Just a warning that this post includes some sensitive and emotive topics before we get to the baby hat knitting pattern.
For anyone following the Oh Hi DIY instagram (@ohhidiy), you’ll probably already know that I’m 29 weeks pregnant! What you might not know, is that I was also pregnant at the end of 2016. At the 20 week anomaly scan we were told that our little boy, Adam, wasn’t growing properly. He was subsequently diagnosed with Thanatophoric Dysplasia – a skeletal condition that means the rib cage and the limb bones do not grow. The condition’s name is derived from a Greek work “Thanatos” which means “death bringing” – our baby was going to die before he was full term or as soon as he was born, his rib cage was too small to allow his lungs to take in enough air to survive. We were devastated and made the heartbreaking decision not to continue with the pregnancy. Adam was born on the 27th December 2016 at 8.30 am weighing just 320g.
Before any of this happened, I hadn’t considered what happened to mothers in my situation who had to go through induced labour to deliver a baby that they were never going to be able to take home. Luckily – I use this word a lot about certain aspects of this situation, it doesn’t feel appropriate – no one in this situation is lucky, but there are things that made it more bearable and so it does apply – anyway, luckily, in our area there is a bereavement midwife, Chris Navin, who has built up amazing facilities and a support system for families like ours. Adam was born in Wythenshawe hospital in the Snowdrop Suite, a room away from the main maternity ward where bereaved or soon to be bereaved families are given the privacy to deliver their babies without having to see or hear other mum’s deliver healthy babies. In other areas, this is exactly what happens – the worst day of your life happening whilst you’re right next to someone having the best day of theirs – I can’t even imagine.
Much of Chris’s work is made possible from donations – you can donate money or toiletries for the ladies giving birth, tea/coffee/biscuits etc., magazines, books, DVDs but it’s also possible to donate handmade clothes for the babies so when the families are saying goodbye their baby is dressed in well fitting clothes rather than simply dressed in a hospital blanket.
I will never forget the care and compassion we were shown by the staff at Wythenshawe hospital and I have been donating any way I can ever since and whilst I have been busy making things for our new baby, I haven’t forgotten how much I owe Snowdrop and I’ve carried on knitting for them.
Hats and cardigans are very much appreciated by the ward – the little hats are very quick to make and are great stash busters too. If you’d like to knit one the pattern is as follows:
Premature/Stillborn Baby Hat Knitting Pattern
- Cast on 24 (36) sts
- K1P1 to the end of the row
- Repeat for 3 (5) more rows so you have 4 (6) rows of rib
- Continue in stockinette stitch (knit 1 row, purl 1 row) for 12 (16) rows
- K2tog for entire row
- Purl row
- K2tog for entire row
- Purl row
- Small size: K2tog for entire row. Larger size: K2tog, k2tog, k3tog, k2tog
- Cut off yarn leaving a long tail for sewing up, using a bodkin thread the yarn through the remaining sts and pull tight.
- Sew edges together to join the hat.
Baby hat knitting pattern variation: To acheive the square cornered hat – replace the k2tog rows with knitting all stitches on the row and after step 9 cast off all sts. Now sew the back seam of the hat and then press flat and sew up the top edge.
The hats can be left plain or you can add pompoms or tassles as I’ve done here.
Thank you for reading my story, if you would like any more information or would like to share your own experiences please leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.
Information on how to donate to the Snowdrop Fund can be found here: