Halloween in the NICU - 20 Great Ways to Enjoy your baby's First Halloween

When your baby's first Halloween happens when you're in the NICU, you can still have a little fun, if you feel up to it. Any opportunity to smile while you're on this difficult journey is a gift, and you have every right to enjoy every holiday you want to with your baby.


So go ahead - you have permission to enjoy your baby's first Halloween!


Of course, this can only be done with a sensitivity to the realities of the NICU - babies are there because they are small or sick, needing special care. We can't over-stress them with crazy bulky costumes or tire them with too much activity.


But there are ways to have a little Halloween cheer! Here are some ideas that respect our little NICU babies while celebrating this fun holiday.

preemie baby as superman halloween costume in the NICU


Your NICU baby IS a superhero, really - so why not dress him or her up in the perfect costume? A simple cape such as this is ideal for babies too delicate for clothes, because you can just lay the cape over like a blanket. And those glasses - they'll be adorably huge on the tiniest preemie Clark Kent!

preemie baby as mickey mouse minnie mouse  halloween costume in the NICU

Mickey & Minnie

This hat + diaper cover set is super fun for twins in the NICU - comes in very small sizes, and more importantly they're not too stressful to put on your little ones

 halloween bunding penants to decorate baby's nicu bed room in the NICU

Festive Bunting

For you classy Halloween fans out there looking to really make your baby's room festive, how about a sweet bunting in vintage Halloween colors to drape from the crib or nearby? (Check with nurses to find the perfect safe spot)

jackolantern pumpkin clings to decorate NICU bed isolette or windows for halloween decor in nicu

Isolette / Window Clings

Did you know that a great way to decorate those isolettes and cribs in the NICU is with window clings? Yep! They're great any time of year, but for Halloween how about a sweet set  of smiling jack-o-lanterns to decorate the space? (Not all NICU's have seen this before, so check with your nurse to find a good place to put them).

preemie viking hat for nicu halloween costume

A True Warrior

What better costume for your NICU warrior than an itty bitty Viking hat? It's perfect! 

preemie minions costume halloween outfit for micropreemie on Etsy

Mini Minions

There is no cuter minion than a baby minion - this Etsy seller makes these sweet yet simple costumes in preemie sizes too!

preemie minions costume halloween outfit for micropreemie on Etsy

The Very Hungry PReemie

We all know preemies and NICU babies struggle to gain weight, so why not encourage your little one to be a super-eater with this super sweet "Very Hungry Caterpillar" outfit. Easy to dress most any NICU baby in. 

fairy lights led lights to decorate NICU room for halloween

twinkle Twinkle

Fairy lights are a fun way to decorate the NICU at night - perfect for all the little goblins trick-or-treating in the NICU on Halloween night! (I love these sweet, soft lights so much I wrote a short blog post about how some awesome night nurses use them to bring lightness to an otherwise stressful environment.) preemie

deer outfit preemie hat for baby's first halloween in the nicu

Such a Dear

Bambi has arrived in the NICU! This little deer is so adorable!

pumpkin preemie hat for baby's first halloween in the nicu

Little Pumpkin

 What baby doesn't look completely adorable with a pumpkin hat on? Every Halloween baby should have one, even in the NICU!

custom trick or treat tote to place at baby's bedside for NICU Halloween treats

Trick or Treat

Who knows - maybe your little one will have a bag full of candy (or better yet - milk and pacifiers!!) in her Halloween bag! Any Halloween bag - like this cute one - at your baby's bedside is a fun way to decorate the space in the days leading up to Halloween. Fill with treats for your nurses, or use as a tote for holding onesies & blankets

mermaid outfit for baby's first halloween in the nicu

Just Keep Swimming

This one has to be my favorite - I can't wait to see the photos of precious NICU baby girls all decked out in this simple-to-wear yet completely adorable mermaid costume!

mermaid outfit for baby's first halloween in the nicu

Halloween Quilt

For those micro-preemies who are still in their incubators, too small for clothes or costumes, why not use a sweet Halloween print blanket as the blanket you cover the incubator with?Or for older NICU babies who are in big cribs, how about a Halloween blanket to use in place of the hospital linens to dress up the crib?

custom baby name halloween hat

Get personal

This personalized Halloween hat is awesome for three reasons - it's got your baby's name on it, it comes in sizes for the smallest micro-preemie, and it's super cute! This would make a fantastic gift!

yoda jedi fighter costume outfut for halloween hat

Jedi Fighter

May the force be with your little NICU warrior! This sweet Yoda costume is made to order, comes in preemie sizes, and even includes a light saber!

ballerina tutu in pink costume outfut for halloween hat

preemie ballerina

If you dream of dressing your baby girl as a prima ballerina, Halloween's the perfect excuse! This baby ballerina tutu is easy for babies on oxygen or with IV's to wear since it's super simple to slip on. And it will look absolutely adorable!

NICU babies can always wear bibs so they're great for Halloween

Halloween Bibs

Catch those baby dribbles in style with your baby's First Halloween bibs! They're perfect and easy for NICU babies!

preemie baby wearing fox hat for first Halloween in the NICU


Another easy, low-stress costume that's as cute as can be is a fox hat like this one. 

Halloween childrens story book i love you little pumpkin for reading stories to NICU baby

Reading Time

Don't forget how much babies love to hear their parent's voice - bring in a Halloween-themed baby book to keep the festivities going!

My First Halloween onesie for preemie in neonatal intensive care unit for holiday

The Classic

Don't forget the obvious - every NICU baby deserves a "My 1st Halloween" onesie, if she's stable enough to wear any clothes!

Bonus - to spread the cheer beyond your own bedside...

My First Halloween onesie for preemie in neonatal intensive care unit for holiday

Trick or Treat with the Nurses

If you want to include the nurses in the good times, bring a cute Halloween-themed basket filled with candy and you'll surely give them a treat they'll love.

Bottom line - if you don't feel like celebrating that's totally understandable. You can do this next year.


But if you do - if you want to actually enjoy your first Halloween with your baby - you go right ahead!


It may be stating the obvious, but I'll go ahead and say it anyway:



please remember to be tasteful about decorating for this holiday in the NICU. Skeletons, blood, ghosts, gravestones and any other creepy Halloween decor have no place in the NICU.



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Halloween in the NICU - 20 Great Ways to Enjoy your baby’s

Trish Ringley is the founder and CEO of Every Tiny Thing. She has been a NICU nurse since 1997, and she's been crating the products and accessories that NICU parents love since 2014. When she's not at work caring for NICU families, she's raising her two teenage kids, gardening, and raising service dog puppies for Canine Companions for Independence.

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