Hospitals Beg Knitters For 5,000 Purple Newborn Caps To Raise Awareness For Shaken Baby Syndrome

by Jess Catcher
Jess grew up in Oklahoma before moving to New York to become a writer. She has a cat named Agnes.

Oklahoma hospitals recently issued a call to knitters with a request for 5,000 handmade baby caps. There’s just one condition: they must use purple yarn.

It might seem like a strangely specific detail, but the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is teaming up with CLICK for Babies to help spread awareness of shaken baby syndrome. The Sooner State is among several others across the country to join their incredible campaign.

Every parent knows how frustrating it can be to deal with a small infant who just can’t seem to calm down and stop crying. According to CLICK for Babies, some newborns might cry for five hours straight during their first six months.

Of course, there’s no excuse for letting those frustrations lead to lashing out, or to inflict life-threatening abuse on a child.

That’s exactly what the campaign hopes to avoid. It educates new parents while providing them with an adorable new hat for their bundle of joy to bring home from the hospital.

Take a look below to learn more about the campaign raising awareness of shaken baby syndrome.

hospital nursery newborn babies

CLICK for Babies focuses on educating parents and caregivers on the triggers that can cause them to lose their cool and potentially threaten a child’s life without thinking.

The campaign aims to provide information on what they can expect from the first few months with their little ones.

shaken baby syndrome purple caps sign

Oklahoma is the latest state to join in the important campaign, along with 14 other participating areas across the country.

The donated hats are taken to hospitals and given to boys and girls alike before they head home with their parents.

knitting a purple cap

The handmade hats from volunteer knitters provide parents with a cozy reminder to remain calm when stress is running high for them and their child.

purple yarn for shaken baby syndrome awareness

The color isn’t just a style choice from the campaign, but an acronym to remind moms, dads, or other caregivers of the stages of an infant’s crying:

  • P is for Peak of Crying: “Your baby may cry more each week, the most in month two, then less in months three to five.”
  • U is for Unexpected: “Crying can come and go, and you don’t know why.”
  • R is for Resists Soothing: “Your baby may not stop crying no matter what you try.”
  • P is for Pain-Like Face: “A crying baby may look like they are in pain, even when they are not.”
  • L is for Long Lasting: “Crying can last as much as five hours a day, or more.”
  • E is for Evening: “Your baby may cry more in the late afternoon and evening.”
purple caps pile

With this in mind, the campaign requires all of the donated caps to be made with at least 50% or more purple yarn.

baby's head

Because they are made for infants only just a day or two old, the sizing guidelines suggest the circumference should be between 13 and 15 inches, and about four to six inches high.

Thousands of caps have gone unused because they are far too large or small for the young children.

purple caps lined up


It is also obviously important that the yarn be made from a soft, washable texture that won’t agitate the baby’s skin.

purple caps donated to raise awareness for shaken baby syndrome

If you’re not a knitting pro, you can also contribute to the campaign by donating just $3. Check out the CLICK for Babies website to find out where you can make a donation in your own area.

Do you know any knitters who would love to lend their talent to the amazing campaign?

Be sure to SHARE the potentially lifesaving info with your friends on Facebook!