DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Huggies® diapers and wipes as part of our partnership in their “No Baby Unhugged” campaign.
Welcoming a daughter into the world 18 months ago was a game-changing experience that helped me discover a different side of myself as a father — more empathetic, tender and affectionate. I don’t love her more than my son, just differently. As an at-home dad, I’m present and spend quality time with my daughter each day from showering her with loads of hugs and kisses, preparing meals, changing diapers, reading books and carving out ample time to play.
I know I’m a fortunate parent.
I’m fortunate to be in a situation where our family can afford our Huggies diapers and wipes, and all of the other necessary stuff that goes along with raising a child.
I’m fortunate to be present when my daughter takes a tumble and needs me to kiss her boo-boos, desperately needs a hug after she has a meltdown, and to give a sweet hug and kiss for naps and bedtime.
However, many parents don’t have the same luxury of time and money.
‘No Baby Unhugged’ helps families, infants in need
I recently took part in a Chicago meeting of the Huggies Parents Council – a diverse group of parents from around the nation that care deeply about our families – to learn more about the brand’s unique and groundbreaking “No Baby Unhugged” program.
No Baby Unhugged is Huggies vision to ensure all babies get the hugs they need by:
- helping parents understand and embrace the power of hugs through the brand’s diapers and wipes,
- bringing its unique Hugging Programs to Hospitals, and
- product donations to the National Diaper Bank Network.
During my visit in Chicago, I toured the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago to see Huggies No Baby Unhugged work in action. I was immersed into an emotional journey that provides a beautiful light to the 380,000 pre-term infants born in the United States each year. These underweight babies are admitted into the neonatal intensive care unit then hooked to a myriad of wires, monitors and machines. In most NICUs, these infants usually lie naked on their little beds because normal diapers are too large to fit them. These babies start on a path where they aren’t able to wear those cute onesies or clothing like most babies.
Diapers, hugs for preemies
This is why Huggies, in partnership with NICU nurses, designed special diapers and wipes to help pre-term infants get the hugs they need. These amazing diapers are all inspected and packed by hand! One of the highlights during my Huggies Parents Council trip was replicating the tireless work that the Huggies team goes through during their detailed inspection process of their micro preemie diapers so these babies have a cuddly diaper that hugs them from day one.
Most parents are able to bring their baby home soon after they’re born. However, for those parents whose baby needs to stay in the NICU for an extended period, they are not always able to be present due to work or other commitments. Huggies is working with hospitals like Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago to offer Hugging Programs where volunteers provide the physical contact that is so important for these babies to develop a sense of love, warmth and security in their new world.
During our heart-wrenching tour, we observed numerous, adorable babies in the NICU hooked up to monitors and machines. I found comfort in knowing Huggies has selected Lurie Children’s for grant funding to start a volunteer training program that recruits nurturing souls to cuddle and provide lengthy hugs when their parents aren’t present. We interviewed one of these volunteer huggers and I was mesmerized by her passion, dedication and love. In fact, I couldn’t wait to rush home after the Parents Council trip to give my children an extra tight embrace and tell them how much I love them.
How you can help
Huggies will continue to invest in more hugging programs in U.S. hospitals, and you can help them. For every person who becomes a Huggies Member, Huggies will donate $5 to support volunteer hugging program grants for hospitals. If you’re interested, go to Huggies.com and click on “Sign in or join Huggies” to get started.
About our sponsor
Huggies® believes deeply in the Power of Hugs. The simple, loving act is proven to support babies’ emotional and physiological well-being. Huggies® diapers and wipes are inspired by a parent’s hug, – to nurture baby with care, cradle baby in comfort and surround baby in protection. Learn more at Huggies.com. #HuggiesCouncil