The “Knit Wits” meet to make infant caps for patients in the heart center at Children’s Health. (Photo courtesy of Edgemere)

The holidays are a joyous time for many, but they can be a challenge for others. That’s why the “Knit Wits” of Edgemere in Dallas are providing some Texas-sized love through their handmade child-sized hats.

The knitting group makes 30 baby caps, which are delivered to infants with heart conditions in the heart center at Children’s Health in Dallas, every three months. The initiative was the idea of Edgemere resident Mary Ann Stover, who was introduced to Betsy Beall, a certified child life specialist at the hospital, through her cardiologist daughter a year and a half ago. 

“Mary Ann reached out to me about the possibility of the Knit Wits knitting hats for our infant population in the heart center,” Beall said. “We spoke about the vision for this initiative and how we would utilize the hats across the heart center.”

The Knit Wits decided that the color for their hats would be based on the season: autumn, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the Fourth of July, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, spring, etc. Not only do they bring a splash of color to the hospital wing; they also provide a sense of calm for the tiny little patients.

A selection of caps made by the “Knit Wits.” (Photo courtesy of Edgemere)

“The hats provide an additional way for our infants and caregivers to bond and bring a sense of normalcy to an otherwise clinical environment,” Beall said. “Caregivers are able to wear the hat on their body to transfer their scent before placing the hat back on the baby, encouraging bonding and easing the infant’s stress.”

Since the groups began collaborating, Beall noted, the relationship has provided an “overwhelmingly positive impact” on the wing’s patients and caregivers. She cites one particular example of when an infant was admitted for almost a year. Whenever the baby’s family would celebrate a holiday with the little one, an accompanying hat always was there to spark a little joy. 

“At times, this infant was too critical to be dressed up for holiday photos the family had planned. Thanks to the generosity of the Knit Wits, our team was able to provide the family with an appropriately themed infant hat the family could use for their photos and holiday celebrations,” Beall said. “I have loved working with Mary Ann and the Knit Wits and seeing the joy and comfort their initiative has brought to our patients and families.”

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