Millie’s Knit

*Update March 2023: We’re so grateful to everyone who has knitted bonding squares for our heart families. We have been truly humbled by the amount of knitting our supporters have been up to! In light of this, we are currently unable to accept any new donations of bonding squares for the time being. Thank you for your interest; if you would like to knit for us, please check back again soon! *

Do you love knitting? Are you a whizz with your needles?

Why not use your skills to make bonding squares for heart babies in intensive care?

What are bonding squares?

When a baby is in intensive care, their parents are often unable to give them a cuddle or hold them for long periods of time like they otherwise would. Bonding squares can help parents and babies in this situation feel closer.

One knitted square is kept with the baby and the other on a parent’s body. Every twelve hours they swap the squares over, helping parent and baby to bond by smell.

Millie’s Knit is named in memory of Millie Hope Chandler, who was born with a congenital heart defect on the 1st October 2020 and tragically passed away just over a month later, on the 2nd November. Read her story here.

While in intensive care, Millie’s family received some bonding squares from Helen and Diane (read more about them below) and the idea for Millie’s Knit was born.

Sam says, “We were gifted bonding squares from a wonderful lady I had met through Tiny Tickers, so Millie and I each had a knitted square with each of us from day one. We would switch them every 24 hours, and they helped me to express up until we were able to breastfeed.”

Millie with her bonding square

Sam continues, “We are so incredibly grateful for the support of Tiny Tickers. They aren’t just a charity to help identify the defects. They are a support network for the families. They are now an extended family to us, and have provided Steve and I with help and love and support through our darkest days. We are so glad we found Tiny Tickers when we did.”

The Knit and Chat group, who very generously knitted bonding squares to help heart families.

Using the pattern below, you can knit Tiny Tickers bonding sqaures, to help parents and babies bond and remind them that Tiny Tickers is here for them during their hospital stay and beyond.

Download the pattern and diagram here:

Meet the creators of the Tiny Tickers bonding square

We’d like to say a big thank you to heart mum, Helen, for coming up with the idea and her mum, Diane, for writing the pattern. When Helen was knitting squares to send to Sam, who she met in the Tiny Tickers Facebook support group, she realised bonding squares could help many more families.

Helen, Diane and Oliver.

We add a pair of bonding squares to every support pack we send out to families who have just received a diagnosis of congenital heart disease (CHD).

Enjoy your knitting and thank you for getting involved in Millie’s Knit!