Knit baby sweaters are the perfect way to welcome a newborn. Get out your knitting needles because we’ve gathered 25 of the cutest, coziest free baby sweater knitting patterns around. From simple, classic designs to more modern statement pieces, these free patterns are sure to inspire your next baby knitting project.
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Free Baby Sweater Knitting Patterns
Is there anything cuter than a baby? Perhaps only a baby in a hand-knitted sweater! Whether you’re knitting for your own bundle of joy, or making a gift for a friend’s baby shower, you’re in for a treat with these 25 free baby and toddler sweater patterns.
Warm welcome. Knitting a special piece is a heartfelt way to welcome and celebrate the newest addition to your family.
Cherished keepsake. A homemade sweater is such a special gift for any baby. It’s not just a garment – it’s a gift filled with love. What’s even more beautiful is the thought of these sweaters becoming family heirlooms, passed down and worn again by siblings, cousins, and even grandkids!
Lots of Variety. This list has tons of amazing free baby sweater patterns for you to choose from. You’ll find cute cardigans, pullovers, kimono-style pieces – all sorts of styles for babies, toddlers, and big kids too. From modern to vintage, these patterns will give you lots of inspiration for your next knitting project.
So grab your favorite yarn and needles, and let’s get started!
Can beginners knit a baby sweater?
Absolutely! If you’re a newbie wondering whether you can knit a baby sweater, the answer is a resounding yes. Sure, sweaters are a little more complicated than a scarf or potholder, but there are plenty of beginner-friendly designs out there.
In fact, starting with a baby sweater is a smart move. They’re more manageable than their adult counterparts and won’t take you ages to complete.
Tip: Before jumping in, take a moment to check the pattern’s skill level and familiarize yourself with any techniques listed. And if you’re just getting started, check out our How to Knit Guide.
Ready to knit your first sweater? We recommned giving one of these easy, beginner baby sweater knitting patterns a try:
When crocheting for babies, it’s important to choose the right yarn. When shopping, look for baby-friendly yarn that’s soft, hypoallergenic, and durable. And, since babies tend to make messes, choosing a machine-washable and dryable yarn is a huge time-saver.
Here’s a tip: If you’re not sure whether your yarn is soft enough for a baby, try rubbing it against your cheek or neck. If it feels comfy to you, it’ll likely feel the same for the baby.
This top-down cardigan features upper buttons and an open bottom half to show off that adorable baby belly. It’s available in four different sizes and would make a precious baby gift for either a girl or boy baby. Choose your favorite buttons to add character to this tiny sweater.
This bi-colored sweater is inspired by delicious and delicate macaroons. It’s knit in two sides using the simple garter stitch. This quick pattern would be an excellent first sweater pattern for beginners.
This top-down sweater is so cute in either a solid color or a self-striping yarn. It’s available in a whole range of sizes, from newborn to 4-6 years. For anyone with a clan of littles, this pattern would be such a cute way to make matching outfits for all of your kids!
This easy sweater is knit with the garter stitch and requires minimal sewing and shaping to make. This short-sleeved design would be adorable for dressing your little one on those breezy spring days. Featuring a straight neckline and practical buttons, you can’t go wrong with this little sweater!
This raglan-style cardigan is available in six different sizes, from 0-3 months up to child size 4. It’s worked top down on double-pointed needles, with the sleeves being knit in the round. Other techniques you’ll need to know for this pattern include the long-tail cast on, garter stitch, stockinette stitch, increasing and decreasing, and yarn overs.
This soft and cozy sweater features a classic design that every baby needs! This basic piece would make an adorable gift for a baby shower or to bring to a new little one. Be sure to size your sweater so that it fits the baby in the chillier months!
This garter stitch sweater is available in newborn, 1-3 months, and 3-6 months. This simple pattern features a front and back section with attached sleeves. This cute wraparound design could be customized for a boy or girl, or kept neutral to pass on down through the family.
Here’s a classic, striped knit sweater that’s best for expert knitters. It features ribbed sleeves, neckline, and hem for a snug fit on your little one. This sweater is available in five sizes, from 0-6 months to 3 years.
Knit with sport-weight yarn, this lightweight sweater is open at the front with short sleeves. This piece would be perfect for layering over a shirt or dress. Available in four sizes, you’ll find yourself grabbing this basic piece out of your child’s closet over and over!
