The NICU for Beginners
Every new NICU parent & preemie parent will want to know about all of these resources - the best NICU recommendations, organizations, and support. NICU support groups to explore. Tips on how to survive the NICU. Preemie Parent Support. It's like NICU Boot Camp!
Here's a compilation of the kinds of things most new NICU parents wish they knew about early on on their NICU journey.
One thing I hear over and over is how frustrating it is for parents who are new in the NICU because they don't know about all the resources available to them during their NICU stay until it's too late. In the chaos and stress of first getting used to the experience, they don't know where to look or what's out there.
I want to help fix that. Because there are SO many great resources for new NICU parents. So I'm putting together a page with all of the links to all the stuff I think first-time NICU parents really should know about. If you think of anything you believe I should add - let me know!
NICU Basic Survival Tips & STrategies
- NICU Boot Camp (all the best NICU tips to know early on)
- Learn what NICU parents say are the most important things they wished they knew early on during their baby's NICU stay, including :
- How to be an advocate for your baby
- Yes, you can fire a nurse you don't like
- Writing as a way to cope
- Questions to ask your NICU Doctors & Nurses
- Why you should try a NICU support group
- Why it's important to celebrate NICU Milestones, and how
- NICU emotions - what, why, and how normal they all are
Free NICU Peer support
These groups all offer some type of peer support. The NICU can be so isolating, so lonely, because your friends & family probably can't truly understand what you're going through. Another NICU parent can be a tremendous support. It's free and easy to request help.
NICU Non-Profits who offer Freebies to NICU Families
- Graham's Foundation (care packages - USA)
- Twenty Four and Five (free NICU shirts for micropreemies - USA)
- Tiny Footprints (free NICU photography sessions)
- Believe in Preemies (free FABULOUS NICU photography sessions - Kansas City Area)
- Preemie World (free downloadable images & checklists)
Product Recommendations - the Items you'll want Right Away
- The best NICU Journal for tracking every day stuff like weight, feedings, who your nurses are, etc.
- The best feeding pillows for the NICU
- The best hands-free pumping bra for NICU moms (ANY mom who is pumping for her NICU baby absolutely should have one of these!)
- Best gifts for NICU moms
- Best gifts for NICU dads
- Best gifts for NICU nurses
- The products you'll want to have at home before you take your NICU baby home
- Best read-aloud books for NICU babies (And yes, you can start reading to your baby right away!)
- Best memoirs about having a preemie
- Best children's books about the NICU (Some great ones for siblings, too!)
Best Preemie & NICU Instagram Accounts to Follow
- Every Tiny Thing (naturally!)
- Preemie Moms Rock
- Hand to Hold (many links to frequent blog articles about NICU stuff)
- Inspirational Qu0tes
- You Are Luminous
Best Preemie & NICU Facebook Pages to Follow
- Preemie/NICU Moms on Facebook (great for facebook support from other NICU & Preemie Moms. It's a closed group - ask for permission to join, which should be granted quickly)
- Peek-a-boo ICU (Another great way to interact with NICU and preemie families)
NICU & Preemie Podcasts
- NICU Now " Hand to Hold’s NICU Now Audio Support Series is a support-based podcast aimed to eliminate the many physical and emotional barriers NICU parents face in accessing and receiving support, allowing them to listen as they commute to and from the hospital as well as at their baby’s bedside. NICU Now is unlike any other podcast because it tackles tough subjects with compassion and experience, including guilt, grief and information to help parents care for their premature babies."
- Speaking of NEC "Produced by The Morgan Leary Vaughan Fund, and funded by The Petit Family Foundation, these podcasts are one-on-one conversations with relevant NEC experts—neonatologists, clinicians and researchers—that highlight current prevention, diagnosis, and treatment strategies for NEC, and the search for a cure."
Common NICU Terminology & diagnoses
NICU Top Tens
- Top Ten best ___
- Top Ten most popular names
- Top Ten Preemie-Related Online Forums
- Top Ten NICU-Related Online Forums