Iowa’s busiest hospital for newborns is swaddling babies in some festive fashions this week.
Kristen Ernsperger is director of the Mother/Baby Unit at Des Moines’ Mercy Medical Center, which delivers around 75 to 100 babies a week.
“We are fortunate enough to be able to provide Christmas stockings and elf hats for all of our newborns born during Christmas week,” Ernsperger said.
It’s become a holiday tradition for the hospital. The stockings serve as “blankets” for the infants, while the “elf hats” feature red and green balls that were knitted by nurses.
“One of our doctor’s daughters brings in a little kit to make the little balls for the tops of the hats,” Ernsperger said.
The newborns are also wearing little sweaters featuring Santa and a reindeer, along with the words “My First Christmas.”
The media was invited to a mini “fashion show” at the hospital’s baby unit.
Officials at Mercy Medical Center have also announced the top names for babies born at the hospital this year. For baby girls, the top name was Evelyn, followed by Olivia and Hannah. For baby boys, the top name was Oliver, followed by Liam and James.