9 Gifts for NICU Parents and Nurses

New parents with an infant in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) need a special level of support. Here are several gift ideas for parents and nurses.

Parachute Home Booties
Photo: Illustration by Francesca Spatola; Parachute Home (1)

No matter the circumstances surrounding birth, welcoming a newborn can feel all at once joyful and stressful. But that typical new parent stress is bound to be magnified if your child is born requiring special care and needs to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

"Many times the excitement and anticipation of childbirth is now replaced with anxiety and the challenges that come from caring for a medically-complex baby," says Kathy Burkett, NICU patient and family engagement coordinator at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, whose own daughter spent time in the NICU. "The health care journey can be a long one, and each phase can cause a range of emotions."

And given a 2015 study in JAMA Pediatrics that found that NICU admissions are on the rise, more parents out there could use extra support. Burkett says simple care package items, journals, and anything that helps a NICU parent stay comfortable and well-fed would be welcomed. At the same time, NICU staff members are sure to appreciate recognition in the form of a gift card, a food delivery, or another special gift.

Show your love with these gift ideas for NICU parents and dedicated NICU nurses who care for critically ill babies every day.

01 of 09

Every Little Thing NICU Journal

Every Tiny Thing journal

Every Little Thing's journal offers new parents spaces to track everything going on in their baby's daily life, including:

  • Each day's new information
  • New milestones
  • Your baby's likes and dislikes

Plus, it also has room to write a longer journal entry.

02 of 09

Parachute Home Cozy Booties

Parachute Home booties
Parachute Home

Whether they need comfy footwear while spending long hours in the NICU or need to rest their achy feet when they get home, these unisex plush booties from Parachute Home are sure to be well-loved. They're made from supersoft sherpa and perfect for the colder months—or cold hallways of the NICU.

03 of 09

Honest Ready Safe Go Adult Gift Set


Coming and going from the hospital means taking extra precautions to stay safe. Make it easy for parents with this all-in-one gift set from Honest, which includes:

  • Two face masks
  • Disinfecting spray
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Face and body lotion

It all comes with a canvas pouch to hold all your on-the-go items.

04 of 09

Pipette To Mama, with Love Set

Pipette Mom Care Set

This non-toxic bath and body gift set is made with extra-safe and soothing ingredients for postpartum skin. This set includes:

  • Body wash
  • Body lotion
  • Belly butter

It also includes a body brush for dry brushing, a technique for achieving glowing skin.

05 of 09

The Dad Hoodie

The Dad Hoodie
The Dad Hoodie

It's called "The Dad Hoodie," but parents of all genders are sure to love the convenience of this wearable contraption. The super-soft hoodie has a variety of storage compartments that make it easy to bring necessities to and from anywhere you'd take a diaper bag—including the NICU.

06 of 09

Spoonful of Comfort New Parent Care Package

Spoonful of Comfort
Spoonful of Comfort

NICU parents are not likely to spend much time in the kitchen, which is why this care package is sure to be well-received. The product features:

  • Jar of soup or mac 'n cheese
  • Bacci rolls or bread bowls
  • Cookies
  • Ladle

You can pick and choose from a variety of flavors, and the company offers gluten-free and vegan options.

07 of 09

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Mug

Etsy mug

Celebrate the NICU nurse warrior caring for your baby or your loved one's little one with this charming mug. Images on the mug feature cartoon-drawn NICU professional items, like a stethoscope, monitor, diapers, face mask, and crib.

08 of 09

SendaMeal.com Gift Certificate


Long hours in the NICU mean nurses and other staff members are likely pressed for time when it comes to meal prep. So consider sending a thank you dinner for two or four from SendaMeal.com. Gift recipients receive an elegant voucher and a list of dinner menus—and desserts—to choose from.

09 of 09

Bean Box Deluxe Coffee + Chocolate Tasting Box

Good Morning Gift Box Bean Box
Bean Box

This Bean Box Deluxe Coffee + Chocolate Tasting gift set adds a little luxury to a NICU nurse's a.m. (or anytime) caffeine fix. It features:

  • Eight artisan coffees
  • Eight chocolate bars
  • Tasting notes for pairings

Bean Box also offers subscription services if you want to set up a longer, ongoing gift!

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