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

Preemie Halloween Costumes

addie-o-lanternIn 2008, our 26 week preemie was released from the NICU a week before Halloween.  We had been so consumed by her issues (weight gain and bottle-feeding) in the hospital, we hadn’t given the holiday any thought. Since Addie was quarantined during RSV season, we had no place to take her for Halloween, but I knew I wanted to take a picture of her all dressed up.  I put her in a preemie-sized Jack-o’-lantern onesie from Walmart and started snapping.

About that time, we had a knock on our front door.  One of our NICU neighbors brought Addie a Halloween gift—a cute ladybug bib and black crocheted hat.  Addie didn’t like the hat much, but I thought the costume was adorable and very simple to make!

addie-bugIf you’re thinking about dressing up your preemie for Halloween, here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Preemie-sized clothing from Walmart
  • A cute hat/bib combo—a puppy dog or cow would be just as simple as a ladybug!
  • Pet costumes
  • Build-a-Bear costumes

Keep in mind that nothing is more important than the health of your little one–be careful of exposing your preemie to unnecessary germs!  You’ll have plenty of years for trick-or-treating once your kiddo is bigger and stronger!

If you have other costume ideas, please share them with us!


  1. Roxy was in the NICU during Halloween last year. We were very fortunate that the nurses were so wonderful at the hospital we were at. A local church had dropped off crocheted hats that were fall themed. Roxy’s looked like candy corn. They also decorated her bed with cut material with several Halloween themes on them. On the actual day, Roxy wore an identical onesie like Addie that a family member had bought her and I had washed at home and taken to the hospital.

    I love the bib and hat idea. I think it would be perfect to make and deliver to the NICU so that other babies and their parents could enjoy Halloween!!!

  2. At our NICU they encouraged dressing up for halloween. We got a dog costume for a 4 lb dog and dressed Drake up as a monkey. Worked great! The local news actually came and did a short story on halloween in the NICU.

  3. In our NICU–they had costumes there that they would dress the kiddos up in and than take their pictures. The kids had to be healthy & (help me out here Afton) off of oxygen I believe in order to do it so mine never got to be dressed up. They had a big bulletin board where they’d hang all the pictures of the kids up (with parental consent) so everyone could see them in cute halloween costumes. I loved it. So,SO cute. They also took little winter time pictures and easter pictures with bunny ears. We got those.

    • Yes, I was told the preemies in our NiCU had to be in an open crib to get their pictures taken for the holiday picture board. Basically, they had to be mostly tube free and hopefully be able to get a picture without even their nasal cannula, though that wasn’t a full requirement. My preemie was still in an incubator during Halloween so she didn’t get to be dressed up for pictures, but by Christmas she got to be dressed up with a little winter hat and scarf and be on the “Snow Baby” board! I loved it. The nurse managed to get a really big grin out of her for the picture and boy was she adorable! I was a proud preemie mama. 🙂

      She was still on oxygen for the pictures (we brought her home on oxygen) but they took her cannula off and used an oxygen mask in between picture taking to keep her sats up.

  4. aww I love this idea! sooooo cute!

  5. when my girls were in the NICU i put eeyore hats and booties on them and also we were able to put them in a halloween bag that another family had made for them they looked so cute sticking out of the bag!!!! they were my lil halloween treats!!!!

  6. I found a dalmation costume sized preemie.we put a name on it….LUCKY.we were the only family out of 74 babies that dressed him up.but we had fun!

  7. In our Nicu, the nurses made every baby a pumpkin costume with a little hat. An older lady had also knitted all the babies these precious candy corn hats. They are definitely keepsakes. 🙂

  8. Our NICU nurse gave us the idea to use a Build A Bear outfit. He was the hit of the NICU that day. We too was the only family that dressed our baby up.

  9. when i’m a grandma i am going to knit hats for the NICU…how CUTE!

  10. We dressed our baby in just a micro preemie onesie, fitting a 1-2 lb. baby, that said Ooga Booga! My son was not big enough at the time to even fit in the onesie. He was born at 23 weeks and weighed 14oz. at birth. After he was a little bigger, we dressed him in Build a Bear outfits and had a photo shoot. We used a Denver Bronco football uniform and one of the NICU NNP’s took photos (just as good as professional photos too).

  11. @kristin I got my 25 weeker 1 1lb 1 0z dropped to 15oz clothes from the doll store that is similiar to build a bear! They fit great! 🙂 I hope he is doing well.
    On my daughter’s first official halloween we couldn’t find a costume to fit;… then we saw an adorable Twinker Bell costume for a tiny dog. With a few adjustments it fit great! No one would of known… except there was a dog at the event with the same cosutme on! lol


  1. […] Happy Halloween! And if you’re looking for that perfect Halloween costume for your preemie, check out this Preemie Babies 101 post from a couple years ago!  Preemie Halloween Costumes […]

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