Hospitals across the country are helping families get in the holiday spirit with festive Christmas photos of their littlest patients.
In the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital Colorado, nurses dressed resident babies in reindeer, polar bear and snowman hats.
The annual holiday photo event happens thanks to the hospital’s "Sunshine Committee," a group of NICU nurses and support staff who help families celebrate milestones and feel more at home during the holidays while their little ones are in the NICU.
Volunteers sewed the special infant hats, and nurse Lillian Postma made the blankets.
In Florida, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare's NICU nurses dressed the babies in “ugly” holiday sweaters this year.
The hospital shared a post to Facebook with all the holiday cuteness, thanking the staff for creating the tiny sweaters.
"There’s snow way we would miss our favorite holiday tradition! This year, our NICU babies are sleigh-ing it in their ugly Christmas sweaters," the caption reads alongside a collection of swoon-worthy photos.
"Having a baby in the NICU can be unexpected and challenging for families, making the holidays feel less merry," Heather Dahmer, a registered nurse and director of children’s services at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, told TODAY Parents. "Bringing the festive fun to these little ones and their parents through this annual tradition is just one of the many ways our team works to normalize the NICU environment and make an uncertain time special for families."
Dahmer continued, “Our crafty NICU night team created the sweaters and our day team helped bring their visions to life.”
The team made sure to put a smart disclaimer on their social post.
“Please remember, you should always place your little ones on their backs to sleep, with nothing else in the crib,” the post read. “These NICU babies have special circumstances and are monitored 24/7 by our skilled nursing team.”
In Missouri, Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City brought Christmas cheer to patients from the man in red himself.
“Santa warmed the hearts of families in our NICU with a special visit to our littlest gifts,” a Facebook post read.
Sleeping babies were no doubt having visions of sugar plums while Santa kept a watchful eye nearby.