Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

{Giveaway} “It’s a Preemie Thing” Customized Shirt/Onesie

{Comments are now closed for this giveaway. Thanks for all your ideas!}

It’s giveaway time again, but this month we have a twist.  Your creative mind could win this month’s fabulous giveaway! Julie Howard, founder of It’s a Preemie Thing, is offering you the chance to win your own customized shirt/onesie for your preemie.  First, some background, then we’ll get to the giveaway details!

It’s a Preemie Thing launched on Labor Day, 2010 when Julie’s son, Spencer, was only 9 months old, and she was serving as a full-time Army Officer. A fellow preemie mom asked Julie to help her come up with a funny saying to put on the onesie her daughter would wear home after a long NICU stay. The precious baby would be leaving the hospital with a feeding tube, oxygen and several monitors.  Julie’s suggestion, “O2…it’s not just for old people,”  helped her friend embrace the needed equipment and celebrate their family’s major accomplishment – NICU graduation! Her business resulted from this a-ha moment when she realized it filled “the need for some humor in our lives.”

Julie’s son was born at 29 weeks, 11 weeks early. At 10 months old, he was diagnosed with a rare brain malformation, Rhombencephalosynapsis (RS), and she resigned her commission to stay at home full time. And yes, you may see Spencer, as well as the entire University of Washington RS research team sporting shirts that say “Can you Rhombencephalosynapsis?” on the front and “Didn’t think so” on the back!

Here’s How You Can Win!

  1. Have a cute slogan you would like It’s a Preemie Thing to make? In the comments section below, leave us your best slogan for a preemie shirt.  We’ll choose the top three and put them up for a vote.
  2. We’ll announce the top three shirt slogans on Monday, July 16.
  3. Reader voting will take place July 16-30.
  4. The final winner will be announced Wednesday, August 1.

Even more exciting? The winning slogan will become one of It’s a Preemie Thing’s current collection and 15% of the sales will be donated to Hand to Hold, so we can help even more parents.  I’d say that’s win-win.  Go ahead, get to commenting!

Kathryn Whitaker About Kathryn Whitaker

Kathryn Whitaker (TX) is the mother of six (including two 36-week preemies).  Her fifth child was diagnosed with IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction), born at 3lbs. 9oz. and then developed a severe surgical case of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).  He has various medical needs as a direct, and indirect, result.  On her personal blog, Team Whitaker, she writes about what she knows: big families, carpool, kids activities, faith, her beloved Aggies, specialist appointments and sanity checks with her husband.  You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.


  1. Courtney says:

    Small but feisty

  2. Half baked

  3. Good things come in small packages!

  4. Danielle says:

    Mini miracles can do big things

  5. Keturah Ratajczak says:

    Proving them wrong since day one

  6. “Kicking the odds in the face one day at a time”


    “I EARNED these rolls!”


    “Little miracle… Big blessing!”

    • It's a Preemie Thing says:

      Amy, “I earned these rolls” is one of the first shirts we came up with and is available on,ine! ; ). It’s SOOO true!!

  7. “My superpower is surviving”… t-shirt complete with cape!

  8. Too awesome to go full term…or something along those lines.

  9. “Fixin’ my flat!” (for kids with Doc Bands)


    “Rolls are overrated”

  10. The 3rd trimester is over rated. My mom said so!

    My mom doesn’t want your advice (to wear at the in-laws)

  11. Megan Perzee says:

    “Preemie from day 1, Princess everyday on!”

    Or just for my special little lady,

    “SUPER GIRL; Born at 30 weeks, Delivered by my daddy, Forever a Chevy girl!”

  12. I’m younger than I look. On the front and how old are you on the back

  13. laura meese says:

    I am truly mom and dads best little miracle!

  14. What’s YOUR adjusted age?

  15. There’s Tough…Then There’s Micro Preemie Tough!
    This is my t-shirt slogan for my 14 oz. former 23 weeker!

  16. “I was practicing Karate and broke your water…” on the back “oops”

  17. Randi W. Phillips says:

    “Judge me by my size, do you?”

  18. It’s a preemie thing…you wouldn’t understand.

  19. Rachel Humphreys says:

    Mommy always said it is rude to be late.. How was I supposed to know 25 weeks was too early?!


    Rule Breaker.. Beating the odds since day one!


    “Bottles are Overrated” – this is for my tube fed baby.

  20. Due dates are for quitters.
    Nicu graduating class of 2012

  21. I just couldn’t wait to meet you!

  22. Laura S. says:

    God works miracles, and on the back, I’m proof

  23. Janie Dezarov says:

    Im Always Early <3

  24. God works miracles ( and on the back) I’m proof

  25. Small size, Super Spirit

    Small Size, Super Strength

  26. Stefanie says:

    Your staring at a miracle.

