Giving Back to the NICU

Giving Back to the NICU

Most of our hospital units and charities rely on donations of premature clothing and baby gear like blankets and wraps. When your little baby has outgrown their tiniest clothing please consider passing some of it on for another premmie to wear.

Everyone loves to receive handmade items - we all understand how much time and effort goes into these special donations! If you're able to knit or sew, please know that whatever you create will be well used and appreciated by the hospital and a newborn baby's family. There are heaps of organisations doing incredible things to support NICU families so read on to find out how you can get involved!


Can you Knit, Crochet or Sew?

  • Wool is always preferred for premature babies because it’s warm and breathable, although some hospitals will accept items made from cotton, acrylic or blends as long as they are machine washable. To be certain please check with your chosen unit or organisation prior to donating.
  • Create ribbed beanies, hats, singlets/vests, jackets and booties. Often the ‘larger’ newborn items are needed more than the tiniest prem knitting, so perhaps consider making in a range of sizes. Please note that crochet hats may not be accepted by some hospitals as they can be too tight.
  • Blankets for the hospital cots - more the size of a bassinette than a big wooden cot. These can be either knitted or sewn and most commonly measure a 60x60cm square, or 60x70cm rectangle. For sewers they are quick and easy to make from a piece of Merino knit fabric, finish around the edges with a simple hem or strip of binding.
  • Soft cotton sheets are always used in the incubators and cots too, so please contact your local unit if you are able to sew up some new ones.


Where you can send your donations to, and some helpful groups to join if you're the creative type:


Your local hospital will have a neonatal intensive care (NICU or NNU) or special care unit (SCBU or SCN) where you can drop off items directly at the reception desk. Hospitals mainly require Prem-NB sized clothing, and bedding such as muslin wraps and small cot blankets.


The Neonatal Trust distributes clothing and blankets between the hospital units based on their specific needs. All knitted clothing needs to be 100% wool, and you can post your items directly to:

Auckland - The Neonatal Trust, Ward 92, Auckland City Hospital, Park Road, Auckland 1021

Wellington - The Neonatal Trust, PO Box 9366, Marion Square, Wellington 6141


Care For Families Trust make free parcels for families with premature and newborn babies across New Zealand. They accept good condition or new Prem-NB baby clothing, blankets, swaddles or wraps and small infant toys, as well as treats and personal care items for the baby’s parents to use during their hospital stay. Donations can be sent to:

Care For Families, Unit 1/23 Bute Road, Browns Bay, Auckland 0632


Beanies for Babies co-ordinate knitters and crocheters, distributing the knitted clothing to many hospitals and charities throughout New Zealand. Prem/Newborn clothing should be in 100% Wool - join their facebook group for advice and links to free patterns! To donate your knitted items please send them to:

Hylda Chandler, 5 McEwan Place, Fitzroy, Hamilton 3206


Premmie Knitting Club run an annual knitting appeal in both NZ and Australia, this year in conjunction with KidSet they are supporting the Well Foundation to fundraise for North Shore SCBU. You can either drop it in to your local unit or send your knitting to:

ATTN Courtney Bennett/Premmie Knitting Club, Benefitz, 2 Parkway Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632


Angel Gowns NZ arranges donations of wedding gowns to be sewn into bereavement (angel) gowns and soft pouches for the tiniest babies. Hospitals keep a supply of gowns on hand for those babies who are taken too soon.


Thank you so much for your donation and for helping to keep New Zealands' tiniest babies warm and cosy!

Do you have an organisation that you’d like to be included here? Please email your details to


Posted: Monday 27 May 2019


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