Calling all knitters! Bath’s Royal United Hospital (RUH) is asking for help to provide 5,000 tiny bobble hats for newborn babies at the Bath Birthing Centre.
The RUH is introducing a “traffic light, colour-coded system” of green, amber and red bobble hats to provide a visual aid for the level of care that a baby may need.
Practice development sister Rachel Coleman said: “Babies will still receive the traditional midwifery care, but this is an extra visual aid.
“A green bobble means your baby is term, warm and feeding well. Amber indicates a baby needs a little more help with feeding and keeping warm. Red indicates a baby will have regular observations by a nurse or midwife, for example if you are diabetic.”
Sarah Godwin, practice development sister at the RUH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) added: “The ultimate aim is to reduce admissions from the Birthing Centre to NICU.
“We want to avoid separation of mums and babies, which can greatly enhance their ability to bond and to breastfeed.”
Alexander McNamara, father of two-day old Merry, said the system was a brilliant idea.
He added: “Merry had a red bobble hat as she needed more observation on the ward. It means that, even if you don’t know anyone with a baby on the way, you can still make a lovely hat that will be worn by a baby and be greatly appreciated by everyone.”
With up to 5,000 babies being delivered each year at the Bath Birthing Centre, the unit is hoping that volunteer knitters and people with crotchet skills will rise to the challenge.
The tiny hats – which the babies will be allowed to take home – must be plain white with a red, amber or green pom-pom, and sized between 34cms and 38cms.
They can be sent to the Bath Birthing Centre or to Mary Ward at the Bath RUH.
The bobble hat idea has already proved successful at the Royal Surrey County Hospital.