Costumes Made By Nurses - NICU Hosts Halloween Contest Too Adorable for Words
By Chaunie Brusie, BSN, RN
If you’re looking for your daily dose of adorable, look no further, because we’ve got a Halloween treat for you.
Yesterday, the Aurora Women’s Pavilion in West Allis, Wisconsin, hosted a costume contest for some of the hospital’s youngest patients, their babies in the NICU. Remarkably, each of the tiny costumes were handmade by nurses as well as some of the NICU family parents and they are as creative as they are awwww-inducing.
The babies’ costumes ranged from transforming them into tiny pieces of candy corn to hand-crocheted mermaids to Wonder Woman and even — you guessed it — a pair of twin M & M’s.
Aurora Women’s Pavilion posted the results of the costume creations on their Facebook page in an album, explaining that because some of the babies have been in the NICU for several weeks or months, the Halloween costume contest provided some welcome relief and a little bit of seasonal fun for the families that endure so much. Not only did parents and staff get to join together to create the costumes and have fun in a creative way, but the costumes also gave a little bit of normalcy to the often-isolated world of the NICU.
Dedicated Nurses Go Above And Beyond
Susan McDonald, BSN, RN, Nursing Manager for the NICU and Women’s Care Center tells Nurse.org that it’s the first year that her unit has hosted a Halloween costume contest, but with their inaugural celebration, both staff and families were excited to get in on the holiday fun. She explains that the costume contest was a wonderful way for families to bond with each other, have a break from the stress that having a baby in the NICU can bring, and celebrate their little one during a season they otherwise would have missed out on.
“It gives families a fun way to bring them hope and it’s something fun to normalize their experience,” she says of the contest. “It also celebrates their baby — they may not be out trick-or-treating but they can still have some fun! It’s traumatic to have a baby in the NICU so if you can add a little fun to your day, it makes everyone smile.”
McDonald also noted that the contest highlighted the incredible dedication of the hospital’s nurses, many of whom went above and beyond to hand-make the babies’ costumes.
For instance, she pointed out that the epic M & M costume on real-life twin siblings Parker and Zoey from Milwaukee were handmade by the nurse who cared for the babies’ mother on the postpartum floor. The nurses helped make the costumes or chimed in with ideas and inspiration for the families and then, on the day of the costume party, got into the spirit of Halloween by dressing up themselves.
The Costume Contest - Vote For A Winner! (If That’s Even Possible)
“The nurses on night shift carried the party on through the night and the next day,” McDonald relates. “They really got into the spirit of it!”
The babies and nurses were joined by many family members who also dressed up for the costume party, with siblings providing decorations for the baby isolettes and themed family costumes. And because a Halloween costume contest is just not a contest without some prizes, the NICU at Aurora Women’s Pavilion in West Allis is also opening up their costume contest to the public for voting.
Everyone in the area and online can get it on the action and vote for their favorite costume. All you have to do is:
- “like” your favorite photos and the photo with the most votes by Thursday, November 1st at 5 PM will win.
- You are allowed to “like” and vote for as many costumes as you’d like, so don’t panic; we know it’s almost impossible to just choose one!
The 1st place winner will receive the ultimate prize of a $150 Target gift card (honestly, just when you thought this contest couldn’t get any better!) and there will also be 5 runners-up chosen who will each receive home gift cards ranging in value from $25-$50.
McDonald says that currently, little Norah from Greendale, dressed as a chicken, is in the lead for that coveted #2 spot, but some of the other babies aren’t far behind.
As for her favorite costume, McDonald admits that although she thinks they are all adorable, she does particularly admire the pink mermaid costume on baby Izzy because it was hand-knit by the patient’s mother, who has contributed other knit octopus positioners to the unit.
No matter who nabs that coveted 1st place vote, however, the Aurora Women’s Pavilion says that they definitely think all of the babies are winners. But still, one baby just might have that special something, so go cast your vote today while you nosh on all of that leftover Halloween candy.
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