The babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, will spend Halloween there instead of dressing up and heading around the neighborhood with family and friends. But that doesn't mean the holiday won't be special.
Nurses from the hospital and volunteers from the March of Dimes created handmade Halloween costumes for the three dozen or so infants in the NICU. "We were really just trying to create a sense of normalcy for the parents," said St. Luke's Director of Media Relations Michelle Manuel. "You never know if you are going to be in the NICU for weeks or even months.This was such a fun way to let them enjoy a special milestone with their babies."
The babies' parents chose the outfits they thought most reflected their child's personality. There were ladybugs, butterflies, baseball players and, not surprisingly, a lot of superheroes in the bunch. That's because “these are our NICU super babies," Manuel said.
After the babies were dressed, three volunteer photographers for the March of Dimes captured photos of the infants' first Halloween. All three of the photographers are mothers of former NICU babies, so working with the tiny subjects is especially meaningful to them.
The babies were also given mini hand-crocheted pumpkins filled with treats, a Halloween book, and a "Trick or Treat, smell my feet" card featuring their baby's footprints.
The Halloween surprise got such a great response that the group is making plans for the next big baby event, Manuel said.
"This was met with such great success. Our parents really enjoyed it and our nurses and the March of Dimes volunteers had so much fun that we're already looking to Thanksgiving and Christmas."