The NICU at Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory, North Carolina, is filled with tiny heroes.
Batman is asleep in his crib. Superman and his twin sister are curled up next to each other in matching capes. There’s even a princess and a witch on her broomstick.
Veteran NICU nurse Katie Windsor always tries to do something special for her patients and their families around the holidays, but this is the first time she’s made such a big hit.
“I was on Pinterest looking around for ideas and I saw something that sparked an idea,” she tells PEOPLE. “I thought these little babies need to be superheroes because they already are little heroes.”
The 35-year-old mother of two spent a few weeks crocheting costumes for each of the 17 babies she knew would be in the NICU for Halloween. That included three sets of twins. Then she posed them all for adorable photo shoots and surprised the parents with the pictures. The hospital also shared them on its Facebook page.
Batman’s mother, Emily Sauceda, says she was so excited to get the pictures of her son, Fisher, who was born weighing just 2 pounds and even now is just barely 6 pounds.
“I had been trying to find a costume but couldn’t find anything small enough,” she tells PEOPLE. “Being in the NICU is hard, it’s a difficult situation, but this made us feel like regular moms and dads.”
That’s exactly what Windsor was going for.
“They have to leave their babies at the hospital and it’s not normal. This kind of normalized things for them and at that moment it made them happy.”
And every picture is cuter than the next.
“They are all so adorable,” Sauceda says. “It’s just brought all the parents so much joy.”
And Windsor is already getting ready for Christmas.
“Me and my mom are already working on hats for the babies for Christmas,” she says. “Santa will come around and take pictures with all of the babies and they have to be ready!”