Holiday Hats, Booties and Costumes

The Preemie Project does NOT need donations of plain hats, preemie or newborn size. 

The Preemie Project donates special knit and crochet hats, booties and costumes to Iowa NICUs for holidays and special events throughout the year.  We love diaper covers, cocoons, and other costume items with the hats and booties to make full costumes.

Refer to our Event Calendar for important mail-by dates and information about each donation.

Colors needed:

Please make more than half of the items in colors and styles suitable for little boys. If the item has any pink in it, the nurses will consider it to be a girl hat.

NOTE: Yellow is not a good color for sick infants.

Sizes Needed

Many more larger sizes are needed than the tiny 1-1.5lb and 2-3 lb sizes.  

For every 10 holiday hats/costumes, please make:  1 1-1.5lb, 2 2-3lb, 3 3-5lb, 3-6-8lb, 1 9-11lb     We want to have enough for all sizes of babies in the NICU                  

Pattern Ideas:

Crafting Guidelines:

  • Refer to our Measurements Guide for size guidelines.
  • We always need more boy sets than girl sets.
  • The hospitals request “NO Fleece Hats or bonnet style hats”.
  • Hats must stretch easily over tiny heads.
  • Bind off the opening to the bootie loosely so it is easy to get on the tiny foot.
  • Use a bootie pattern that is not “Holey”. Holes in booties pose a hazard to tiny toes.
  • Booties are not required with each hat but, a matching set makes a wonderful memento of the NICU stay.
  • Please visit the “Volunteer Information” section of the website for information on sizing, yarn requirements and pattern suggestions.
  • Make sure everything in a set is in the same size range, or the set will be split up.
  • Do not end your knitting or crocheting with a knot.  Leave a length of yarn and weave the ends very well. Here is a good tutorial on how to do that if you knit. And, here is a how to weave in ends if you crochet
  • For holiday donations, we would welcome sewn costumes for the babies.  Please contact us so we can discuss how to size your item for preemies and sick infants.

Third Hand Smoke Policy

In accordance with hospital policies, items from smoking homes will not be donated to hospitals for use in the NICU.

Research has proven that tobacco and tobacco smoke clings to furniture, clothes, walls. This is called “third-hand smoke”. “Third-hand smoke” cannot be adequately washed out of fabrics and thus raises the risks for many illnesses in children. Please see the March of Dimes website for more information.

Reviewed/Updated: 12/22/2018