Little Batman coos and gurgles at his mom.
Wee Wonder Woman snoozes peacefully.
A bitty baby butterfly stretches her wings.
This is how the tiniest newborns—and their parents—celebrate Halloween in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Thanks to a two-women craft-making crew, 130 homemade costumes were provided to the Gerber Foundation Neonatal Center at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
Any parents who wanted to dress up their baby for the holiday could choose an outfit for their little one.
Cupcakes, ladybugs, pumpkins, doughnuts, turtles and even cheeseburgers filled the cribs of the neonatal unit in honor of Halloween.
“I think it’s pretty neat,” said Melanie Flowers, who chose superhero costumes for her twin boys, O’Shea and Owen.
For Halloween, Owen will be Batman. O’Shea will be Superman.
“I really like Marvel and I like superheroes, And I like (the movie) ‘Batman v Superman,’” Flowers said. “I thought that would be a good fit for them. They are always competing for my attention.”
The boys have earned their superhero capes.
Each weighed less than 1 ½ pounds at birth. Now, five months later, O’Shea has grown to 8 pounds and Owen weighs 11 pounds.
“They have overcome a lot of things, like surgeries and blood transfusions,” Flowers said. “They are really strong.”
Gay Sexton, a Child Life assistant, worked many evenings and weekends to create the felt costumes with help from her mom, Joy Neulieb.
Sexton also works as a NICU concierge, connecting parent to resources and providing activities for the newborns’ siblings.
“With everything that has been going on this year, I just thought this would be a real pick-me-up,” she said. “I think seeing a baby in a costume just makes you feel good.”
The March of Dimes provided funding and templates for some superhero costumes. And Sexton added more designs to provide a wide range of choices for parents.
The costumes are simple felt capes, which are laid on top of the infants for photos.
They made enough costumes for all 106 infants in the NICU, plus extras for any new babies who might come to the unit on the holiday.
Charlotte Noom, a 13-day-old baby girl, blossomed as a green and blue butterfly.
Her dad, DJ Noom, picked the outfit because it matched the purple butterfly blanket made by Charlotte’s grandma.
Charlotte wasn’t due until December, so DJ said he and his wife, Keri, weren’t thinking about dressing her up for Halloween.
He appreciated the chance to choose a costume.
“They had a lot of cute ones in there,” he said. “I thought that was really cool.”