Bonding hearts for babies

Helping our tots to become familiar with their parents when they are snoozing in their incubator.

Knitters in Doncaster, Worksop and beyond, we have another ask of you! We need bonding hearts, which helps a baby to know their mother’s smell, and vice-versa. The hearts also help mum when she expresses milk, as the smell of their baby stimulates the hormones that are partly responsible for producing breastmilk.

The idea is simple, mum wears one heart next to her skin and the other one is placed next to the baby to transfer their smell on them, then they are swapped over regularly.

Also they look adorable. Once used, they go home with them as a keepsake.

Post to: Communications Department, Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Armthorpe Road Doncaster South Yorkshire DN2 5LT.

Sewing Pattern: Click here to view the template.

Thank to Sheffield Children’s Hospital for the template. 

Knitting pattern as follows:

Cast on 3 stitches.

Row 1: Knit

Row 2 (right side): K1, Kfb, K1. (4 stitches)

Row 3 (wrong side): Knit.

Row 4: K1, Kfb x 2, K1. (6 stitches)

Row 5: Knit.

Row 6: K2, Kfb x 2, K2. (8 stitches)

Row 7: K3, P2, K3.

Row 8: K3, M1, K2, M1, K3. (10 stitches)

Row 9: K4, P2, K4.

Row 10: K3, M1, K4, M1, K3. (12 stitches)

Row 11: K4, P4, K4.

Row 12: K3, M1, K6, M1, K3. (14 stitches)

Row 13: K4, P6, K4.

Row 14: K3, M1, K8, M1, K3. (16 stitches)

Row 15: K4, P8, K4.

Row 16: K3, M1, K10, M1, K3. (18 stitches)

Row 17: K4, P10, K4.

Row 18: K3, M1, K12, M1, K3. (20 stitches)

Row 19: K4, P12, K4.

Row 20: K3, M1, K14, M1, K3. (22 stitches)

Row 21: K4, P14, K4.

Row 22: K3, M1, K16, M1, K3. (24 stitches)

Row 23: K4, P16, K4.

Row 24: K3, M1, K18, M1, K3. (26 stitches)

Row 25: K4, P18, K4.

Row 26: K3, M1, K20, M1, K3. (28 stitches)

Row 27: K4, P20, K4.

Row 28: K3, M1, K2tog, K18, SSK, M1, K3. (28 stitches)

Row 29: K4, P20, K4.

Row 30: K3, M1, K2tog x 2, K14, SSK x 2, M1, K3. (26 stitches)

Row 31: K4, P18, K4.

Row 32: K3, M1, K2tog x 3, K8, SSK x 3, M1, K3. (22 stitches)

Row 33: K4, P14, K4.

The top part of the heart is knitted identically to the original pattern. To wit:

Right side:

Row 34: K3, M1, P2tog x 3, M1, K2, turn. (10 stitches)

Row 35: K10, turn.

Row 36: K3, M1, P2tog x 2, K3, turn. (9 stitches)

Row 37: K9, turn.

Row 38: K2tog x 3, K1, K2tog, turn. (5 stitches)

Row 39: K5, turn.

Row 40: K2tog, K1, K2tog. No need to turn; just slip the right-most 2 stitches, one at a time, over the first stitch on the needle. Break yarn and secure end to make a nice smooth edge.

Left side:

Rejoin yarn.

Row 34: K2, M1, P2tog x 3, M1, K3. (10 stitches)

Row 35: K10.

Row 36: K3, P2tog x 2, M1, K3. (9 stitches)

Row 37: K9.

Row 38: K2tog, K1, K2tog x 3. (5 stitches)

Row 39: K5.

Row 40: K2tog, K1, K2tog. Slip right-most 2 stitches over the first stitch on the needle, one at a time. Break yarn and secure end.

Weave in all ends.

For both bonding heart variations, you’ll want to wet-block the hearts to get them nice and flat. I also recommend washing the hearts in hot water before you send them, since they will be used for preemies.

Thanks to Knitting For Charity for the pattern and  Lisa Scholey for the amendment! 

We also need Traffic Light Hats – click here for more.