Bbc Radio Bristol has put a call out on social media to help the NICU ward which has seen their Facebook video viewed over 2.3 million times and has had over 17,154 shares.

The video sees a father of one NICU patient explain how the colour coded hat system works and how it has helped his baby in the ward. He explains Merry needed extra observations when her mother suffered from gestational diabetes's during pregnancy, and needed to have her blood sugars regularly checked in NICU.

The coloured hat system

Each hat has a colour coded bobble to represent the baby’s status in the NICU.

  • Green- Self-sufficient
  • Amber- More help is needed
  • Red- Regular observations

At a glance it instantly shows what stage the baby is at, and if they need to be monitored more closely.

BBC Radio Bristol is asking for everyone to get involved to help knit these ingenious hats by tagging and sharing on Facebook to help spread the message. The post soon took momentum with thousands of comments from everyone who wanted to get involved with knitting the bobble hats.

World Prematurity Day

The callout has come just before World Prematurity Day which is on November the 17th and sees the world raise awareness for all the premature babies born every year and the challenges they face.

According to Bliss the leading premature and sick baby charity over 95,000 babies are cared for in NICU every year.

one in eight babies born are admitted, with one in 13 babies being born premature which is before the 37th week of gestation.

Bliss advise that the average duration a baby stays in NICU is eight days but a premature baby will face at least a 44-day stay.

Can you help?

It has been a long tradition to knit hats for the NICU wards as they help keep smaller babies warm and maintain body temperature.

The colour coded hats are a slight twist on the normal knitted hats that are normally accepted, and the ward is looking for as many people as they can to get involved with the knitting project.

Can you knit? Or know someone who can? The hats need to be 38 cm in circumference and can be any pattern of hat as long as they have a red, amber or green bobble on them.

From the video, it is clear that Merry and her father have benefited from the colour coded hats, and urge others to get involved with the project.

The address to send the hats to is;

Maternity Ward

Royal United Hospital

Combe Park



Full details of the project can be found on BBC Radio Bristol's Facebook page.