Calling All Crafters – NICU Baby Projects

A brand new volunteer group has just gotten started here in Iowa City called the UIHC NICU Crafters. This group aims to pick up where The Preemie Project left off when they closed a few years ago, and provide items that University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics has identified as current needs for the babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and their families.

Crafters who knit, crochet, and sew – we hope you’ll join us to do something special for the babies!

Sewers, you can help by making:

  • Fitted crib sheets
  • Flat sheets
  • Developmental hearts
  • Fleece pads
  • Z-Flo covers
  • Bereavement outfits

Detailed guidelines and patterns for each of these sewing projects can be found in files in the group’s Facebook page.

Volunteers who knit or crochet can help with:

  • Baby hats for holidays – starting with red, white, and blue for Memorial Day and Independence Day
  • Bereavement blankets in soft neutral colors
    • 1-2 lbs – 22” x 22”
    • 2-3 lbs – 24” x 24”
    • 3-5 lbs – 26” x 26”
    • 5-8 lbs – 28” x 28”
    • 9-11 lbs – 33” x 33”
  • Bereavement outfits

For me, being involved with the UIHC NICU Crafters is a way to pay it forward. Both my brother and sister had children who spent time in the NICU at the U. One was a 28-week preemie and one needed heart surgery right away. They are both thriving today, thanks in no small part to the amazing care they got in the NICU.

I know that my family’s very scary time with children in the NICU was made easier not just by the amazing nurses and doctors, but also by volunteers who helped make the NICU a place full of hope, caring, and comfort. I’d like to be part of giving that same feeling of hope, caring, and comfort to other families.

Likewise, as a mom who miscarried, I am so glad our local hospital is providing items like bereavement blankets and outfits to give some small tokens of comfort and remembrance to families going through the devastation of infant loss.

And, on a lighter note, as someone who crochets a lot – I’m running out of people to gift blankets to! Making hats, baby blankets, and outfits will keep my hands busy and I’ll be happy knowing I’m helping a great cause.

Whether you have a personal connection to the NICU or just really enjoy making cute baby hats, you are very welcome in the new group! To join, visit the UIHC NICU Crafters Facebook page. Hope to see you there!

Laura is a mom of three who works full-time from home as a Development Director for a children’s charity. Laura grew up in Maryland, spent her 20s living in Southern California and South Carolina, and has spent her 30s and now 40s in Iowa, moving to Iowa City in 2010. Laura loves dancing, reading, baking, and music. She and her husband Ryan started dating in college (gasp – over 20 years ago!) and they have been sharing life’s adventures ever since. Their biggest adventure is, of course, parenthood. With three kids, the action is non-stop - which is just the way Laura likes it.


  1. I was with the original group for years. I would like be part of it again. Do you do all the hospitals or just UIHC? What do you need right now?


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