Valentine’s Day in the NICU isn’t ideal, but it can be a fun opportunity to bring a little joy and celebration into the NICU and focus on the love you have for your baby. Here are just a few ways you can mark this love-filled occasion in the NICU and with your partner.
Dress for the occasion
Put on your favorite red or pink sweater or t-shirt with a kitschy Valentine’s Day slogan. Matching shirts for you and your partner? Why not? Dress your baby in a cute Valentine’s Day onesie and make the most of the day with a love-themed photo shoot in the NICU.
Parents – if you are in the NICU on your own on this day, make sure to ask the nurses to take a Valentine’s Day photo of you and your baby together, so you can treasure it for years to come.
Decorate your space
Ask your nurse if you can decorate your baby’s area with a Valentine’s Day theme – think construction paper hearts, small garlands, or a Valentine-themed blanket. Bringing a little touch of whimsy to your baby’s NICU space can do wonders for your day.
Attend an in-hospital event
Is your hospital planning a Valentine’s Day event for parents? If so, take a little break from the NICU and stop by for some treats and the opportunity to engage with other NICU parents outside of the unit.
Make a Valentine’s Craft
Ask your nurses if they will allow you to make a sweet craft using your baby’s footprint. We love this one using air-dry clay. As your baby grows, you will marvel at his little their feet used to be!
You can also make cute scent cloths using our easy no-sew instructions and some Valentine’s Day-inspired fabric or even make them in a heart shape!
The Power of Scent + No-Sew Scent Cloth Instructions
Mark the day in your journal
Write a love letter to your baby in your journal, mark what milestones they’ve recently met, and make note of what changes and milestones you can look forward to this time next year. We love this NICU journal from Every Tiny Thing. (As one of Every Tiny Thing’s “Tiny Partners,” a portion of each purchase is donated to Hand to Hold!)
Spend quality time with your baby
As a NICU parent, you’re no stranger to spending time loving on your NICU baby. For Valentine’s Day, make it extra special by really focusing on just holding your baby and loving them in the moment. Bring in some special books to read aloud to your baby or softly sing them your favorite songs about love. Parents recommend: (this list contains affiliate links, meaning Hand to Hold earns a small commission for qualifying items, at no additional cost to you.)
- I Love You to the Moon and Back by Amelia Hepworth
- If Animals Said I Love You by Ann Whitford Paul
- The Moment You Were Born: A Story for You and Your Premature Baby by Sandra M. Lane, MA, SLP, and Brenda S. Miles, PhD
- Hand to Hold by JJ Heller
- And more! Take a look at our Recommended Books for Children
Spend quality time with your family
Need some ideas for quality time with your partner or family? Steal away from the NICU for a meal together at a nearby restaurant, or even the hospital cafeteria. Gift your partner a sweet photo of your baby in cute a frame. If you are splitting time between the NICU and other children at home, set aside some time to spend with your other children, reading, doing a simple craft, or simply sharing some Valentine’s goodies. Your baby is in good hands with the NICU staff.
Download the Hand to Hold app, a safe and inviting place to connect with Hand to Hold Family Support Specialists and other NICU parents to find support whenever and wherever you need it. Learn more.