Inside the NICU

A Halloween How-to for the NICU

It’s that time of year again, when our thoughts turn to tiny hats and very small costumes. In other words, it’s Halloween, and we’ve already held our first costume-making session for our current NICU parents.

We think it’s really important for parents to have the chance to dress their babies up if they feel like it, so we take care of all the logistics and they bring the creativity. Every year we are lucky enough to receive beautiful donated hats, often from graduate NICU parents or grandparents, and the hat is often the inspiration for a costume. For example, you could be a football, or a wise little owl …


NICU hats for Halloween

Or you could be Minnie or Mickey!

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We always have a number of ballerinas and superheroes, and perhaps the reason why (apart from the fact that they’re cute and very appropriate for our babies!) is that it’s pretty easy to make these costumes quickly and safely with easy-to-find materials. For example, it takes about 15 minutes for a non-crafty person to make a tiny tutu for a baby ballerina.

You start with a piece of tulle that’s about 10 cm long and 4 cm wide, and you fold it in half. You then tie the tulle around a ribbon by poking the ends back through the loop you created. We used kind of a fancy ribbon here with extra trim, but plain ribbon or elastic works well too, as long as it’s washable.

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You do this with more strips of tulle (no need to cut precisely) until you have a nice puffy tutu, and then you can close it up with either velcro dots or a quick knot.

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Here’s what it looks like on a real baby …

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This year at our first session we had a parent who is a real artist, and she created this in about 10 minutes with a blank onesie and some fabric markers. She’s really looking forward to busting this out at rounds on Halloween!

painted onesie for Halloween

And finally we had another parent who was a whizz at cutting out felt and turning it into something amazing …

nicu baby costume

So it probably doesn’t surprise you, after seeing all of this,  if we say we can’t wait for Halloween! We hope these photos have inspired you to celebrate (if you choose) wherever you are.  So happy Halloween, and don’t forget to save us some candy 🙂


About the author


Kate Robson