    Your staring at a “insert gestation and weight” miracle.

    Example: Your staring at a 29 week 3 lb miracle.

  27. Inch by Inch it’s a cinch

    Inches make champions

  28. Stefanie says:

    Your Staring At A Miracle.

    Your Staring At A “insert gestation & weight” Miracle.
    Example: Your Staring At A 29 Week, 3lb Miracle.

    God Works Miracles. I’m Proof.

  29. From little things comes great love

  30. Sometimes the biggest act of courage is a small one

    Courage + Brilliance + Perseverance = Miracles

  31. Megan Perzee says:

    Ok, I’ve been thinking and this is the one I want to use for the competition:

    Preemie [pree-mee] Noun;

  32. “Size isn’t everything”

    “Jockey in training”

    “Admit it – you WISH you were this cute!”

  33. I also think these would be cute:

    NICU Warrior


    I have a long history!

  34. Big fighter in a small package

  35. Big fighter in a small package
    one serious tough guy

  36. “I drink until I pass out.”

  37. “NICU Nurses Dig Me”

  38. “Smaller Size. Super Concentrated.”

  39. Swapd(what would a preemie do) says:

    Shirt logo

    WWPD. (WHAT WOULD A preemie do)

  40. Samantha J says:

    The greatest things in life are free… NOT!!!
    You should see my NICU bill!!!

  41. -This gift was opened early
    -Little fighter

  42. Jaime DeMott says:

    Small but mighty

  43. -Our littlest star
    -Proud preemie
    -every ounce counts
    -nicu graduate
    -His/her little hands stole my/our heart(s), his/her little feet ran away with it.
    -for every Goliath there is a stone.
    -from the tiniest acorn, grows a mighty oak
    -slow and steady wins the race
    -god knit me outside of the womb

  44. I couldn’t wait to meet my mommy/daddy/parents.

  45. I couldn’t wait to get here! So I didn’t!

  46. God made me so that you can see, small things are strong too!

  47. Brittani Buck says:

    You’re full-term? Big deal, I was a preemie!

  48. Preemie Donna (prima donna)

  49. Having a preemie in the NICU has been rough, exciting, sad, happy, so many emotions, I like the idea of using humor, but nothing that’s too rude. I also like using inspirational sayings. And only preemie moms know what I mean 🙂

  50. 1. I was excited to meet the world, so I came early.
    2. Big lungs are overrated.
    3. I like washed hands.
    4. Im worth all the money in the world.
    5. Steroids aren’t just for athletes.
    6. Get those germ infested hands away from me.
    7. Note to Doctors: Miracles do happen
    8. I was worth the fight.
    9. I fought for my life.
    10. God gave my parents an early gift.

  51. Never underestimate the size of a hero

  52. Do I look fat? I’ve tripled my birth weight!

    Survival achieved.

    I’ve worked hard for these chubby cheeks!

    Im here to do amazing things.

    Im an early person, punctuality at its finest.

  53. I’ll never be able to wake up to an alarm. (nicu babies used to all the beeping and.sounds.of a hospital

    I can sleep through anything.

  54. -Got sanitizer?
    -my milestones are bigger than yours

  55. Courtney says:

    I bet you can’t guess my age

  56. Courtney says:

    Future Neonatologist, just like my hero

  57. Courtney says:

    My hero is a Neonatologist and I’m my parents hero. Who’s yours?

  58. Courtney says:

    Who needs a tanning bed I had BILI lights

  59. Courtney says:

    Defying all odds from (weight of baby) on!

  60. Courtney says:

    tell me all the odds you have defied and i’ll tell you mine

  61. Courtney says:

    odds stacked against me and i’m still here

  62. Courtney says:

    i’m part of the itty bitty baby committee

  63. Courtney says:

    dont make me use my preemie superpowers

  64. Courtney says:

    Oh, you had a a hard time pushing out your 8lbs baby? My mom has a story for you.

  65. Courtney says:

    10 little fingers and 10 little toes.
    every ounce counts, is what a preemie knows

  66. Courtney says:

    No baby deserves to be born like i was

  67. Courtney says:

    Proud Graduate of the (name of hospital) NICU (date or just year)

  68. Courtney says:

    (percent chance of survival) % chance of survival and still here!

  69. Courtney says:

    I’m a Micro (preemie)

  70. Courtney says:

    Don’t compare me to my actual age

  71. Courtney says:

    I am (age) year/s old
    Yes I look small
    It’s because I’m a Preemie

  72. Katie Cook says:

    iPreemie (in the iPhone font)

  73. I’m the acorn that will grow into a mighty Oak

  74. Bryana West says:

    Everyone needs a HAND TO HOLD (Front)
    Especially when that hand barely covers your fingernail (Back)


    They weighed me in grams.. Weren’t you weighed in Pounds?


