Holiday Hats, Booties and Costumes

The Preemie Project donates special knit and crochet hats, booties and costumes to Iowa NICUs for holidays and special events throughout the year.  

How Can You Help?

Knit, crochet or sew items to help Iowa NICU families celebrate baby’s first holidays in the NICU. Size appropriate hats, booties and costumes make a very special memory for the families to cherish. Many will make just hats and booties but we also LOVE diaper covers, cocoons, and other costume items with the hats and booties to make full costumes.

Holiday donations for 2020:

4th of July

Cy-Hawk Challenge (UI vs ISU football)

Halloween Boo in the NICU



Valentine 2021

Sizes Needed

For every 12 holiday hats/costumes you make:  

1 – 1.5 lb 1
2 – 3 lb2
3 – 5 lb3
6 – 8 lb4
9 – 11 lb2

Pattern Ideas:

Any pattern may be used as long as the crafting guidelines are followed.

TPP pattern page

The Preemie Project Pinterest Page.

Colors needed:

Make more than half of the items in boy colors and styles. If the item has any pink in it, it will be given to a girl.

NOTE: With the exception of Hawkeye Black and Gold or Cyclone Cardinal and Gold, yellow is generally not considered to be a good color for sick infants

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

Crafting Guidelines:

We always need more boy sets than girl sets.

Refer to our Measurements Guide for size guidelines.

The hospitals request “No fleece 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 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: 12/28/2019