Treat Ideas for Hospital Staff
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Your nurses and hospital staff can make or break your time in recovery after having a baby. In my case, they made my stay! I was in the hospital for five days (Wednesday morning - Sunday morning), after my twin cesarean section (c-section) birth. Something that I prepared along with my hospital bag, were treats for the staff. My husband slightly judged me for getting them ready so early, but in the end he was so happy I did it and that he could just grab and go when the time came.
Keep reading for what treats I prepped for the nurses and hospital staff, as well as my intention behind them, what verbiage I used + what the notes said, as well as some tips and things to consider before you make yours.
Growing up, my mother was the PTA mom who was in charge of making treats for the teachers and putting them in their boxes for Teacher Appreciation. They were always the cutest, most clever, and yummy things that people actually wanted. Couple that experience with my love for gift giving and you know that treating the hospital staff was at the top of my list for things to do pre-birth. I would want to do this regardless, but I knew with twins I would be using the staff a lot and wanted to show my appreciation. You can read my twin birth story here.
At the beginning of my second trimester I began brainstorming what to do. I polled you over on Instagram, asked my doctor, and also researched some options online. I found a lot of suggestions like water bottles, pens, hair ties, and so on, but honestly what people love the most is food. Staff already have “their favorite” water bottle, chapstick, etc, so often the most used and appreciated are treats. So, that is what I decided to do! Some of you recommended breakfast burritos and other hot food and while we did actually end up utilizing some of those ideas, I start with pre-made treats and notes, as I wanted the staff to 100% know it was from me and my family.
Before I purchased items, I checked with my hospital on their gift policy. Do this prior to making your treat boxes, because they may or may not allow their staff to accept them. I delivered at Providence Saint John’s in Santa Monica, California and they did allow them. Also, as a reference, I finished the treat boxes around week 30, as I wanted to have them ready in case I delivered early as one with twins often does.
TIPS FOR BRINGING YOUR HOSPITAL STAFF TREATS:
I go into more details in below sections, but these are my headline suggestions:
Check with your hospital’s guidelines
Choose sweet, salty, and individually packed to make it easy
Consider health conscious and dietary restrictions
Create labels for night and day staff so everyone can enjoy
Okay so what did I buy? I wanted to have both salty and sweet snacks, because people have different tastes. I also opted for a GF option, as well as a nut option, to consider dietary restrictions. I purchased individually packaged items that I could order while laying in bed (lol), because that is where I was for the bulk fo my pregnancy. I bought two boxes of each of the following and made four total boxes ( two sweet and two salty). Each box had four snack options, some with varying flavors within each option.
Annie’s Cheddar Squares (bought these, the cheddar bunnies, and the bunny grahams in a variety pack)
Wonderful Pistachios in honey roasted, chili roasted, and roasted and salted
Annie’s Organic Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (they make a peanut butter version too)
I didn’t list them above as they weren’t available on Amazon at the time, but these Bear Real Fruit Snack Rolls would have been a good option, as would have these Made Good Granola Minis and these Epic Beef Jerky Bars. I wanted to go with snacks that were on the somewhat “better for you” side, as hospitals often has most of the “not as good for you” options and the ones I didn’t include, but mention here fit in that genre as well.
HOW TO TRANSPORT TRANSPORT
I know some people use cute baskets, but I think usually stay in your room and I didn’t know if mine would. When I talked to actual staff, they said it was best if the gifts went in the break room. Because of that, I used four of the Reynolds Aluminum Pan with lid and carrying case to house the treats, then shoved all four boxes into the largest Vera Bradley Market Tote for an easy grab and go situation. I didn’t know how long I’d be in the hospital (they said two, maybe three days was normal), but I thought that what I had would be enough… one sweet and salty set for the night staff and one sweet and salty set for the day staff. I ended up being there five days, so this only lasted me four shifts (Wednesday night, Thursday day, Thursday night, Friday day), but they were perfect. I handed them off each day / night to the first shift change person who checked on me and they brought them to their break room for everyone to share.
On the days we ran out of treats (Friday night, Saturday day, Saturday night, Sunday day), we brought in pizza, coffee, and bagels, which Nick happily delivered. We also Door Dashed some things for them (and me too ;) )
I wanted the treats to say who they came from, as I wanted them to know it was from us. Not in a “say thank you to me” kind of way, but in a “we are so thankful and I want you to know it” way. I considered attaching notes to each snack individually, but didn’t have the energy to do that. I settled for a note on the top of the lid and then a note on the side, so even when the lid was taken off, there would still be something identifying us.
I created the gift tags on Canva, printed at home, and attached them with clear packing tape. Once we were in our postpartum unit at the hospital, I wrote our room number under “The Mulenos Twins” so people could put a number to our faces.
On top of the boxes, the note said:
Dear A.M (or) P.M. Staff,
You really delivered!
Love, The Mulenos Twins
Room # XXX
(We didn’t put their names because we weren’t 100% sure what they would be. We shared this story here.)
On the front side of the boxes, the note said:
Salty or sweet, you
Love, The Mulenos Twins
Room # XXX
I used a light blueish grey, white, and light green calming background, with leaves, which was similar to my first baby shower. Canva has a lot of image options, but if you can’t find something you like, you can always upload a photo and use that. I used pretty generic leaves and the shape of a heart.
I wanted to share this for inspiration, not to feel pressure to do this, especially if you can’t. Being genuine and kind is appreciated more than anything money can buy. The staff liked talking to us because we cared about them and it showed, treats or not. Of course there’s always that one person you can’t make happy and they are usually on the night shift, but keep on smiling ;) Sharing love is free and easy! Our staff loved us and came and checked on us even when they weren’t assigned to us, which really confused everyone, especially those who were just coming on shift after being off the past couple of days.
Note that I gifted my OBGYN and MFM separately. Because I saw them so frequently, I tailored these gifts to be just for them. I didn’t bring them with me to the hospital, but chose to gift around my 8 week mark. My OB always wears sweatshirts, so I ordered a custom one off Etsy. I had “Dr. Amersi” stitched at the top and then on the sleeve I had “C+O” (My twins’ initials) and a heart, like she is wearing their heart on her sleeve. She LOVES it and wears it all the time. For my MFM, I just created a bag of his favorite things - Diet Coke and Medjool Dates. For both of them, I printed out photos of the twins and us (both my OB and my MFM) after surgery, plus a thank you note.
I hope this was helpful! Don’t stress and just have fun with it. Your hospital staff will appreciate anything you do for them.
P.S. My photography is usually better than this, but my belly was big and I was tired. You’re welcome for what I was able to capture -hah! I don’t have any photos of them at the hospital as we gave them to a staff member at shift change and they put them in their break room. That’s why I was very intent on labeling the items.
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