When parents have a baby in the NICU, it can be difficult for friends and family to anticipate how to most effectively help them through this stressful and difficult time. We’ve put together three solid ways in which friends and family can help someone in the NICU this holiday season.
NICU parents need – and want – to eat something other than hospital food. Help them out by giving gift cards to restaurants that are close to the hospital, or if they’re splitting their time between home and the NICU, maybe they have other children at home, consider a home-cooked meal or a gift card to a meal delivery service like UberEats, Postmates, and Favor.
Speaking of having other children at home, one great way to relieve stress for NICU parents is to offer up childcare so they can do any number of things like run important errands, take care of some last-minute holiday shopping, or even visit the NICU together. One thing we often hear from parents is how much they wish they could visit the NICU more together, as a couple. Just say, “Hey, let me take your kids off your hands for the afternoon,” and give them a bit of a break.
Next, the holidays are full of random errands and tasks. What can you take off someone’s plate that will help them out and brighten their holiday season? Think hanging outdoor lights and decorations at their home, addressing and sending off their holiday cards, or taking their packages to the Post Office. If they have school-aged children, put together gifts for their teachers. Can you even do any last minute holiday shopping for them? After Christmas, consider showing up to help them take it all down. Any one of these tasks will help lighten the load for parents during the holidays and give them one less thing to worry about.
Make a gift in honor of NICU families
One final way you can help out NICU families this season is to make an end of year gift to Hand to Hold. Your gift will make a positive impact on thousands of NICU and bereaved parents nationwide in the New Year. Donate at crowdrise.com/NICUfamily to make your tax-deductible gift before the end of the year.
One of the most impactful ways to support a NICU family is to show up. Hopefully we’ve has given you a few ideas for ways you can do just that. Visit us at handtohold.org for more information, and have a great holiday season.
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