By Charles Wade-Palmer
Premature babies are being thrown graduation parties with their own hats on the day they are discharged from hospital.
A nurse at a neonatal intensive care unit has started a new tradition of celebrating newborns leaving the hospital with a graduation style party.
Melissa Jordan had the brainwave of creating tiny personalised graduate caps for babies when they left and the photos of them posed with the caps are adorable.
Melissa said: “As a nurse working in the NICU you become so close with not only the patients but their families as well.
“Some babies stay in the NICU a month to two months so it’s very easy to form a special bond with the family and baby.
” I took care of a baby that was born at 28 weeks and the week of his discharge the parents showed me his graduation onesie that read ‘NICU GRAD’ I was over the moon excited for them and I went home thinking to myself how can I make the day of his discharge more special.
“We were all singing and dancing as we delivered baby Wyatt his graduation hat! The parents smiled ear-to-ear and that brought me an immense amount of joy!”
To commemorate a baby’s successful struggle for survival after being born up to six weeks before their due date, a hospital has captured the moment of them wearing graduation caps.
The photos of the celebrations that have been held since Melissa’s idea at Caromont Regional Medical Centre in North Carolina, might just make your heart melt.
Parents Matthew and Monica Becton said: “We loved it! It really made us feel like all of our sweet boy’s hard work had paid off.
“He had accomplished so much while we were there and the graduation cap allowed us to celebrate those accomplishments and milestone.”
Thanks to Baby Bella Photography, parents can keep not only the hat as souvenir of their child’s time at the hospital but also a beautiful photo of them on the day they left.
Shawn and Erica Sutton said: “We absolutely love this tradition. The nurses, doctors and families work so hard to get to the point of graduation and it’s a wonderful feeling knowing that your little blessing is finally getting to come home!
“It’s a very nice memento from the nursing staff showing how much they really care and to make the day so special for the families.”
-Casey and Jason Christopher
Nurse Melissa Jordan said: “For an average mom, their expectation is you come in and have your baby and you get to leave with your baby in two or three days .
“For our preemie mothers it’s extremely hard to walk out of the hospital doors without their babies so I wanted to help make this day special and bring some kind of normalcy back into going home!”