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Halloween Baby

I actually came across this story on a nursing message board that a member had written as a post. The topic was whether nurses dress up for Halloween at work. Many nurses wrote saying that they wear Halloween scrubs, but not costumes. Our manager has pretty much barred us from wearing any Halloween costumes at work, but some of us do wear print scrubs. Anyway, I thought it a very cute story and asked the author for permission to post it here. Sarah, RN who works in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) writes:

We have to wear the hospital’s surgical scrubs on our unit, so people really can’t dress up. Many have Halloween-themed warm-up jackets around the holiday, and some nurses wear those funny headbands. Nothing too crazy though, it is an intensive care unit after all.


We do dress up the babies!!!

Sometimes the parents bring in little costumes, but more often than not, we make them. Nothing fancy – we usually just use those squares of felt and cut out little costumes that can lay on top of the babies. On the night of Oct. 30th, a bunch of us will bring in glue guns, felt, ribbons, pipe cleaners, fabric, etc.

There are some parents who don’t celebrate Halloween for religious reasons, and we are always respectful of that. And if there is a baby that is very very sick, we’ll make a costume, but then ask the parents if they want to lay it over the baby or not. Most do – they long for something “normal” like dressing up their child for Halloween.

The best was the year I made a Harry Potter costume for my primary baby – all 1200 grams of him! He had a robe, broomstick, and “scar” on his forehead made of Duoderm. I even got doll glasses, painted them black, and put tape on the nosepiece! There were nurses from all over the hospital coming up to the unit and asking if they could please see the Harry Potter baby? It was huge for his mom, too. Up until that point, everyone would always say, “Oh, your son is so small, is he going to be okay?” because this baby had been born at 495 grams. But on Halloween, she sat next to his incubator all day while dozens of people came by to rave about how adorable her kid looked. She said that was the day she finally started to believe that he was going to be okay.

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Oh! That is such a sweet story. (:

what a wonderful tradition… those babies are so lucky to have such caring nurses…

Oh man, great story. I was going to dress all in white with my cap…like an old-fashioned nurse.

That just gave me goosebumps all over! How cute!!! My kids were 680g & 970g and I used to love the thoughtful things their nurses did. I am now in nursing school and hoping to be an NICU nurse myself.

This is just precious. I can imagine that for some parents this is a real distraction from the crisis.


As the mom of a NICU graduate, I want to say thanks. My daughter left the hospital shortly before Halloween, but we do have a Halloween picture (in her isolette) and bear that are among our most precious possessions.
And you’re right, as parents we do crave any semblance of hope and normalcy we can get.


My son was in the NICU over Halloween after he was born in 1999, and many of the kids there were in costumes. As a parent, I think it was an unalloyed good thing.

I almost wish Halloween was a bit more of an occasion over here, I never thought of dressing up the patients! Nice one.

It’s amazing how a little bit of “normal” goes along way, isn’t it?

I think it’s great to dress up the critters & probably great for the parents.
However, I can understand why the managers might not want their staff in cosutme. i had a friend tell me of a surreal experience being on call at a geriatric center on Halloween – when a code was called. It’s been 20 years, so I can’t recall what everyone was dressed up as. But having Frankenstein doing compressions while Bo Peep pushed meds must have been a profoundly disturbing sight.

Just toured our neonatal unit today; what a sweet story. I am touched. I would just be delighted to see my baby boy dressed up like Harry — it would give me hope.

That is so sweet, sounds like something my mom would do. This year she made pumpkin costumes for the babies in the NICU, had to shrink the patterns so they’d fit. Everyone loved the “Pumpkin Patch”! Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie comes out on Nov. 18, so my sister and I decided Mom needed a costume for the release, but our mother isn’t really a Mrs. Weasley or a Professor McGonagall and then it hit us: Madam Pompfrey, the nurse at Hogwarts! Of course, my mom has specific uniforms she has to wear to work as well, but she wears all the crazy headbands, especially around Christmas. So far, though, everyone’s favorite is her elf hat with the pointed ears on the sides… particularly because my mom is 4’10″ tall! We’re a very strange family, we like to dress up. :-)

Oh, and for Christmas this year, Mom’s making stockings to hang all the babies in for pictures! :-)

Hi,my name is liz and I crochet for Nicu babies. Right now I don’t have a hospital to donate to. I have in the past helped the hospital in Albany,Ga.

Is there a nurse here who would like my hats,booties,afghans,dresses,onesies? I also have friends who like to help. I also crochet burial outfits for the babies who become angels.

Please write me.

Liz Parsons

Liz, we would love some burial wraps or outfits for our tiny angels here at our NICU at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver, CO! We do not have anything nice for them. I hope you write!

Diane, RN

That story brought a tear to my eye! What a great way to help out the families of those children

I cried when I read your story of the Harry Potter baby boy. My boy is an angel now, but I knit buriel outfits for the local charity

How sweet of you to give her “The Boy Who Lived”! I’m a Halloween baby myself, and I can imagine how wonderful it would be to have that opportunity in the hospital, especially if big bro/sis were there too!

So, what brought you to the hospital today?

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  • profileI am Gina. I have been a nurse for 15 years, first in med/surg, then CVICU, inpatient dialysis, CCU and now hospice. This blog is about my experiences as a nurse, and the experiences of others in the healthcare system - patients, nurses, doctors, paramedics. We all have stories!

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