This Hospital Is Helping NICU Babies And Their Families Celebrate Their First Fourth Of July With 'A Parade Of Little Ones'

They dressed up in red, white, and blue.

Most Fourth of July celebrations involve barbecues, fireworks, and enjoying the summer weather with friends and family. For parents with babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), their celebrations are often quieter affairs. Instead of spending the holiday at home together, they have to spend it in the hospital, where the premature babies are staying until they're strong and healthy enough to go home.

Even though the families can't celebrate at home, the Advocate Children's Hospital wants to make sure preemies still have a memorable experience to celebrate their first Fourth of July holiday. 


Courtesy of Advocate Children's Hospital Courtesy of Advocate Children's Hospital

So, the Illinois hospital celebrated Independence Day with a "parade of little ones."

Courtesy of Advocate Children's Hospital Courtesy of Advocate Children's Hospital

Nurses and child life specialists in the Level III neonatal intensive care units in the Northwest Suburban Park Ridge and Southwest Suburban Oak Lawn campuses helped families dress up preemies in patriotic outfits. They also decorated their surroundings with festive Independence Day decorations, including flags, and red, white, and blue "U.S.A." letter blocks.  

Courtesy of Advocate Children's Hospital

The celebrations were all captured during a photo shoot so the families would have something to commemorate their first Fourth of July.

Courtesy of Advocate Children's Hospital

Lisa Parro, the hospital's public affairs manager, said in a statement, "[We] provided them with the opportunity to have happy memories of their little one's first Fourth of July." 

Courtesy of Advocate Children's Hospital

Creating positive memories for NICU babies and their families is so important. There are 15 million babies around the world who are born prematurely, with many going to the neonatal intensive care unit for treatment. During their stay, many babies have to undergo tests, intensive monitoring, and sometimes operations, until they are healthy enough to go home to their families. The time is emotional and sometimes heart wrenching for friends and families, so anything that helps give them positive memories is welcome.

And the Advocate Children's Hospital isn't the only one helping parents make memories while their babies are in the NICU. Premature babies at St. Luke's Hospital dressed up like gifts over the holidays to celebrate how special they are, while the North Suburban Hospital had little ones get dressed up for Halloween. Caramount Hospital even hosts a graduation ceremony for babies when it's time for them to leave the hospital and go home.

Check out the video to see more from the Fourth of July celebrations:

(H/T: PopSugar)


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