would this be useful?

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    I've been meaning to knit some little hats to give to the NICU at the hospital where i work - they're easy to make and i like the idea of babies (and parents) having a nice little something to remind them thet someone's thinking of them. but i don't want to give the unit something they aren't going to find useful - does your unit recieve donations of hats? are they useful? is there a specific style or textile that's better than others? or is there something else i could make that'd be better? i'm short on money but can spare time here and there to make something.

    i guess i've chosen now to get started on this project because suddenly it's a little closer to home. as mentioned in another post, a friend of mine has suddenly found herself needing the services of NICU, and though i can't be there to personally help her, i'd like to do something to help people just like her.

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  2. 10 Comments...

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    The unit where I works receives many donations of hats. We do appreciate them very much. What we find is that we get way too many of the tiny hats. We have way more 34 weekers than 24 weekers. Also so many of our infants are on cpap with specific hats that come from the manufacturer, so the infants only wear hats when they are intubated or once they wean off cpap.

    Also, baby colors please!! I think many of our hats come from local knitting groups and I think they use remnants from lap blankets for local nursing homes sometimes. Some colors really don't work on the babies, like browns & khaki, maroon. Also yellow may be a unisex color, but it really makes those jaundiced babies seem to glow.

    Many of our nurses who knit use the infant's FOC (head circumference) measurement to size the hats when they make them for specific babies. I guess a general guide would be that the FOC goes sort of close to the gestational age (maybe a little lower).
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    good response, duly noted, will make bigger hats and steer clear of the fluro wools

    I'm actually really glad you said the bit about the colours, I get really bored with baby colours and would have gone for brighter tones. I hadnt really considered the possibility of clashing with the baby's colouring!
    Last edit by goats'r'us on Jan 27, '12
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    We often have a lot of hats, but I really like the knit blankets. It makes the room look more homey and almost every kiddo in a crib can have one.
    Bortaz, RN likes this.
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    Please use a very stretchy stitch that can fit a range of sizes. I am not patient about sorting thru a huge bin of hats for the one that fits the baby just right, and I never use the ones that aren't stretchy.
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    We get a lot of hats donated and definitely use the hats in NICU. I love the ones that are soft and a little stretchy but not overly loose. Parents (and nurses) really like holiday specific hats. At Christmas we had a lot of red and green. We just got a delivery of red hats and pink hats with a single heart for Valentines Day.

    Just know that whatever you choose to do parents and nurses always appreciate the thought and love that goes into the hats/blankets donated to NICU. Thank you so much!
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    Does anyone know of patterns for hats? My mom knits but isn't a nurse and has never been in a NICU before. I'm about to start my first job in a NICU and she really wants to knit hats for the babies. If I can't find any patterns for her I might just tell her which fruits are relatively the size of the babies' heads so she has some form of reference as to size.
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    goshenc1, i googled 'knit baby hats' and the first page that came up was a big list of links to different patterns. a lot of them are funny hats (watermelon hats/cupcake hats/viking hats) but there are some basic ones there too, and as someone above wrote, a variety of sizes are needed. mine so far have been a bit hit and miss.. i've managed two incredibly little ones, one that's actually my intended size, and one fuzzy teddybear har that i intended to be small newborn sized but has somehow ended up being about right for a two year old.

    i figure someone will want them. maybe i'll send the big one to paeds for a chilly chemo head
    romaniam likes this.
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    We always get a huge shipment of hats, but booties and blankets are wonderful too! Some volunteers started sending us fleece squares that we use under the baby's heads to make it softer. They make the bed look pretty and we can throw them away if the parents don't want to wash them
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    My wife has recently started knitting hats and blankets for babes that I'm particularly attached to, and just told me tonight that she's going to start making them generally for whomever needs them.

    Also, I attended the 1st birthday party of one of my former nicu babies, and his mom sent me home with 2 large bags of blankets and hats.


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