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

Stories of Laughter in the NICU

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” — e.e. cummings

“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” — Lord Byron 

“Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion” — Truvy (Steel Magnolias)

laughter in the NICU

Any length of NICU stay is fraught with emotion. Parents enter the NICU scared, confused, and unsure about what the coming days will bring.

My identical twin girls were in the NICU for 38 days – not the longest stay, but long enough for us to settle in a bit and make ourselves at home. I became great friends with our primary nurse and was a fixture in Bay 3 day after day. Outside of the heart rate drops, the multiple attempts to insert a tiny PICC line into my smaller twin, her inability to digest her minuscule amounts of food for the first few days…outside of that, we found pockets of joy.

Wearing clothes for the first time.

Catching a photo of a silly face.

Happy smiles on babies that we were pretty sure were too little to really smile.

Our favorite “had us cracking up uncontrollably” moment? Putting our identical girls side by side, inverted. We may have been a bit delirious. But I also remember that day as being full of joy. Three weeks into our stay, it was the first time I got to hold them together.

preemie twins laughter in the NICU

Laughter is important. It will get you through the difficult times, even if it’s only a short respite from the worry and pain.

That’s why we asked our communities on the Preemie Babies 101 and Life After NICU Facebook pages to tell us what made them laugh in the NICU. What gave them a brief moment’s relief from the stress and uncertainty? See many of the answers below, or check it out on Storify. And tell us your funny NICU stories in the comments!


Leigh Ann Torres About Leigh Ann Torres

Online Community Coordinator, Preemie Babies 101 Lead Blogger - Leigh Ann Torres is a freelance writer, blogger and mother of three living in Austin, TX. After a short and sudden bout with severe preeclampsia, Leigh Ann’s identical twin girls were delivered at 31 weeks, spending 38 mostly uneventful days in the NICU. Two years later the Torres family welcomed another baby, this time at term, with only a mild case of preeclampsia. Leigh Ann currently runs Hand to Hold’s official blog and social media channels. When she’s not doing laundry or fulfilling requests for snacks, she usually has her nose stuck in a book. You can keep in touch with Leigh Ann on Twitter or via email.


  1. Our little 32 weaker was a pro at going through multiple diapers in a change and often getting Daddy in the process. I ink our record was 4 diapers in one change. Towards the end of our stay we were talking to her about coming home and needing to take all her milk from breast or bottle right before we left to grab some dinner. We came back 45 minutes later to her waving her feeding tube around her bed. She had ripped the tape off her face and pulled it out.


  1. […] Stories of Laughter in the NICU, a compilation of parents’ short humorous memories from the NICU. There’s the preemie who peed all over his Dad, the one who’s had enough of his feeding tube and threw it, etc. I’m quoted in there once. […]

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