It can be a traumatic time for any parent having to leave their poorly or premature baby in hospital.
But big-hearted volunteers are helping to keep that attachment bond close - through a lovely initiative.
People have been busy knitting little squares which parents can hold close to themselves and give to their babies on neonatal wards so that they still have mum and dad’s scent.
FAB (Families and Babies) and Early Help Worker Sally Simpson came up with the project a year and a half ago. Sally delivers support to families on the neonatal ward at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital for South Holland Children’s Centres and says that parents love the idea.
She said: “It is a very traumatic time when you have to leave your baby but this way parents feel that they are leaving a little bit of themselves with their baby.”
Early Years Practitioners Jane Smith and Emma Bussell showed the 30 plus squares at the Spalding centre in Banks Avenue which have already been knitted by volunteers - and people have also been sending in little handmade babies’ hats.
Since South Holland Children’s Centres posted on their Facebook Page asking if volunteers would like to help knit the squares, the post has been shared more than 260 times. Parents have also posted about how the squares helped them.
One mum said: “Can I just say that these squares are amazing. I have experienced this myself. My little girl was born at 26 weeks. Even up until she was two she didn’t go anywhere unless she had her square which smelt like me.”
Another mum said: “I just wanted to say as a mummy to a premature baby how great these knitted squares were while I was in hospital; your baby can have your scent but you can also have your baby’s scent to make you feel closer.”
The squares can be 10cm or 15cm squared. Parents are given a pair so that they can rotate them to keep their scent from fading. Knitted squares can be dropped off or posted to any of the South Holland Children’s Centres in Crowland, Sutton Bridge, Holbeach and Spalding.