Â There really is nothing like the comfort of curling up under a warm blanket on a cold winterâ€™s night. (Granted, I live in California, so those cold winter nights may still be somewhat of a novelty.)
However, the tiny warriors in our local NICU are on the verge of experiencing a blanket shortage. I am asking for your help.
Preemies enter this world too soon. Then, as an added insult to injury, they are thrust into the glaringly bright and beepy world of the NICU. This is the stark opposite of where a third trimester should be spent â€“ curled up in the silent warmth of a mommyâ€™s dark womb.
Instead, preemies are swaddled with wires and sensors, tucked into a plastic box and poked and prodded in the fight for their lives.
They need blankets to cover their plastic boxes. (Iâ€™m sure our medical team would much prefer I call them isolettes â€“ Giraffe brand.) This creates a semblance of darkness to help alleviate the overwhelming stimulation already experienced by the trauma of merely being born.
On day 2 of life, I met my muppets. Searchâ€™s isolette was blue with surfer dudes. Destroyâ€™s was green/tan with John Deere tractors. I did not see them as â€œbrahsâ€ hanginâ€™ 10 or country-boy farmers. (So GrammaJ made them learning quilts â€“ start education young!)
The latest class of future NICU-grads need more blankets. (Our NICU hasn’t had a donation from Project Linus in a long time.) Please let me know if you or anyone (or any group) would be willing to make and donate some blankets.
You can email me at email@example.com
These blankets not only give the growing babes comfort, but they become a kind of status symbol for the families as well. Despite my initial distaste in blanket design, I am proud to send Search and Destroy off to preschool every day with those very same blankets to cover them at naptime.
And at home, they snuggle up with similar blankets bestowed upon them by a former preemie who clearly understands their power â€“ Cousin Nancy.
How to make a blanket for a baby in a box:
Itâ€™s really easy. I promise. I got my pattern from Jo-Ann Fabrics, but fancy tools not needed.
Locate some cute fleece fabric. For added fun, pick a fun pattern and matching solid color. (2 yrds each should do it â€“ this will make a blanket approximately 4×5.)
Lay the blankets wrong side together and cut a 6-inch square from each corner.
Make a 6-inch incision every 1-inch all the way around.
Tie the fringes in knots â€“ using one piece from each blanket.
Ta-da! You made a NICU baby blanket. Admire your handi-work and donate your blanket to the hospital.