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NICU Nurses Dress Up Tiny Patients in Homemade Halloween Costumes


Everyone at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare was in the Halloween spirit this year thanks to a few crafty nurses. They brought in several homemade costumes for the babies in the NICU and posted the photos to Facebook for everyone to see with the caption, “You won’t boo-lieve how cute our NICU babies are this Halloween!”

The internet quickly erupted in joy over the adorable costumes. Even though the patients are too young to remember, there’s a good chance these photos will be with them forever.

Spooky Celebration

The nurses at the facility are known for making their patients feel special around the holidays.

“Spooky season in the NICU is one of our favorite traditions, and this year is no exception!” the post read.

The children were nestled in a variety of fun costumes for the day, including PacMan, McDonald’s fries, a UPS driver, Olaf from Frozen, Nemo from Finding Nemo, and a Raggedy Ann doll.

But it wouldn’t be Halloween without fun captions and puns to go along with the photos. The staff added hilarious quips for each of their patients.

“Just clownin’ around in the NICU,” reads the caption for the photo of the baby in a Nemo costume.

They wrote, “Who you callin’ small fry?” beside the baby dressed as McDonald’s fries.

As for the patient in the Baby Yoda costume, the staff wrote, “Very tiny and cute, I am.”

And from Disney’s Up, “Adventure is out there!”

“NICU babies are worth melting for,” reads the photo of the baby dressed as Olaf from the movie Frozen.

The staff at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare credited the NICU team for going “above and beyond to make holidays special for our NICU families.”

“Our crafty night team made these clever costumes, and our day team brought their visions to life!” they added.

The local community was thrilled with the results. Hundreds of fans and former patients chimed in with comments online.

“How beautiful! Thanks to all the NICU health care workers who do such a remarkable job of caring for our little ones,” wrote one user.

“These doctors, nurses and staff are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting,” someone else commented. “We thank you guys for the countless hours of work and love you put in taking care of our children.”

“Can we just take a moment to appreciate the digital team who crafted this post? The captions… **chef’s kiss** And the babies are adorable too!” another person joked.

But don’t try this at home.

The hospital also noted that while the babies appear sleeping in various positions with props in their crib, it was only for a brief photo. “Please remember, you should always place your little ones on their backs to sleep, with nothing else in the crib,” they wrote.

“These NICU babies have special circumstances and are monitored 24/7 by our skilled nursing team,” the hospital staff added.

A Growing Phenomenon

The NICU nurses in Tallahassee weren’t the only ones making Halloween costumes for small patients. Several other facilities have started the tradition as well.

The same event was going on at MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina. So far, the nurses in the NICU have made over 70 unique costumes for their young patients.

Mara Lloyd, who came up with the project, says dressing up the babies is really for the parents.

“Maybe normalize the holiday a little bit more. If it’s a premature baby, they were probably still planning to be pregnant on Halloween and do something with their family. Now they can’t. But they can see them dressed up.”

She says the nurses took inspiration from the things they use every day.

“All of our nurses love Starbucks, so we made Starbucks cups. Then there are some capes with superheroes. We have peanut butter and jelly for twins, little jars. And then there’s bacon and eggs, also for twins. And a little scrub jacket for an itty bitty.”

She says it’s about so much more than just dressing up babies or watching over the infant until they can go home.

“I like the complexity. You’re not just caring for the infant. You’re caring for the whole family. You’re teaching them how to be a parent for their baby,” Lloyd said.

Steven Briggs
Steven Briggs is a healthcare writer for Scrubs Magazine, hailing from Brooklyn, NY. With both of his parents working in the healthcare industry, Steven writes about the various issues and concerns facing the industry today.

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