A premature baby, or preemie, is born before the 37th week of pregnancy. Premature birth occurs in between 8 percent to 10 percent of all pregnancies. Because they are born too early, preemies weigh much less than full-term babies. They may have health problems because their organs did not have enough time to develop. Preemies need special medical care in a neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU. They stay there until their organ systems can work on their own. Premature babies are amazing – they can grow and thrive despite huge obstacles, and catch up to full-term babies in both size and development.
Don’t put too much emphasis on trying to perfect the size of a preemie garment. There is a great variation between premature baby sizes that an item of any size should be suitable for at least one baby. As a general guide premature babies head circumference is approximately the same as their chest circumference. The average prem baby’s chest measurements are 8″-14″. However clothes of all sizes are required for preemies, so no matter how big or small your item is it will most likely fit at least one baby.
Knitting items for premature babies can be very rewarding and is definitely appreciated by the charities and the families who receive them. If you are excited by the prospect of getting your knitting needles working for charity please see ‘Knit for Lisa’s Stars’ and ‘Knitting with Loving Hands’ earlier posts on this blog.
For Free E Booklet ‘Knitting For Premmies’ please leave your email address in the box at the base of this blog. I promise to respect your privacy and will not pass your details on to anyone else.