Having a baby in the hospital can be stressful for families at any time of the year, but especially during the holidays. That’s why Carrie Myers, a Child Life specialist at Penn State Children’s Hospital, decided to make a special gift for the tiny patients and their families.
She created a Christmas ornament for all 42 of the babies that were currently in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and continuing care nursery. Each of the ornaments is topped with a ribbon that, when untied, measures the exact length of the baby. The smallest baby was 14.5 inches long, and the largest 20.75 inches.
“The parents loved them!” Myers said. “They were all really excited and talked about how cool it will be to look at the ornament and see how much their baby has grown.” Most of the parents immediately hung the decoration by their child’s bed, while one took it home to put on their Christmas tree.
Myers usually makes an ornament with each babies’ footprint but decided to do something different this year.
“It’s the babies’ first Christmas, and Carrie wanted to make it special for their families,” said Ashley Kane, manager of the Child Life Program. “This memento is something that the parents will have forever. She and our other Child Life staff go above and beyond to make sure the families have the best possible experience here.”
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