Mum of premature tot Layla hopes to launch Christmas gift service after Ninewells act of kindness

The mum of a baby born 12 weeks early at Ninewells Hospital is on a mission to collect gifts for other parents in the same position this Christmas.

Ashleigh Bryce, 26, had baby Layla on November 6 last year — nearly three months ahead of schedule.

When she was born, Layla weighed just 1lb 8oz and was the same size as a 500ml soft drink bottle. She had to stay in the hospital’s neonatal and special care units until January.

Ashleigh, who married boyfriend and Layla’s dad Gordon earlier this year, said they had been moved by a small gesture last Christmas.

Baby Layla

She said: “Gordon and I had our Christmas planned out and then when Layla came along, everything was up in the air.

“We spent Christmas with Layla in the ward. We were so focused on her we kind of forgot about it.

“But on Christmas morning, Layla had been visited by Santa and there was a gift bag with some baby toiletries.

“It had been organised by one of the high schools and the gesture alone was just really nice.”

Along with two other mums she met in hospital — Megan Brough and Rachael Clark — Ashleigh is now organising a similar scheme for parents who find themselves unexpectedly spending Christmas in hospital.

She said: “We’re just looking for things like baby toiletries as well as other ‘baby’s first Christmas’ things that can be kept. If your baby is born as early as Layla was, you don’t really think about these sorts of things that much.”

Ashleigh is also looking for knitters to pick up their needles and donate some homemade hats, baubles and even bibs.

Baby Layla with dad Gordon and mum Ashleigh

The gifts will be sorted into bags and distributed to parents in Ninewells’ neonatal intensive care and special care baby units at Christmas.

Ashleigh and Gordon have already supported Ninewells with a fundraiser earlier this year. The couple, who live in Perth, raised £3,050 through a quiz night they held in February.

Ashleigh added that Layla was doing well as she approached her first birthday in just over two weeks.

She said: “She had a development test the other day and passed with flying colours. Everything is perfect.”

To get involved with the gift-giving scheme, contact Ashleigh by emailing or via Facebook.

Or to donate, visit the JustGiving page.