The parents of a premature or sick baby are doing everything they can to keep it together. In all likeliness they are stressed, worried sick, feeling lost, angry, overjoyed with every little milestone that their baby hits and feel like they have hit rock bottom with every setback (and there will be a few). That’s a lot of feelings to deal with all at once! Combine that with sleep deprivation and it means, understandably, that a preemie parent will not always be thinking very clearly. So why bring up the topic of top brands when thinking of buying gifts?


Friends and family are so generous with their gifts and buy all sorts of things that mum and dad hadn’t even thought of yet. After all they thought they had more time to prepare for this life changing event! Friends that have had children usually know of some great products too. Products that have been ‘life savers’ for them and their child.

Gift for a new baby. Photography credit: Freestocks Org
Gift for a new baby

All gifts are gratefully received but I can guarantee that unless the preemie parents have heard of the brand they will be wary of using it to start with. It doesn’t cross their minds that these products have been rigorously tested and have to meet strict government guidelines. All that matters is that the brand is something they are familiar with and has a good reputation. This was certainly the case for me anyway. My baby boy, Neil, was born 10 weeks early and was really poorly with Hydrops and Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT). I had a complete mental block on using brands I wasn’t familiar with and in the very early days I avoided using them. I soon learnt from other parents to form my own list of top brands to use.

Getting back to normal

My logic slowly returned once Neil was home. I realised that the unbranded products have to meet the same testing standards as the branded products and started being less fussy and used those less familiar brand named nappies, wipes, cotton balls etc. Surprisingly I was starting to find that a lot of these lesser known brands were better than the bigger names.

One of many gift bundles given to my son
One of many gift bundles given to my son

My point is if you have bought a gift from a brand that mum and dad may not be familiar with don’t be offended if they don’t use it straight away. They have had a lot to deal with and people tend to stick to what they know when they are in a stressful or unfamiliar situation.

Going back to the question in the title of this blog ‘What’s in a name?’ Well not a lot really! Everybody develops their own preferences. For me I was so grateful when I was on my own one day, Neil was producing some spectacular nappies and I was down to the last one. My shopping delivery was yet to arrive! The thought of taking Neil to the shops terrified me in case I exposed him to too many germs.

Relief flooded over me when I remembered a gift I had stashed away to use when Neil was big enough. He was big enough now! The stashed away gift was pulled out, unpacked and was very quickly needed! The nappies weren’t a brand I was familiar with but they ended up being better than what I was using at the time.