5 Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween in the NICU

NICU baby in sunflower costume for Halloween

Spooky season is here, but you might not feel much like celebrating when you’re spending it in the NICU…

Holidays are tough on NICU families. Parents have so many hopes and dreams for the most special times of the year, and it can feel like a huge loss when you have to reimagine your celebration. Wondering how NICU families celebrate Halloween in the NICU? Read on.

I know this Halloween is probably not the treat you were hoping for, but we’ve got some fun tricks to help you make memories with your little pumpkin no matter where you are!

Here are 5 adorable ideas for bringing Halloween cheer to the NICU:

  1.       Create a Costume

Common Question: Can my NICU baby dress in a Halloween Costume? The answer is typically yes! Just be sure to confirm with your NICU first. 

While a big box party store costume may or may not be an option depending on the size of your little one, that doesn’t mean your family has to skip dressing up all together!

Etsy has more cute knit hats and diaper covers than you can count (search for preemie or micropreemie Halloween costumes for inspiration). A quick peek turns up a candy corn cap, a pumpkin beanie (complete with stem!) and a cat-eared option for your little one. You could even buy or make a custom blanket styled like a superhero cape for your tiny hero!

It takes a little creativity, but you can definitely find an incredible costume for your baby’s first Halloween.


  1.       Set the Scene

Common question: Can I decorate my NICU baby’s space for holidays? Again, the answer is almost always yes! Just be sure to confirm with your NICU first. 

Halloween decorations have become a THING over the last several years, so it’s easier than ever to find some adorably spooky touches for your NICU space.

You could create a Halloween-themed name banner, add a small ghost garland, or decorate with inexpensive window clings.

After Halloween is over, tuck your decorations away for next year. When you pull them out next October, it will be a sweet reminder of how far your family has come.

  1.       Get Crafty

There is nothing cuter than baby footprints, and NICU nurses are pros at turning those teeny-tiny tootsies into holiday art.

Pumpkins, ghosts, bats, monsters, witches- there is no end to the adorable ideas for fun Halloween footprint crafts!

If you’ve got a great idea in mind, ask your nurse to give you a hand in creating a precious holiday keepsake you’ll treasure forever. Check out Pinterest if you need some amazing inspiration!

  1.       Spooky Story Time

Reading to your baby is one of the best things you can do for brain development and adding a Halloween twist makes it even more fun!

Choose some great Halloween picture books to help you and your little one get ready for the big day. Here are some fun options to get you started: Read Aloud Halloween Baby Books!

  1.       Bring on the treats!

Common question: Can we trick-or-treat in the NICU? Absolutely!

Your kiddo isn’t quite ready for candy, but NICU nurses could always use a treat!

Fill a trick-or-treat bucket with tasty treats and leave it near your baby’s bedside for hard-working NICU staff to help themselves.

Candy is delicious, but healthy treats like fruit, granola bars, protein bars, or individually packaged bags of popcorn are always a welcome surprise.

This year might look a little different than you’d imagined, but you can still create a fun and memorable first Halloween for your sweet family! Want even more ideas? Check out our previous post - 20 Great Ways to Enjoy Your First Halloween!
Back to blog