Well-meaning family and friends often don’t know how to handle the arrival of a premature baby. Rather than shower the new parents with excitement and gifts, there can be an uneasy quiet and seriousness surrounding the arrival of a premature baby.
As a result, premature babies and their parents don’t receive the same level of cards, gifts, flowers and presents that are commonplace for on-time births.
For parents of premature babies, it can be quite heartbreaking.
The unintended consequence of this common behavior is that the parents of premature babies can experience feelings of increased anxiety, stress and a feeling that they do not have the same social support as parents of full-term babies.
It may not always be comfortable, but it is so important that family and friends show the same excitement, love and affection for babies born prematurely.
To help you find a great premature baby gift for 2022, we’ve put together this list of premature baby gifts to make it easy for you to find that perfect way to show your love and support.
What Is a Premature Baby?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) a premature baby is defined as a birth that occurs before 37 weeks of gestation. Typically, the earlier the baby is born, the higher the risk of complications.
Depending on how early a baby is born, the baby may be:
Late Preterm: Born between 34 and 36 completed weeks of pregnancy
Moderately Preterm: Born between 32 and 34 weeks of pregnancy
Very Preterm: Born at less than 32 weeks of pregnancy
Extremely Preterm: Born at or before 25 weeks of pregnancy
Preterm babies will likely need a longer hospital stay in a special nursery unit at the hospital. According to the Mayo Clinic, some short term complications associated with preterm birth include:
- Breathing Problems;
- Heart Problems;
- Brain Problems;
- Temperature Control Problems;
- Immune Systems Problems; and
- Gastrointestinal problems.
Depending on how much care the premature baby requires, he or she may be admitted to the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where he or she will be seen by doctors and a specialized team with training in taking care of preterm babies.
Should I Buy a Gift for a Premature Baby?
The best thing you can do is treat the birth of a premature baby like any other baby. Premature babies need clothes and other essentials just like full term babies.
Below we’ve provided a well-researched list of some amazing premature baby gifts you can buy in 2022. We’ve broken the preemie baby gifts list into a few distinct categories to help you quickly and easily identify potential gifts without having to scour the entire web.
The premature baby gift categories are:
- Clothes; and
We hope this list makes it just a bit easier for you to decide on a meaningful gift for a premature baby. Remember, no matter what the gift, the important part is that you are helping a loved one get through what may be a difficult time in their lives.
Let’s get started!
Best Premature Baby Gifts: Toys
The Dingle Dangle
Looking for an under the sea themed nursery gift?
The Dingle Dangle baby toy is the ultimate multi-sensory parenting “toolkit”. Nominated as one of the best new products of 2022 by the British Baby Product Association, the Dingle Dangle makes the perfect mummy and daddy to be gift.
The cool thing about the Dingle Dangle? It has four separate uses all in one baby toy. It can transform into a:
- Hands-free nappy change helper;
- Portable mobile;
- Sensory rattle; and
- Soft, chewy teether.
What makes the Dingle Dangle toy an especially great gift for premature babies is that it is portable - meaning it can easily be used at the hospital or back at home. This flexibility is important for families that will be spending a lot of time between the hospital and their house.
The Dingle Dangle is especially great for Dads who can wear the nappy change helper on their heads to help interact with their newborn baby. It’s one of the only products on the market that was designed with both Mum’s and Dads in mind!
The Dingle Dangle Bundle is sold in a bundle including the sensory rod, the rattle, and mobile octopus toy.
Did you know doctors in Denmark discovered that crochet octopuses can help premature babies feel more comfortable?
The research revealed that cradling a crochet octopus can improve premature infants’ blood oxygen levels, breathing, and heartbeat. Naturally, they’re one of my favourite preemie baby gifts, especially for little ones in the NICU.
If you know how to crochet - this would be an incredibly thoughtful gift for a premature baby. In fact, at one hospital, crocheters were called on to help create small octopuses for all premature babies born in the hospital.
If you don’t crochet or just don’t have the time, Pebble’s Organic Crochet Octopus Rattle is my top pick because of the brand’s sustainability and fair trade practices. It is handcrafted from natural materials, so you don’t have to worry about any toxic chemicals.
