It is becoming increasingly popular for parents to celebrate their little ones neonatal journey by putting together some preemie keepsakes in an incredibly creative way. There are also some fabulous items that can be made by some very talented people with small businesses. In this blog I will cover a mixture of keepsakes that you can have fun and make yourself or that you can buy from others!

The memory frames

You might see these referred to as shadow boxes. These can be as big or small as you like. You can also choose to have them done by a professional or follow a few YouTube tutorials and make one yourself. The purpose of these is for them to be on display so personally I would choose a really good frame. Then you need to think about the type of background in the frame. Place your keepsake items on the background and keep playing about with the layout until you’re happy with how it looks.

Some people aren’t sure what to put in their frames. My suggestions are: any special photographs, hospital bands, a premature baby nappy (some like to contrast this with a size 0 nappy), any hats or mittens that were used in the NICU, milestone cards, preemie blankets, baby cards from family and friends, incubator birth information card (the nurses gave me this when my son was discharged), paper tape measure used to measure head circumference, wires that monitored saturations, splints, scan photos and syringes. Basically whatever you feel was important on yours and your baby’s neonatal journey.

Here’s a link to a YouTube video showing you how.

Scrap books

Scrap books are great as you can go into a bit more detail by doing a write up of what the items are and why they mean something or quirky little stories that go with them. These books can cover just the neonatal stay or can cover your child’s life. They can be fun to do together when your little one is a little older if you carry on doing them.

Keepsake scrapbook. Photography credit: Laura Fuhrman
Keepsake scrapbook. Photography credit: Laura Fuhrman

These are an ideal preemie keepsake if you don’t want a reminder of the NICU permanently on display as you can take them out and put them back whenever your mood suits. These can also make a great gift for family. I started one off for my mum and gave it to her as a Mothers’ Day gift, she got quite emotional and absolutely loved the thought that went into it.

Keepsake boxes

This ones the easiest to do. There are some amazing boxes out there that come in all shapes and sizes. They can be as fancy or as simple as you like. There are some incredibly ornate wooden carved boxes and you can get custom made ones with your child’s name engraved or carved in.

You can buy plastic or cardboard boxes with pretty patterns on or you could buy a plain one and decorate it yourself! I love the idea of making them personalised and that’s why I have the boys and girl memory boxes in the environmentally friendly plain boxes that can be either left plain or decorated by parents.

Decorated wooden boxes. Photography credit: Clem Onojeghuo
Decorated wooden boxes. Photography credit: Clem Onojeghuo

My mum, unknown to me, saved up all sorts of things from my childhood and on my 30th birthday gave me a beautiful box full of memories! All of these ideas will make amazing gifts when your little ones are old enough to appreciate them.

Keepsake teddies made from clothes

There are some very talented ladies out there that will take your children’s favourite clothes and blankets cut them up and make some really stunning creations. Teddies are popular but I‘ve also seen blankets and cushions. I love this idea as it upcycles clothes that you might otherwise throw away or keep forever in a box in the attic. It also means that those absolutely adorable clothes they only wore a few times before they grew can be admired for a bit longer!

The preemie teddies matching preemies weight and length

There are a few amazing businesses that offer a service of doing specific preemie bears. You provide the weight and length of your preemie at birth and a teddy bear is made to match. These are an amazing way to see how far your little one has come since they were born. They are also good to help to explain to your little one when they are a little older just how tiny they were!

Yawning baby with teddy bear. Photography credit: Minnie Zhou
Yawning baby with teddy bear. Photography credit: Minnie Zhou

All of the preemie keepsakes are special in their own way with a lot of thought going into them. If you are going to make your preemie keepsakes yourself then enjoy it and have fun letting your creative side out.

Did you see…

Also did you see that our NICU diaries are now available on Amazon! There are 5 diaries to choose from:

Green diary with duckling, dinosaur and giraffe
White diary with duckling, dinosaur and giraffe
Duckling diary
Dinosaur diary
Giraffe diary