas- I was originally scheduled for last night but offered to switch with someone so she could have the day with her kids. It must have given me some good karma, because I transferred one of my babies to our step-down unit around 4:30 and the nurse taking over my other baby came in and got report from me a 1/2 hour early!
  5. by   cathys01
    We had a santa visit Christmas Eve. Each child was given a large stocking. We put the babies in the stocking and then Santa came to each bedside and held the babies (in their stockings), of course some kids couldn't be held so Santa posed next to the baby. The parents got to keep the stocking and the picture and one of the nurses on the unit made picture frame tree ornaments that were given to the parents too. Another nurse put together a small stocking for each baby with a bible, christmas had made by volunteers, and a teddy bear.

    It was nice, I thought!!
  6. by   RainDreamer
    This is my first year working in the NICU, so I'm not sure what they usually do. But this year .... a few days before Christmas, Santa came to see all the babies. This Santa had previous NICU experience, he was wonderful with all the babies. All the babies were dressed (if possible) and had their picture taken with Santa. Parents were given a few photos and they could order more if they wanted. All the babies also got a nice Christmas book.

    All the nurses in the unit do such a great job with keeping the babies' beds decorated with name signs, even when it's not a holiday ..... each baby usually has at least a couple of really nice name signs. This time of the year all the babies had really nice Christmas/holiday signs.
  7. by   prmenrs
    This was something we did in the Level 3 I used to work in:

    There was an annual Christmas Eve tableau during night shift, w/a baby selected for the role of Baby Jesus. Since there are usually 3 docs on call, they were the Wise Men. Everyone created a costume, even the Wise Men, of stuff available--a lot of cotton balls on the sheep, sheets swiped from L&D next door, baby blankets as head pieces, the baby scale as the manger. Even those who were not Christian participated. It was very fun!
  8. by   BittyBabyGrower
    We have girlscouts that made blankets and cards and donated them, a family donated lots of bouncers and DVD players! We made plaster footprints as ornaments for the families and had cute books and blankets to hand out. Our child life specialist put on a luncheon for the parents on Christmas Eve We had a school write letters to the babies and we had gifts for the sibling also that we made from the baby

    prmns...that sounds so cool!!!
  9. by   prmenrs
    What was surprising, and fun, was how much effort the docs put into their crowns! The RT's were usually shepherds--they went thru a LOT of cotton balls.

    Polaroids were taken to document the event, and used on the unit's next year Christmas card (that we sent to other departments).

    It's one of the fondest memory of the place from which I retired.
  10. by   danissa
    :Santa1: we have a very festive looking unit this year, it's great for a change! the corridor is all icicle lights hanging, the tree is all co-ordinated and we have xmas songs playing.
    As we only have SEVEN!!!!! babies, (yes SEVEN!!), what a miracle in itself eh!, we have moved them all into the ICU room, so that they are all together and it feels like a big sleepover! Only one of the babies has been on fluids over xmas, another unbelievable miracle, so we made each of their drip stands into a tree, with tinsel and ornaments and lights, it looks like home, it's so cosy. LOVE IT!!! They get presents and cards from santa, it's so nice! the last two nights on, we had minimal lighting, just enough to observe them safely, and all their wee tree lights were on, and they slept like--well babies I suppose! hopefully letting them sleep with peace and a good feeling in their hearts, they deserve it more than anyone !:Santa1:
  11. by   perfectbluebuildings
    On Halloween, the nurses dress the babes up, if they are stable enough- like Disney characters, etc... it is very cute!!