Holiday/Special Donation Hats and Booties

NOTE: TPP no longer donates regular hats, preemie or newborn sized, to Iowa NICUs. Most hospitals we support are overstocked with regular hats. We ask volunteers to only send us hats and booties for our special/holiday donations and for our infant bereavment program

The Preemie Project donates special hats and booties to Iowa NICUs for holidays and special events throughout the year.  Volunteers make holiday hats and booties sized for infants weighing from 1lb up to 11lbs. Holiday donations for 2017 include Easter, 4th of July, Cy-Hawk Challenge (UI vs ISU football),  Halloween and Christmas.

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

Sizes Needed

For holiday donations to Iowa NICUs, all sizes of hats and booties are needed.  But, many more of the 3-5lb and 6-8lb size is needed and fewer of the tiniest 1-3 lb sizes.  A good rule of thumb is:

For every 10 hats you make, there should be 1 1-1.5lb, 2 2-3lb, 3 3-5lb, 3 6-8lb, 1 9-11lb

Colors needed for Holiday Hats:

Because these hats are for special occasions, you are free to use the color of your choice.  Remember to make more than half of the hats in colors suitable for little boys. But, if the item has any pink in it, the nurses will consider it to be a girl hat.

Crafting Guidelines:
  • Refer to our Measurements Guide for size guidelines.
  • We always need more boy hats than girl.
  • Hats must stretch easily over tiny heads. Make sure to bind off loosely.
  • Booties should be made from a pattern that is not holey. Holes in booties pose a hazard for tiny toes.
  • Make sure the opening to the bootie is bound off loosely. If the opening of the bootie does not stretch, it cannot be put on the tiny foot
  • Although booties are not required with each hat, a matching set of hat and booties makes a wonderful memento of the NICU stay.
  • When making a hat/bootie set, please make sure the hat and booties are in the same size range or the set will be split up.
  • Do not tie off ends. Please weave in all 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
  • Please visit the “Volunteer Information” section of the website for information on sizing, yarn requirements and pattern suggestions.
Pattern Suggestions:

Any pattern may be used for hats, booties and blankets as long as the crafting guidelines are followed. Visit our pattern page for cute pattern suggestions. We also “pin” cute ideas on The Preemie Project Pinterest Page.

Third Hand Smoke Policy:

The Preemie Project cannot donate items from smoking homes to be given to hospitalized infants. 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 illness in children. Please see the March of Dimes website for more information.