The babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Saint 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 30 or so infants in the NICU.
"Every day a child is in the NICU can be frightening and uncertain, but holidays are especially tough, as families miss the joy of celebrations together," Saint Luke's Director of Media Relations Emily Hohenberg tells MNN.
"Babies in the NICU may have been born too soon or too small, or with a medical condition that requires intensive care. Throughout the NICU experience, parents can be involved in their baby’s care in a variety of important ways."
The babies' parents chose the outfits they thought most reflected their child's personality. There were butterflies, athletes and cheerleaders, and, not surprisingly, a lot of superheroes in the bunch. After all, these babies are superheroes to their parents and hospital staff.
It was the fourth year for the Halloween NICU dress up. It is so popular that the costumes come out for a new group of babies each Halloween. The parents are given the photos as a keepsake.
After the babies were dressed, volunteer photographers for the March of Dimes captured photos of the infants' first Halloween. The photographers are mothers of former NICU babies, so working with the tiny subjects is especially meaningful to them.
The parents were also given bags filled with treats, a Halloween book, and a "Trick or Treat, smell my feet" card featuring their baby's footprints.
Most of the babies seemed to nap through the big event. But the parents were happy to share the day with them.
Editor's note: This file was originally published October 2016 and has been updated with new information.