I have had three separate NICU experiences with each of my three kiddos so unfortunately I know this road well. Amy also wrote a wonderful post here about being a friend to a preemie parent! This is such a sensitive and emotional time… if you know someone who has a child in the NICU and you find yourself wondering what you can do to help, here are the top five things you can do! Family and friends are so important when you are faced with this unexpected experience.
5 ways to help out a NICU parent.
Meals! It is so nice to have your meals taken care of when you find yourself in this situation. We used to leave a cooler on the front porch so that we didn’t even have to plan times to meet people. We just knew that when we came home from a long, emotional day in the NICU a nice, yummy meal was waiting for us.
Going back and forth from home to the hospital can get expensive when you are buying more parking tokens each time. When people would buy us tokens and leave them in our mailbox it was extremely helpful!
groceries and rides
Having a fridge full of groceries was AMAZING for our family. I had two toddlers at home this time around and taking this errand off the list was so helpful. Rides are also a great way to help! As a c.section mama who couldn’t drive for 6 weeks, anytime someone could run me up to the hospital I was extremely grateful!
The days and nights that we couldn’t find someone to watch our two toddlers at home meant that my husband couldn’t go up to see our little one with me. Offering to watch the older siblings is a GREAT way to help out someone in this situation. Often times it is a very emotional situation and both parents want to be there with the baby.
a listening ear
Having someone to talk to during this time is extremely important for a NICU parent. With hormones and emotions high, it is really nice to be able to talk about what you are feeling and going through.