Helping Mothers and Premature Babies With Crocheted Hats

These preemie caps crocheted by Mariana Mel

Click for VIDEO to this story


Tucked away in the back room of Via Christi St. Joseph lie gifts ready to be given to strangers to help heal when doctors can’t. It’s all because of one woman.

“I actually haven’t made any of these,” said Amanda Smith about hundreds of handmade tiny hats and blankets. “They’re all donations from people who have sent them in.”

Smith is the reason for all the homemade gifts because she wanted to give them to mothers of babies who are born too soon.

“There are some that were donated that were even smaller for babies that were you know 18, 16 weeks gestation,” Smith said. The hats come in all sizes, up to a full-term newborn size. So at Via Christi, when mothers have to leave with only a hat, a blanket and a memory, they can have some that are special.

“We want to do this so that other mothers know that they’re not alone,” Smith said.

But they aren’t alone because they have Amanda Smith who understands. Her son, Robert, whom they call Robby, was born at 23 weeks and at only one pound, four ounces, he was too small to survive.

“Robby, he was perfect. He was perfect. I just went into labor too soon, I was in labor for several days with him. And he was just perfect,” she said.

Smith and her husband have only one family picture with Robby in the two hours they got with him in the hospital before he died. They keep it in their room at home.

“It’s hard you know, it’s hard not having him here. We had so many hopes and dreams for him and they were just all gone all of a sudden, just taken away.”

But when Robby was alive in their arms, they talked to him and told him what they wanted to be sure he knew.

“Just that we loved him so much and that we wish that he could stay. You know, we didn’t want him to have to leave and we told him how much we loved him and that he’d always be with us,” Smith said.

That was three years ago and since, Smith has held onto his one hat from the hospital for comfort, although it wasn’t one of the tiny ones.

She said, “On nights when I’m having a difficult time and I’m missing him, I like to hold onto it because it was his. it’s physical proof that he was here and it was special. But it was still plenty big.”

That’s why Smith titled her idea, “Project Robby.” So far she’s raised 400 itty-bitty hats, 243 small hats, 145 medium hats, 57 large hats (newborn size), six pairs of booties and 275 blankets.

If you’d like to donate to Project Robby or get in contact with Amanda Smith, go to


Note: I added a preemie size to my basic beanie pattern. 🙂



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