NICU Sewing Patterns

  1. I just started in a Level III NICU last month and love, love, love it!!! I am completely overwhelmed and slow as molasses of course but I am learning new stuff everyday and plan to stay until they drag me off to the nursing home ..... to live, not work. :chuckle

    My question is, do any of you know a link to find patterns for the snuggles or "nests" used in NICU? I have been a quilter for years and have tons of fabrics and scraps and want to make some for our NICU. I planned to take home one and use it for a pattern when it occurred to me that someone has probably already done this.

    Also, if you make your isolette covers, what size do you generally make yours? We have some charity folks who sew and donate to us but I have been scrounging for covers for my babies this week and plan to make a few before my next shift.

    Thanks for your help!
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    About Wren

    Joined: Jan '03; Posts: 204; Likes: 51
    Hospital Case Manager
    Specialty: Oncology, Hospice, Research


  3. by   prmenrs
    One of the easiest things to make are swaddling cloths: a lightweight cotton square of 22", after hemming, used to swaddle babies while in isolettes.

    The next thing to tackle are incubator covers--fitted and quilted covers that go over the incubator to decrease environmental stimuli--i.e., light and noise. Use dark fabric next to the plexiglass to optimize the darkening effect. You can fit it w/elastic loops to keep it in place, also "flaps" to lift up and check on the baby. At about 33 wks, start leaving one or both of the flaps up so that they can get exposed to some light and develop their eyesight.

    Along the same lines is a sort of 3-sided cloth box to go over the tops os bassinets--again the idea is to cut down noise. Use light colored fabric as backing this time.

    You can also make "snakes"--long tubes to wrap around the baby and help position them when on an open warmer.

    If you can get the unit to purchase one of the nests (or even one of each size), you can probably make your own pattern. Just take it apart and use it as a template. Get pattern material from the yardage store, or craft paper--some thing fairly sturdy.

    I got doll patterns once and made some cute "sundresses". and "sunsuits" for the babies--the parents loved them! I used piping for the boys and eyelet lace edging for the girls, and those snap-tapes for fasteners. The sunsuits had to lengthened in the trunk area, dolls are made w/shorter trunks than premies, but they turned out very well--sort of "humanized" the babies for the parents. And they got to keep them for the baby books.

    Post pictures, ok?
  4. by   Wren
    Thanks for the suggestions! I think I will take home a couple of the different sized nests and make patterns from them. I am also going to measure an isolette tomorrow when I work and figure out a size to make the covers. That should keep me busy for awhile...... Thanks!:wink2:
  5. by   gypsy queen
    we ask the mothers to bring over new fluffy towels and we put them around the babies to form a nest...this helps the motehrs of small premmies who feel helpless most of the the emantime it helps by providing self quieting behaviors conserving energy whih is so important for can also get some ideas from the book written by Janine Young in 1996 developmental care of the premature baby ....hope you will find this useful
  6. by   Gompers
    I googled "isolette cover pattern" and got lots of hits just from that.

    Here's a standard cover for the good old fashioned isolettes - not Giraffes...

    Pattern for Custom Isolette Cover

    On the same site there are TONS of different NICU-related patterns, not only for isolette covers but also for preemie clothing and bereavement items...

    Sewing Stuff - free sewing patterns

    I'm sure there's tons more out there online - try a Google search if you want something more specific.
  7. by   PremieOne
    My unit uses snugglies from Children's Medical Venture (Products, Childrens Medical Ventures (CHMV), Respironics ). You can get their developmental positioning packs. Everything can be washed and reused.
    As for isolette covers, we have a hospital auxillary made up of retired staff who make the covers for us. They cover the plexiglass part of the isolette. It covers all sides and has slits with ties or velcrove for the side port holes. The front and back can be lifted up separately to observe or care for the infant. It is made of neutral color of off white and is quilted on the top layer and smooth on the bottom layer that faces the infant. This protects the premie's eyes from the bright light, reduces the noise level and provides extra warmth if the unit is cool. I hope this helps. PremieOne
  8. by   kayga69
    Instructions for a patchworked isolette covers available at Isolette Covers

    These covers are backed in fleece to block noise and light and large enough to fit over all isolettes, including giraffes and Ohios.