NICU survival bags....need ideas.

Hi everyone,

As my NICU gift drive has just come to a happy (and sad because its over and was so rewarding) end. I would like to keep doing things for the families of babies in the NICU. So I thought maybe a NICU "survival" bag would be a good idea.

I was thinking of putting things like a one time use camera, notebook w/pen, menus from the areas around the NICU, maps of the area (for out of towners), a book list, kleenex (is that a bad idea?), hand sanitizer, a list of where you can buy preemie items (I would make a preemie and full term bag) such as clothing and proper carseats, and lists of hotels/shopping/airports/transportation (maybe bus passes if I could pull it off).

And I am just wondering what else I could put in them? Or if you think any of my ideas so far are wrong or not suitable?

Thanks so much.

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What a lovely idea, LakaisMom!

My cousin sent me a box of items that were very thoughtful when my son was in the NICU.

She sent me this bean bag (filled with flaxseeds, I think, not beans). You could heat it up in the microwave for 45 seconds - 1 minute and use it as a heat pack for breasts before pumping.

She sent some balm for my hands, because hands get so chapped from constant washing. Perhaps a small bottle of a good, deep-moisturing lotion would work too. I know that one of the NPs said to always buy small bottles. While more expensive than big bottles per ounce, she thought that they were more sanitary than the large ones anyway.

My cousin also sent me some mint facial mist for refreshing myself as mint is supposed to have rejuvenating properties.

On your list, perhaps you could include a list of near by restaurants, even if you can't secure menus.

On bus passes, I would just make sure that they are only given to those parents who ride the bus rather than put in every bag. Wouldn't want to waste any resources.

Again, what a thoughtful project you are doing! Have a Very Happy Holiday Season!

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Thanks so much those are all really great ideas and things I never thought of! The hand cream one is sooo good, because my hands took a beating (who am I kidding they still do from my constant hand washing).

I would of course make sure the bus passes are only given out to those taking the bus, they are way to expensive to waste. (not sure how I will pull off getting them though...)

Thanks again for all the suggestions!

Happy Holidays!

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Dear LakaisMom and Katek,
I think these are all absolutely phenomenal ideas! Another suggestion could be an open-ended calendar with the days of the week (they can plug in the months) to record things that happen while in the NICU as well as all those doctors and specialists appointments after leaving the NICU that cannot be missed. It could also serve as a journal. To save money, something like that can be made on a computer and printed/copied.

I think it's amazing what you're doing. It would be so wonderful if a group of us got together from different states (I see you're in Canada LakaisMom which is very cool!) and put together these gift bags (we could make a master list of the items so we would all make the same bags) for as many NICU's as possible. I know I would have appreciated something as special and thoughtful and handy as this when we were in the NICU for four long months.

I'm in Florida. Would anyone else be interested in helping out with this project?

Love,
Melanie

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I'm in san antonio tx. This would be an awesome thing to do at our hospital here. Military facility that babies are constantly flown into. Let me know!

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Hi melanie9392.
Thanks so much for your response and wanting to help out. That would be so amazing - let's definitely stay in touch and make this happen!
Hope your girls are still doing great - what a story!
Love,
Melanie too

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I think those are all great ideas. I personally don't see a problem with putting kleenex, I would suggest it.
I also think it would be nice to highlight on an area map places such as walking paths or parks. Excersize is a great stress relief and it would be a place to take a break from the chaos.

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I am all for having people help out...would you be willing to do as part of the foundation I am starting in my sons name? Just to give it more exposure and build up donations?

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Maybe coupons to a nearby restaurant or coffee shop? Some places (especially locally-owned) are more than happy to give coupons for a free sandwich, free coffee, etc. for things like this.

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Wonderful idea thank you....even if some wont give away "free" maybe discounts?

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yeah that's a definite possibility too!

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