A Gift for Preemies (and Their Mommies)

A full tutorial on creating a gift basket for Moms and babies that are premature!

After a beautiful stroll on the boardwalk, fireworks, and cherished time with family in Ocean City, we tucked ourselves in for the night—it was one of my favorite 4th of July memories. It wasn’t our original plan, but it was still special. We had planned on a huge party thrown by my sister-in-law, but she had unexpectedly been admitted to the hospital and was required to be there until her due date…in October. At about 2AM we were startled awake by a call from my mother-in-law. My sister-In-law was having an emergency C-section. She was only 28 weeks into her pregnancy with little J. After hours of waiting with family and friends, we learned that baby J was stable with just 2 lbs 9 oz and 13″ to him, but doctors were still concerned about his mother. So we waited in the hospital lobby, we waited at home, we spent an eternity waiting—it was one of my most terrifying memories.

I remember returning to work after the holiday and not being able to give my colleagues the answer they wanted to hear about my weekend. “Yeah, it was exciting” would have sufficed, but I’m not one for masks, so I let it all out-right there in the middle of my office. I remember everyone looking at me, not knowing quite what to say. Then Paul, not usually one to get involved, quietly assured me that someday, I’d be holding a perfectly healthy little boy, look back on this weekend and wonder if it really ever happened. His nephew had also been born dangerously pre-mature, and now was a bubbly, happy, perfectly normal 3 year old. I remember crying the whole way home that day—his words felt like the single most kind act that I had ever experienced. God, let that be true, I remember thinking.

Next to outfit

I’m happy to tell you, almost one year later, that this story does have a happy ending—both mom and baby are doing amazing! Look at this cute little hunk! That preemie outfit next to him was much too big for him when he was born!

Sure, 3 hospital visits a day for almost 3 months to see your own child isn’t anything that I would wish upon my worst enemy, let alone a glowing mom-to-be. The fear and obstacles that little J had to overcome weren’t easy, but God has been so good to our family. He has provided modern medicine to save both Mom and baby. Fifty years ago, we almost certainly would have lost them both. I wouldn’t be shocked to find out that their lives are both completely supernatural miracles, eclipsed by modern technology.

Healthy Boy

I want to encourage you, whether you’re the expecting mother in this situation, the worried sister, mother, in-law, or husband. I can’t promise that everything will be OK. But I can tell you that we live in an amazing point in history—if there was ever a time for everything to be OK, now is that time. The real encouragement is that no matter what happens, God is with us. That alone would be true whether little J’s story turned out how it did, or quite differently. It’s not an easy truth, but truth rarely is easy. God is here and God is good in the most difficult and sad stories. God is here and God is good in the most miraculous and joy-filled stories.

How You Can Help

So what if you’re on my side of this story? Powerless to do anything but wait. It’s a terrible feeling, and I hated every second. I felt powerless to comfort, to help, to fix—there was nothing that I could do. And honestly, I was right, there wasn’t anything that I could fix, but I could be there to support and wait with our family. There’s something about just being with others during the waiting that is powerful and helpful and gives strength to others. So, I would encourage you to join your family in that.


Maybe you’re a little bit more of a nervous-energy type of person, maybe you need to do something constructive! If you’re not involved with decision-making, be the runner! Go get drinks, lunch, snacks, books, magazines, coffee—whatever it is that will be helpful at the moment. Think positively–make a gift basket for baby and mom! I have all the details on how to make your own Preemie Gift Basket below.

If you’ve gone through something like this and want to share how you helped or have been helped, please share in the comments!

Enjoy reading this post? To make sure you don’t miss a thing, follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram and sign up for an email subscription to my blog.

A full tutorial on creating a gift basket for Moms and babies that are premature!

A Teeny Blanket

I cannot stress how important it is for quilters and crafters to be prepared ahead of time! We all knew that little J would be early, and I had a sense that he would be much earlier than expected. I actually took his preemie quilt on the July holiday drive with me to finish binding—just in case.

Preemie Quilt

I think that the most important part of a gift basket for preemies is a blanket or tiny quilt, just make sure that it’s no larger than 2′ x 2′. Often nurses will make these tiny blankets in their off-time. It turns out that if the mother sleeps with the blanket for a night and then gives it to her baby, the little sweetie recognizes her scent and is comforted by it! I simply took my favorite quilt block, Swoon, and had it quilted and bound for little J. I was pretty tickled with the final product!

Make Now, Play Later

A huge part of this basket was craft supplies! I figured that there would be a lot of hospital waiting and sitting for mom (and dad), so I included supplies for them to make toys or treasure boxes for little J that he would enjoy later down the road. Some ideas include discovery bottles (get the full tutorial here), canvas shoes and markers (for decorating!), and washi tape projects.

Something Mindless

Every mom deserves a break, especially one that has gone through what my SIL went through! Give her something relaxing and mindless to do! I included an adult coloring book for her, but you can throw in magazines, novels, even movies or Sodoku!

Presentation Is Everything

I will never get tired of saying it—presentation is everything! Make sure that you wrap this all up in a box or basket that is adorable and useful!

Premie Gift

And last, but not least, an encouraging card! What’s all the time and thought put into a gift, if it doesn’t mean anything? Make sure to encourage the family in a truthful and meaningful way.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with this idea! Take it and run—maybe add favorite snacks or a little something for the Dad!

There’s so much going on in the world and in our own lives, that oftentimes we forget to take care of those that we love the most. Make sure that you’re taking care of your friends, family, and acquaintances that are going through this difficult time. I would encourage you to be there fully for them and help in whatever way you’re gifted! It’s something that you’ll never regret, I promise!

Leave a Reply