One Way to Knit for Bereaved Parents and Bring Comfort in Their Pain

When parents lose a beloved newborn or a baby born too soon, the knitters and crocheters of Bridget’s Cradles help ease the loss with a special resting place

Even though I love sharing with you information about knitting charities, so you may be introduced to a new charity and possibly even inspired by a cause, sometimes I struggle to do so.

For instance, I struggle when telling you about a charity that is devoted to the parents of babies that are born too soon, stillborn, or pass on shortly after their birth. It’s a heartbreaking topic. But I believe that part of the reason it is so heartbreaking is because it is so seldom spoken of.

So while I struggle to discuss such a charity, I also am so very glad it exists. Because pain never benefits from silence and aloneness. It nearly always benefits from shared burdens and shared stories.

That is why I am proud to introduce, or reintroduce, you to Bridget’s Cradles.

About Bridget’s Cradles

You can watch the story of Bridget’s Cradles above, or read on.

The seeds of Bridget’s Cradles were planted during Ashley Opliger’s pregnancy. Ashley’s mother Teresa was aware that because of Ashley’s pregnancy complications, the baby–who the Opligers planned to name Bridget–might not survive.

Knowing that Bridget might be born prematurely, Teresa decided to begin to knit a special blanket.

She knew a typical hospital receiving blanket would be far too large for a premature baby. She was then inspired to knit the sides of the blanket together to form a cradle shape. Afterward, she added lace and an embroidered cross to signify her faith.

When the baby was born sleeping many weeks premature, the cradle knit by her grandmother turned out to be the perfect size for her. The family members were able to gather and take turns holding Bridget in the cradle, both greeting and saying goodbye before she was buried.

In the “Our Story” page of the Bridget’s Cradles website, Ashley wrote:

In the months following Bridget’s birth and death, Ashley knew that God had now given her a new purpose on this earth. Ashley felt that God wanted to use Bridget’s life to change the world by helping others suffering the loss of their babies.

So Grammy began to knit more cradles and Ashley began to create the ministry with the support of family, friends, and the community. Soon thereafter, the first donation of Bridget’s Cradles was made to Wesley Medical Center, the leading birth hospital in Kansas, where Bridget was born.

And so began Bridget’s Cradles.

“We are so very grateful for the beautiful cradle your ministry provided us for our daughter. I was blown away by its beauty and design. You have gone to so much effort to really think about what would be perfect for these little babies and their families. I had no choice but to part with my precious baby girl, but I’m thankful I did not have to part with the cradle that held her earthly tent. It is something tangible that I will always treasure.”

(Bridget’s Cradle recipient)

How You Can Help

Bridget’s Cradles began as a local charity in Wichita, Kansas. But since its establishment as a nonprofit in 2015, they have donated over 1,250+ cradles to all 50 states in the U.S. You can find a list of their recipient hospitals here.

There are many ways you can help Bridget’s Cradles! Of course, the one you’re probably most interested in is the knitting or crocheting of Cradles.

If you wish to volunteer, Bridget’s Cradles asks that you visit this page and fill out the application form listed here.

Once your volunteer application is processed, you’ll be sent some electronic forms to sign and send back. These forms offer the organizational guidelines and policies. When they receive your forms, you will receive official Bridget’s Cradles patterns and instructions.

If you’re interested in seeing more Cradles, you can visit this page. You’ll see how Cradles are adorned before they are donated, and you’ll also learn how Cradles are used.

Some other ways you can help Bridget’s Cradles include:

  • For those who live in or near Wichita, KS, they can always use help with sewing and administrative tasks.
  • They can always use certain supplies to help them prepare cradles for their homes, like ribbons, lace, and charms. You can find a full listing of the supplies Bridget’s Cradles gladly accepts here. (Please note: they do not need knitting or crochet supplies, as their volunteers happily use their own stashes.)
  • Want to donate financially? Bridget’s Cradles, as a nonprofit organization, can always use your donations. You can visit this page to make a monetary donation.

You can learn more about volunteer opportunities here; for more ways to assist Bridget’s Cradles, you can visit this page.

“We lost our precious twin boys on March 4, 2015. When I saw them in their casket in their cradles, I wept, as they looked so perfect. They are our sweet babies and I miss them so much and want to hold them again so badly. Bridget’s Cradles ministry and offering of love to give our sweet babies something beautiful to be cradled in, will forever live in and warm my heart. I am forever grateful for their support and for them so selflessly helping me and my family.”

(Bridget’s Cradle recipient)

Want to find out more about about Bridget’s Cradles? Head to their website and explore. You can read more stories and thank-yous written by recipient families here.

Few things are more rewarding than helping a bereaved family memorialize a beloved infant. Bridget’s Cradles offers a beautiful way to help you do just that.

Bridget's Cradles
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  1. I do most of my knitting for angel babies. I have read so much about these beautiful ‘Bridget Cradles’ and have tried before to get a copy of the knitting pattern. All my prem and angel baby items are knitted with soft 4 ply or DK wool. I would be quite happy to send the cradles to the USA for you to pass to the hospitals and the grieving parents. I would also like to send them to our local ambulance service. Most of the emergency ambulances in the UK now have a wrap, cradle or angel pocket on them so that if they attend a devastated mum and dad who has lost a tiny baby they can at least place the baby with dignity into something that the parents can them hold their baby.
    With regards

    1. I have also tried to get their crochet patterns for cradles but sadly they don’t / won’t supply to UK.