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NICU babies get 'ugly' sweaters for their first Christmas

The costumes spread joy and cheer in a place and time that is very difficult for parents.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — What’s cuter than a baby? A baby in an ‘ugly’ Christmas sweater, of course.

Recently, 30 premature babies in the Gerber Foundation Neonatal Center at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital got all dressed up to celebrate their first Christmas. Each bundle of joy got to don a tiny sweater designed by their loving parents.

Amy Nyberg, March of Dimes NICU family support team member, came up with the idea after speaking with colleagues at NICUs across the country.

“Oh, families are so excited about this,” Nyberg said. “I have heard that it has lifted many spirits. Being in the NICU is tough but being in the NICU during the holidays is just plain difficult.”

Each of the cozy creations were made from felt sweater cutouts. They were covered carefully with Christmas trees, lights, candy canes, bows and all things Christmas.

Jasmine Jimenez has a 2-week old son in the NICU; his name is Dominic and he was born at just 33 weeks. Jasmine said she loves the sweaters because they “help distract your mind from all of the stuff that’s going on.”

The costumes spread joy and cheer in a place and time that is very difficult for parents.

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