In the winter season it’s important to do some good and give something back.  We recently shared on our Facebook page a video from BBC Bristol that encourages knitters and crocheters to make hats for premature babies. Here are our top tips for helping premature babies in need this Christmas and how to get involved where you live.

1) Contact the hospital directly to see if they have certain policies

The neonatal charity Bliss estimates that 60,000 babies a year are born prematurely in the UK. This means hospitals that accept knitted items will need a constant supply. While some hospitals accept all forms of clothing, others are more specific. Bliss recommends contacting your local neonatal units directly and seeing what they need (see here).

2) Make sure your items are clean

Taking care of baby is 100% importance. Premature babies are more prone to infection and need to avoid cross-contamination as much as possible.

3) Think of colour

Some hospitals have a traffic light policy. The video we shared on Facebook encourages you to knit a white hat with a bobble. A green bobble means “self-sufficient”, orange means “some extra support needed” and red means “more regular observations needed”. However, Sherwood Forest hospitals ask that the whole hat is in red, amber, or green. If your hospital doesn’t have a traffic light policy, feel free to experiment with colours. Knit for Peace recommends not using yellow, however, as this can “make the baby look jaundiced”.

4) Consider design

Baby’s heads are large in proportion to their body and hats are a good idea. They keep the baby warm and comforted as well as keeping the noise out. Socks and blankets are good options too, but it’s worth considering that many hospitals will only consider tightly-knitted or crocheted items. They will not consider items with holes as they may get caught in baby’s arms/toes. Also make sure that the item you make is stretchy – babies grow fast!

5) Consider materials

Use a yarn that’s appropriate for a baby. Choose a yarn that’s soft, hypoallergenic and gentle against the baby’s skin. Parents will appreciate this just as much as the little one.

Are you tempted to get involved? Let us know in the comments, or tag us with your makes @CreaCrafts on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. We may feature you on future blog entries!