10 Fun NICU Photo Ideas

father holding infant son, NICU, preemie, baby, son

Baby pictures- is there anything cuter?

Nothing makes a new parent prouder than sharing photos of their darling baby, and NICU moms and dads are no exception!!

You’ve seen countless newborn photo shoots and birth announcements on social media, but traditional pictures might not always be an option for NICU families. However, that shouldn’t stop you from showing off your newborn with pride. In fact, pictures can be a great way to include family and friends in your NICU journey.

You may be wondering: how do I do a photoshoot in the NICU? Photo opportunities in the NICU sometimes require a little creativity, so here are 10 fun ideas to get you started!

  1.       Give a Behind-the-Scenes Peek

Many people have never been in a NICU, so show them what goes on behind the scenes. Snap pictures of your baby’s room or focus on the isolette with a cute name sign. Show all the amazing equipment that’s helping your baby grow stronger every day (it helps to include an explanation of what everything does). And don’t forget the handwashing station- after all, you’re spending a lot of time there!

  1.       Include Objects for Scale

It’s really hard for most people to imagine how tiny a micropreemie truly is. Including familiar objects for scale can really drive the point home. Lots of parents like to place their wedding rings in their baby's little hand or pose them with a stuffed animal. You can hold that tiny foot in the palm of your hand, or show their little hand tucked in yours. One sweet family even put a Coke bottle next to their little guy to show off his small but mighty size! You’ll be amazed by how much your child has grown when you look back on those pictures a few months down the road.

  1.       All the Tiny Things

Speaking of objects, don’t forget to include all the things your baby uses every day like the preemie diapers, sweet knit caps the size of a tennis ball, and the itty bitty bottles.

  1.       Special Family Moments

You will remember the first time you held your baby, the first bath and the first feeding forever, but a picture can help you remember every detail of that special moment. Pictures of those important bonding sessions create a beautiful chronicle of your family’s first days.

  1.       Feature Your Extended NICU family

Anyone who has experienced the NICU journey knows that your baby’s caregivers feel like a part of the family. Include them in pictures of your little one (with their permission!) so you’ll always remember the people who played such an important role in your child’s life.

  1.       Major Milestones

Milestones might look a little different in the NICU, but they’re still photo-worthy! Capture the day your little one breathes on their own, wears their first preemie outfit, or takes their first bottle. You can even attach the pictures of these awesome accomplishments to milestone photo cards!

  1.       Include Special Gifts

Family and friends love to shower new babies with special gifts! Since the people you love may not be able to meet your little one just yet, show your thanks by snapping a picture of your baby with that adorable stuffed animal, snuggly blanket, or lovely book.

  1.       Homecoming

Okay, this one is a no-brainer, but you can include all the moments that lead up to going home as well. Document your kiddo passing their car seat test with flying colors. Or have someone take pictures while you dress your NICU baby in that special homecoming outfit you’ve been saving for the big day!

  1.       Meeting the siblings

Your big kids have been anxiously awaiting the day they meet their little brother or sister! Whether the first look happens in the NICU or at home, make sure you’ve got your camera ready!

  1.   Getting So Big

After you go home, the NICU will start to feel like a distant memory. Stage a photo shoot that reminds you of how far your family has come. Surround your growing, thriving baby with their hospital ID bracelet, preemie diapers, special outfits, or other objects that celebrate your NICU warrior’s incredible strength!

Your time in the NICU isn’t always easy, but it’s so special. Don’t hesitate to take pictures of your preemie! You’ll be so glad to have lots of memories that remind you of your family’s incredible strength, hope, joy, and love.