This newborn baby sweater knitting pattern has been perfectly designed for snuggling new little ones! Its open-front design is ideal for keeping baby’s arms and back warm while you get some skin-to-skin snuggles. If you love this pattern for your newborn, check out the included links for the same pattern for bigger kids (and mamas, too!).
This matching sweater and hat would make the cutest gift set for a new little one that you know. It’s available in four sizes, from 6 months to 24 months. This pattern is a good choice for experienced beginners.
This short-sleeve cardigan is available in both 0-3 months and 3-6 months. Check out the inspiration photos for lots of ideas about how to mix and match colors to make your favorite striped pattern. This cardigan would make a great stash buster.
This super cozy sweater features a hood and pockets and is great for snuggling up in on a fall day! Dress your little one in this warm, button up sweater for a trip to the park or the apple orchard. It’s available in four sizes, from 6 months to 24 months.
This tiny cardigan is available in three sizes, with the smallest one fitting preemies (5lbs or less). It could also be used as a knitted doll sweater. This crossover pattern is easy to make and doesn’t require very much shaping or seaming.
This cardigan uses the button stitch (instructions within the pattern) to create its fun, textured fabric. It’s worked from the top down and is designed to fit a baby 0-6 months. This practical, button-up sweater would be so cute for a baby girl or baby boy.
This top-down sweater features offset buttons and a textured pattern. With this cardigan, you can choose to have it sit at the waist or keep knitting to create a longer sweater. It’s available in sizes 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months, and 12-18 months.
This cozy pattern is created with seamless raglans and features a textured lower half. The matching pom pom hat is knit in the round, and this duo makes the perfect gift set! Knit this thoughtful piece for a girl or boy baby as a heartfelt gift.
This top-down sweater can be knit with either long or short sleeves. The pattern is available in four sizes, from 0-3 months through 12-18 months. It features side buttons and is an adorable way to keep your sweet baby snug and cozy!
This feminine sweater features a textured, ruffled neckline that can be omitted if you choose to make this pattern for a little boy. You can also add the textured pattern near the hem and around the wrists if you choose. This button-up sweater would be adorable for spring!
This sharp sweater features a button front, shawl collar, and elbow patches for your intelligent little one! This pattern is geared toward toddlers and children, and is available in sizes 1, 4, 6, 8, and 10. Knit this piece to get your child’s closet ready for the back-to-school season!
This delicate cardigan is knitted back and forth from the bottom up. This pattern is a classic staple that you can always grab to throw over your little one’s dress or shirt on chilly days. It’s available in 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, and 9-12 months.
This simple sweater with raglan sleeves is worked using the stocking stitch. It’s available in four sizes, and can be knitted for babies from newborn to 12 months. Use the chart to add a sweet rabbit with intarsia crochet, go for stripes, or keep it plain and simple!
This old-fashioned sweater is certainly one of a kind and sure to be passed down through the family generations. Its yoke features tiny sheep that are demonstrated with a chart. The variety of details in this pattern makes this an excellent option for intermediate to advanced knitters.
Here are some of our best tips for knitting baby sweaters.
Consider the season
Babies grow so fast – often changing clothing size every three months during their first year! So, when you’re deciding what size sweater to make, think ahead. Choose a size that will fit during the colder months – not necessarily the size they are right now.
Use body measurements for the best fit.
If the baby is already born and you have the ability to take measurements, do! Measurements are the best way to pick the size that truly fits the best.
Of course, if this isn’t possible, you can always choose a size based on age range (newborn, 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, and 9-12 months). Or, go a little bigger if you’re not sure. They’ll grow into it soon enough.
Make a gauge swatch.
We all knit a tad differently, and making a gauge swatch helps you see if your tension matches the pattern gauge. If it does, your sweater will turn out the correct size and fit as intended. If it doesn’t match, you can adjust your needle size up or down accordingly.
Block your sweater
After you’re finished knitting, block your sweater to give it the right shape. To block your sweater, dampen the fabric, pin it in place, and let it dry.
Include care instructions
If you’re giving your sweater as a gift, be sure to include any special care instructions to help your gift last as long as possible!
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Sarah Stearns has helped millions of makers find their next craft project with free patterns and step-by-step tutorials on her blog, sarahmaker.com. Read more.
With over a decade of experience in knitting and crochet, she has been featured in prominent publications like The New York Times, Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, and Lifehacker.