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Handmade NICU preemie costumes help bring normalcy to parents

Posted at 4:49 AM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 09:31:30-04

(NBC News) New parents Rashaun Reason and Ernesto Victor love to dress up on Halloween.

It’s no surprise their daughter Elani already has her costume.

Elani and the other babies in the Cedars-Sinai Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit in Los Angeles are getting handmade costumes, all designed to fit easily around the babies’ IVs and other equipment.

The babies may not care how they’re dressed, but the parents need this bit of holiday normalcy.

“Fun and light day today, you know? It makes it a little brighter in here,” says mother Candice Barges.

Having a baby in the NICU can be exhausting and anxiety levels are high.

“Every time these monitors beep, even if it’s not your baby, you’re looking. I have a stiff neck just because looking at the monitor,” says mother Jamie Tabada.

Nurse Cyndie Niemeyer has been at Cedars-Sinai for 40 years. She says Halloween is her favorite time of year.

She sews some of the costumes herself.

“I did Minions the last couple of years.. and the staff went crazy,” she laughs.

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