Sam Squiers highlights how an episode of the 90’s cartoon Rugrats focused on the NICU experience


Image: Tommy Pickle from Rugrats in humidicrib

Photo: Sam Squiers and baby Immi in NICU

Miracle Babies ambassador Sam Squiers recently revealed something many may have missed in the classic 1990’s Nickelodeon cartoon ‘Rugrats’ – the main character started life in the NICU!

Sharing the discovery on her Instagram account, Sam Squiers said “I just found out that little Tommy Pickles from Rugrats was a premmie. He calls his humidicrib a fish tank!”.

Rugrats was a popular animated cartoon series about a group of toddlers and their adventures. The show was presented from a child’s perspective and yet often delved into insightful and important topics that other cartoons shied away from; including prematurity.

In the Mother's Day episode, the main character Tommy Pickles describes the first time he saw his mother. A flashback scene shows him in a humidicrib and features his point of view looking at his mum from inside the isolette. It is clear little Tommy was either born premature or sick. Many fans of the show say this represents why his character is always brave and courageous; and why his mother is extra protective of him.

Sam Squiers resonated with the cartoon and shared her own story, “The other day Immi was telling us that she had a baby and was a mum. She called her baby Soto. We asked her “where is Soto now Immi?”..."Oh he’s in the fridge". We asked her what she meant “The fridge where babies go”. I then showed her a photo of her in NICU and she said “yeah the baby fridge”.

We often show her the video we made of her in NICU. As she wasn’t allowed into the hospital when Elle was born because of COVID, to her, we just disappeared to have her sister for five days and then returned home with a baby!

We forget to see it from their perspective; the fridge made me laugh and the fish tank description from Tommy made me cry!!!
Ben and I used to wonder in NICU what she must think of these two people who show up and sit by her humidicrib every day.

I would exchange these love hearts made out of material that I would wear down my shirt and then give Immi to lie on in her “fridge” for the day (you can see one in the top right corner of the photo) so she could still smell me even when I wasn’t there. I still have all the hearts in my drawer here at home...painful times, yet somehow they are now these beautiful memories.”

Images and video of Rugrats © 2019 Viacom International Inc. All Rights Reserved. Created by Klasky Csupo.
Miracle Babies Foundation acknowledges this article is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Nickelodeon.
Photos: Courtesy of Sam Squiers.