The mission of The Preemie Project NICU Bedding Program is to create a comfortable, non-sterile environment for families in Iowa NICUs with donations of soft colorful sheets for the infants beds. Initially, infants in the NICU are very critically ill. As a result, nursing staff performs most of the care giving activities. Being able to choose the sheets for their infant’s bed is often the first and only care giving act parents are able to perform.
How can you help?
You can help by sewing and donating bedding to help our NICU families create a homelike atmosphere in their baby’s hospital room.
- Serger: Use 1 yard of bright, colorful cotton or flannel; finish the edge by serging around the entire piece; round the corners as you serge. To make sure the stitching does not unravel, overlap the serging at least a couple inches.
- Sewing Machine: If you do not own a serger, finish the edge by folding the edge over less then 1/4 inch. Iron. Fold the edge over a second time, less than 1/4 inch. Iron. Sew around. NOTE: make the seam as narrow as possible so you do not lose the width of the fabric. If you tend to make wider seams, we recommend purchasing a couple extra inches of fabric so you can achieve at least a 35 inch width.
- Do not cut the fabric to square it. The entire yard of fabric is needed to fit the bed.
- Finished size of a flat sheet should be about 35 inches x 41 inches.
Use bright, colorful cotton or flannel prints. Find our pattern here. Brightly colored fun prints are best for fitted sheets. Please make sure you wash the fabric in hot water before sewing.
Use a 22in X 30in piece of solid color fleece. Serge or overlay/overcast stitch around the edges to keep it from stretching. Here is a great video on how to do a serged edge using your sewing machine. That’s it!
NOTE: Please use only solid color fleece. We have enough patterned fleece pads to last 2 years.
NOTE: We would welcome donations of fleece pads made from Hawkeye or Cyclone fleece.
- Cottons or Flannels are acceptable for flat and fitted sheets. Cottons are preferred because they last 2 to 3 times longer than flannel. The flannel pills and fades badly after just a few washes in the hospital laundry.
- DO NOT use pale colors. They will fade to white within one or two washes. Bright, bold colors will stand up to the harsh hospital laundry best.
- If using flannel fabric, many reds and black patterns will bleed and are not recommended.
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 illness in children. Please see the March of Dimes website for more information.
Page updated 4/04/2018