This organic crochet rattle octopus is around 15cm in length, with a width of approximately 8cm – the perfect size for a preemie baby to cradle. And look at the bright smile on it!
This trendy octopus is made entirely from organic cotton and stuffed with a natural polyester fill. Plus, since it’s machine-washable, it’s easy to maintain.
Best Premature Baby Gifts: Clothes
Because preemies are born early, they typically have more delicate bodies and are prone to feeling cold. Generally, most hospitals in the UK have preemie clothes available for babies in the NICU.
However, these clothes often have a very hospital-ly touch to them, and they’re not necessarily comfortable. That’s why soft, organic cotton clothes make some of the premature baby gifts.
I really like Cotton Boulevard’s (CB) organic cotton selection, because the clothes are super soft and sustainable. The fabric is perfect for preemies with delicate skin, and they have “early baby” and “tiny baby” sizes for babies weighing 3lbs-5lbs and 5lbs-7lbs.
CB is a family-run company that launched its line of organic cotton clothes just last year. They use sustainable farming methods to produce cotton that’s free from synthetic fertilisers or harmful pesticides.
My favourite picks from their selection are:
The Tractor Pattern Sleepsuit
This super cute sleepsuit is made from 95% of Cotton Boulevard’s organic cotton, and 5% elastane. You can pick a size that best corresponds to the preemie baby’s weight: ‘early born’ is for babies weighing from 3lbs-5lbs, while ‘tiny baby’ is for those between 5lbs-7lbs.
Personally, I really appreciate the different size options, because choosing the right fit is important to keep the baby warm and snug. The tractor sleepsuit also zips up from the front, to make dressing babies easy.
This bee-styled romper is one of the cutest baby gifts for premature baby mums, and the organic cotton fabric means it’ll last a good while.
Like the Tractor Pattern sleepsuit, CB’s Green Bees Romper is available in different sizes. The fabric composition is also the same, and it zips up from the front, just like the sleepsuit does.
Best Premature Baby Gifts: Keepsakes
Depending on how early the baby is born, premature children can spend anywhere from a few days to weeks in the NICU. Thoughtful keepsakes can be some of the best premature baby gifts to bring a lighter touch into what may be a heavy time.
You can show your mummy friend love, support, and care with a keepsake gift that can be cherished forever.
Here are some of my top picks:
NICU Mama Premature Baby Keepsake Pin - TandBelle
Remember how I mentioned crochet octopuses and their importance to preemie babies? In the spirit of these special toys, one mother designed preemie keepsake pins based on them!
Her name is Bryony, and she was inspired to launch T & Belle by her own experience with parenting. Bryony’s own niece was a NICU baby, and her experience gave her the inspiration to design this trendy keepsake pin.
It’s available in different colours (the purple one’s my favourite), and you can have a metal lock added on for an extra 50p. Bryony pledged never to use plastic or wrappings for packaging her pins which are packed in recyclable material and cardboard boxes, and carefully shipped to your doorstep.
You can gift this cute present to a NICU mummy and make her day. She can wear it as a proud reminder!
Premature Baby Milestone Discs
Going through early labour is mentally and physically exhausting for mothers. Worse yet, not knowing how long their baby will be in the NICU makes the situation even more daunting.
But, breaking the situation down into milestones helps families stay positive by celebrating gradual progress. That’s why these premature baby milestones discs by Loubie Lou’s make thoughtful gifts.
These handmade, engraved wooden discs celebrate each moment of a premature baby’s journey in the NICU, from when they first enter the world till they’re ready to go home. The discs contain milestones such as:
I love the writing style they’ve used for the engraving – it has a soft, homely feel to it. You can have these premature baby gifts delivered directly to the hospital. But, if you’re in the area, it’s more personal and supportive to deliver them personally!
Preemie Baby Gifts: Conclusion
Parents of a premature baby will experience a wide range of emotions that most other new parents will not face at birth.
In tough times like this, it’s super important for family and friends not to disappear - but to show you care! Whether it be a simple card or a thoughtful gift -
Do you know any NICU mummies, or have you been one yourself? Let us know what gifts you’d recommend.
About the Author
Asya is a school teacher, content creator, and mother of five children. When she's not preparing a lesson or spending time with her family, you'll find Asya making her way through a fantasy novel and a box of chocolates.