I'd like to put together a care package for my cousin and her husband. Their little one is in the NICU, and they're a few hours from home staying in a hotel in between visits with their babe. Can you recommend things to include in a care package for them? I was thinking things like magazines to thumb through, etc.. What are your thoughts? What would you want or have wanted? Thank you!
Magazines, possibly a puzzle book (I went through 3 Sudoku books while my daughter was in the NICU), pocket snacks (cracker packets, granola bars, etc.), hand lotion (with all that hand washing and hospital air their hands will begin to dry out), gift cards for meals at restaurants near the hospital or a Visa gift card so they can use it in the hospital cafeteria.
I know in the 3+ months that my daughter was in the NICU I practically lived up there. I ate lunch in the cafeteria every day and went right back up to her room. I sat by her bed and when I couldn't hold her I was reading or working a puzzle. I just needed to be there with her.
Oh, also a WalMart or Target gift card so they can buy toiletries for themselves while staying away from home or gas cards. All of these things are crucial to surviving while their minds are focused on their little one.
I was so grateful for good, healthy FOOD! Fresh fruit, nuts, treats like chocolate (ok, not ALL healthy!), more fruit, etc. It was hard not being able to eat well while worrying, pumping, being sleep deprived, etc. Also, I appreciated someone bringing me a blank journal and nice pen to just write down my thoughts! I wish them well!
Oh yes, snacks as the cafeteria food adds up and drinks! Maybe a paperback or maybe let them borrow an mp3 player? I was VERY fortunate that they had an extra room not being used so I could actually use the hospital as a hotel! And it was free! Oh dvds if their hotel had that. I know at the hospital I had a nice room with a dvd player and I have that one movie we brought memorized. I got to just go upstairs when I wanted to visit the baby. I was VERY lucky but boy we spent a lot of money on food. A lot of take out etc. There was a Walmart close by which was very helpful for hubby to go get things for me also.
And you can use your own clothes or blankies at nicu as long as they are very clean (just write her name on the tag) so you COULD buy her a cute preemie outfit or a small snuggly blankie. The NICU I was at also took donation clothes. Make sure it's preemie if it's a preemie. Hubby bought mine a newborn outfit which looked ridiculous and fell off her when we went home.
Hmm how about little travel bottles of shampoos and soaps? i'm sure the hotel ones aren't that great.
I second that! Healthy snacks are rare at a hospital, especially for a mama that is pumping and even if she is not. Ditto on the gift cards, lotion, etc. Also might include a small, lightweight blanket or shawl she can cover up with to take a nap and some of those pink foam ear plugs to drown out the sound of the blipping monitors. That was the only way I got any rest those few months mine were in the NICU! I got them as a gag gift for my baby shower but boy did they come in handy!