Griffin and Dexter Munro may be the picture of health now, but that wasn't the case in August when they arrived two months early, born at just 30 weeks.

"Our boys came early so we had what was called Selective Intrauterine Growth... thingy" their mother Stephanie Harford says. "That meant they weren't too well in the tummy so we had to have an emergency caesarian when they were 30 weeks."

Their father Sean Munroe says the boys were tiny and could "just fit into your hand" with both boys weighing just over a kilogram each.

The twins Griffin and Dexter are among nearly a hundred premature babies born every month at Waikato Hospital.

"They're in incubators at that stage. They keep their temperature really regulated and they just wear a nappy and that's it," Sean says.

When they came out of the incubator the twins were lucky enough to have woollen clothes specially knitted for them by volunteers across the Waikato.

Stephanie says the knitted clothing given to her boys and hundred of other prem babies keeps them warm and enables parents to have the first contact with their newborns.


"The knitted clothing comes in even when they're that tiny, like that size, even within the first day they can they put the knitted clothing on them when they come out of the incubator and you do what they call the kangaroo care. So the skin-to-skin care with them.

"That's when that knitted stuff really is amazing, so it means you can really have that bonding time with your babies," Stephanie says.

For Sean it meant he could cuddle his boys on day one which was an "amazing moment."

"I don't even think you can buy clothing that small, it just doesn't come that small," he says.

"And you're just not in the headspace to actually go and get it organised," Stephanie adds. "You're just really focused and thinking about your baby, so it's really important that other people are doing knitting for parents and babies in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit)."

Pam Rae is one of the knitters who made many garments for the prem babies in NICU, she says her grand-daughter was also a prem baby, so she understands the need for tiny and warm clothing.

"It's helping those that possibly can't get that stuff for themselves and you don't realise how many of those babies are around and they need the stuff. A lot of the young mothers don't knit these days, they just buy the stuff from the shop and it's not wool and it's not merino," Mrs Rae says.

The tiny woollen garments are part of a fundraising drive at Countdown Supermarkets. Across the Waikato, more than three thousand garments have already been donated and Children's Champion, Cheryl Read says many customers have also supported the project financially.

"When you see the equipment that we purchase for the hospitals, it's equipment that they wouldn't necessarily get funding for elsewhere. It would have to wait many years to get on the list for normal hospital funding. So yeah, we make a big difference. This year we are hopefully fundraising for a cardiovascular ultrasound machine," she says.

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