Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Let's party!!

This party post is devoted to celebrating that special milestone in a babies' life - turning one! Turning one is a big milestone for any baby but for preemies it is often a truly momentous occasion and an opportunity to celebrate just how far your preemie has come. Here are some ideas for celebrating a year in the life of your preemie:

1) One and a half is the new one - if your preemie was born during RSV season, hold off having a big party for him/her until the safer summer months. Our daughter was born in January so we just had her "1 1/2" year birthday this month. We told everyone in her coming home announcement that this is what we would be doing so it wasn't a surprise. Our friends and family still had a chance to celebrate her first birthday with her and we didn't have to be as worried about people touching and interacting with her.

2) A year in photographs - Pictures speak volumes so put together a collection of photographs of your preemie's first year for people to look at. Choose a selection from the NICU to now so that guests can really "see" how far your preemie has come. Here are some ways to incorporate them into your party:

  • Hang them up around the room - make them a part of your party decorations.
  • Create an album or spread them on a table.
  • Make them into place mats - Laminate them so the pictures don't get ruined.
  • Make them a game - have people put them in chronological order or guess which one came from a certain time frame.
  • Make small pictures, glue or tape a toothpick to the bottom and then put them on cupcakes.
3) Look What I Can Do - celebrate the developmental/physical/emotional milestones that your preemie has achieved. Make an "I Can" board with words and/or pictures of your preemie doing various things. You can add to it through out the year or make it a "one year" project to celebrate.

4) NICU Memory - See how many of your guests remember things about the NICU. Create a game that tests their knowledge. Feel free to email me if you would like a word find or word definition match game to use at your party.

5) My own space - Depending on where you have your party, make sure you set up a spot with toys, shade (if needed) and anything else that your preemie might want for a little down time. Give him/her some time to hang out away from everyone if he/she is getting overwhelmed by all of the people and activity at the party.

6) Fun Themes - Here are some fun themes that can relate to preemies -
  • Alice in Wonderland "Unbirthday" - this is a great theme if you have a 1 1/2 birthday. Butterfly - I like using butterflies because they signify great, beautiful change that often occurs with preemies too.
  • Turtle - Slow and steady. Another great animal that matches the pace of some preemies.

Do you have a great idea for celebrating preemies? Please leave a comment or email me!

1 comment:

aline said...

This is really great! what a fun post. I remember my little Frankie when she turned one. At the moment when we sang Happy B-day and she attempted to blow her candle I burst into tears. I was remembering the time she was in the NICU and how far she's come along. thank you for sharing