Gabriel Kulakowski’s grandmother found just the perfect outfit for her 2-day-old grandson to wear for his picture with Santa.

In a twinkle, Santa had a new elf.

Jolly Saint Nick parked his sleigh on the roof of Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital for a special visit with the babies and families at the NICU in the Gerber Foundation Neonatal Center.

“This is a way for the families to take a break from their worries and just enjoy the holiday season,” Santa said.

Santa knew just how to hold the tiny little ones he visited. Behind the beard is Al Jones, MD, a retired neonatal medicine specialist.

He has donned his fur-trimmed red jacket, hat and pants with a broad-buckled belt for the past six years to help create these moments.

Santa’s helper is Amy Nyberg. She is the March of Dimes family support program coordinator at the children’s hospital who makes this visit happen each year.

“Families love it,” Nyberg said. “Santa comes and they are able to hit that milestone and have that memory of baby’s first photo taken with Santa.”

Amy, also dressed in fur-trimmed red, gives candy canes and small toys to young siblings of the NICU babies. She arranges for a professional Santa portrait to be sent to the families.

Raelynn Rhodes wore a special outfit for her photo with Santa. Her mom, Morgan, found the perfect fit, an American Girl doll ensemble complete with ice skates.

Parker Davis’ mom, Megan Alexander, said they woke up bright and early to make sure they didn’t miss Santa’s visit.

“We didn’t expect him until after Christmas,” Alexander said of her little preemie. “He’s our little Christmas baby.”