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Indiana family creates 31 Halloween costumes for NICU daughter

Posted at 2:58 PM, Oct 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-30 14:58:49-04

INDIANAPOLIS — While October 31 is normally the main day people dress up for Halloween, a Henry County family took the chance to celebrate each day and bring some joy to the NICU at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital.

Dylan and Monica Altman used felt to create 31 costumes for baby Lorelai - one for each day of the month.

"I was like how can we make October not boring, make it exciting and kind of make it go a little faster because the NICU life can feel very lengthy sometimes," Monica said. "We ended up with the 31 Bootiful Days in the NICU."

Lorelai's pod has a photo album so her parents and care team can look back at the costumes - especially if one of the staff members missed a day.

Lorelai 2.png

"We usually get her into her Halloween costume around the same day or around the same time of day. So the nurses and the respiratory techs and the doctors ... if they're around in that time, they'll all kind of flock over and be like what is she today?" Monica said. "It's created this very positive buzz and our daughter definitely loves the attention."

Lorelei was born early at 23 weeks and four days in August. She weighed one pound and seven ounces and has grown to five pounds and three ounces.

"She is feisty, which is a really great thing when you're in the NICU. She is spunky and also very sweet," Monica said. "When you're a NICU parent you have no control over anything and that's for a reason. But this gave us the opportunity to have a little control over each day and it ended up being really fun to do too."

Lorelai 2 (1).png

Both parents are thankful for the care their daughter is receiving and for the hospital staff.

"Obviously this isn't the path we were thinking we would have to endure ... but everybody's been very supportive," Dylan said.

"Everybody is just so incredible ... the love for [Lorelai] is so apparent," Monica said. "Being in the NICU is very difficult, no matter how long the stay is."

We had to ask... out of all the costumes, do mom and dad have a favorite? Dylan chose Lorelai's cow costume.

lorelai cow

For Halloween day, the Altmans are planning a Build-A-Bear pumpkin outfit followed by a turkey costume, Monica's favorite creation, on Nov. 1.

Lorelai 2 (2).png