Saint Peter's children's hospital offers necessities for NICU babies, toys for siblings

September 1, 2023

The Children's Hospital at Saint Peter's University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, has opened the Bless U Baby Boutique, a shop stocked with donated gifts and other items for parents whose babies have been admitted to the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit.

Located across from the NICU, the shop is filled with new toys, books, outfits, hats, blankets and personal care items. All the items are given to parents free of charge. The boutique also gives every family a set of rosary beads.

Parents with other children at home can shop for a toy to bring home to the baby's sibling. The intent is to help those siblings realize their importance in their growing family.

All items can be gift wrapped.

The idea for the boutique came from Dolly Allen, director of adult emergency services at Saint Peter's University Hospital, while she was in her previous role as nurse manager of the hospital's NICU. She explained in a press release, "Families with a baby in the NICU are often caught off guard by their baby's early arrival. This has left them little to no time to shop for those essential items needed to care for their baby at home.

"Our NICU families experience varying emotions and challenges while we are caring for their baby in the NICU, which sometimes can be for a few days or several months. In our Bless U Baby Boutique, families can feel a sense of normalcy as they select items for their baby while thinking about the day they get to take them home."

She noted that some families may be in financial need, and the boutique will help them get some of the items they require.

Information on donating to the NICU or the Bless U Baby Boutique is available at


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