    I may be small but I am Preemie Strong!

  75. “Dynamite Comes In Small Packages”

  76. tiny footprints make gigantic waves

    give me your hand I’ll hold your finger

  77. leslynne green says:

    How about something for the nurses? — it’s so hard to find cute NICU nurse shirts!

    ** NICU Nurses hold the smallest hands.
    (sort of goes with the “hand to hold” theme too!)

    (and I also like the suggestion above … for nurses and babies… “Got sanitizer?”)

  78. Corrinne Jones says:

    Small body
    Big success story!

  79. Mary Beth Kuenzli says:

    Small Miracle, Big Blessing!

  80. lisa larson says:

    My parent’s little fighter!

  81. lisa larson says:

    NICU nurses rocked my world!

    There’s nothing me and my twin can’t overcome!

    Can’t is NOT in my vocabulary!

  82. Bryana West says:

    You think you have a thick medical record? You should see mine.


    Million Dollar baby makes millions smile 🙂


    My Mom & Dad got to meet me (X number or months or weeks early the preemie was/is) earlier than planned.


    I didnt have to be 48 inches to ride a rollercoaster, I was only X inches and it was called the NICU Coaster


    I took my parents for a ride on the NICU Rollercoaster!

  83. christina says:

    This former micro preemie needed an extra Hand To Hold so I came early

  84. Kristen Pentz says:

    My parents say I’m a handful (for micros that were literally in the palm of their parents’ hand.

    I spent (months, days) time on the inside. I just got sprung!

    I’ve been causing trouble since before I was born! (all 3 of my preemies did!)

    I may be small, but I can cause big trouble.

    I may be small, but I can make a big mess.

    Tiny Tornado

  85. Kristen Pentz says:

    Far from what I once was but not yet what I’m going to be

  86. The smallest things often end up being the biggest miracles.

  87. Kristen Pentz says:

    Natural born fighter

    Fighter since (#) weeks

    I did (# months, weeks days). I finally got out (for the time in the nicu.)

  88. Kristen Pentz says:

    Expensive but worth every penny

    Because I’m a preemie that’s why

  89. *Though (she/he) be but little, (she/he) is fierce
    *Nurse magnet
    *Taking on the world one ounce at a time
    *Hernias; not just for weightlifters
    *I know my A’s and B’s

  90. 11 Month Miracle!!
    (Gestation + time in NICU)

    11 Months in the Making

    152, Whats your Number?
    (#Number of Days in NICU)

  91. Mama’s little faith tester (or Daddy’s)
    I’ve got friends on the inside
    I am awesome (that’s what my 8 year old 27 weeker wants)

  92. “Gods 2lb 2oz Miracle. Wouldn’t Know It Now Would Ya =)”


    On Front: “I may be tiny but I accomplish BIG and HARD tasks”
    On Back: “How hard do you have to work to gain an ounce?”

  93. Kristen Pentz says:

    Preemie Power!

  94. *The smallest feet take the biggest steps
    *Tiny…but mighty
    *My body may be tiny but my determination is immeasurable

  95. Got TPN?

  96. My mommy (or any family member) marches for babies like me!

  97. i was wrapped around daddy’s finger before my hand was bigger then his fingertip

  98. true story: i once wore my dad’s wedding ring around my shoulder

  99. i <3 (heart) kangaroo care!

  100. The NICU is the place to be
    when you were born early like me

  101. Kristen Pentz says:

    Nothing is impossible! Look at me!

    Nothing is impossible! The word itself says “I’m possible”

  102. Literally i was once a handful!

    Made with love and lots of other stuff

  103. Courtney says:

    NICU nurses take care of the smallest miracles

  104. Randi W. Phillips says:

    NICU moms: always lend a HAND TO HOLD

  105. we have a prema and a full-term baby.
    My prema is 23 months older but SAME weigth and size that her baby sister (same diaper size since the baby is 4 months old haha)… so you can bet how much questions we got ask.

    So I would see something like…

    “I’m the big sister! Yes, even if she is taller than me.”

    ” From X lbs to princess/prince”

  106. I like how some ladies took others’ ideas and just switched the words around….I hope the originals get the credit if you decide to choose the copy cats!

  107. Courtney says:

    I’m the (any relative) of a preemie, I can handle anything

  108. Courtney says:

    You never know how strong you can be, till its your only option.
    I’m the (any relation) of a Preemie

  109. Courtney says:

    Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month, ounce by ouce
    A (any relation) of a preemie will get this

  110. Courtney says:

    Some times the only Hand to Hold is the size of a fingertip

  111. Courtney says:

    You don’t know strong till your the parent of a preemie