How might we make the waiting room a more interactive place for siblings of babies in the NICU?
While researching the broad topic of the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), the One Stone team found that the siblings of babies in the NICU spend a considerable amount of time in the waiting room. During cold and flu season, which can run from October to April, children under 15 years old aren’t allowed into the NICU for health safety reasons. For the siblings of NICU babies, the waiting room can be a boring, lonesome place in a time when their parents are anxious and stressed. The One Stone team decided to take on this problem by creating a NICU-themed activity book for children to interact with and enjoy. “Big Things To Do While Waiting For My Little Sibling” is 45 pages of activities tailored to making a child’s experience in the NICU waiting room a less frightening experience.
After completing the design of the book, the One Stone team celebrated the delivery of bound books and crayons to St. Luke’s and St. Alphonsus hospitals with an ice cream party called “Sibling Sundae.” One Stone members dished up ice cream sundaes on a warm Sunday to recipients at both hospital locations. NICU families were invited to enjoy some sweets and dive into the activity book. One Stone members played games with children, colored book pages, and helped spread some joy to all who attended.
60 bound activity books and 300 crayon packets were donated to St. Alphonsus and St. Luke’s hospitals for use with patient siblings.
15 gallons of ice cream sundaes were enjoyed.
What did the recipients have to say?
“This is such a great thing for siblings and a wonderful resource for the NICU.”
“You really helped brighten my day. It’s been a difficult few days, and you all here just doing something kind, makes me so happy.”
“Thank you! The ice cream is wonderful, and knowing people care and think about us is even better.”
What did the One Stone team think?
“I learned so much through this process. There are a lot of experiences you don’t know about until it is someone close to you. This helped me think about what others may go through.”
“Meeting the families and playing with the kids was the best part.”
“I got to find out a lot more about what families with NICU babies go through and how important connection is for everybody.”