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25+ of the Cutest Free Knit Baby Hat Patterns

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There’s nothing quite as precious as a handmade knit hat on a baby’s head. Knitting a hat for your little one or a pregnant friend is a super sweet way to show your love. Enjoy this roundup of my favorite free patterns for easy, beginner-friendly baby hats.

photo collage of a child wearing a blue knit hat, a child wearing a red striped knit hat with outdoor background, a child wearing a blue knit hat, and four knit hats with pom poms. against dark background. Text overlay reads, "25+ Free Baby Hat Knitting Patterns"

Knit Baby Hat Patterns

As an expectant mom, I was obsessed with finding the perfect knit hat pattern for my new baby. There’s just something so cute about a cozy, knit cap on a little head. 

Knitting baby hats will always be one of my favorite projects. Not only are they adorable, but hats are so useful for keeping babies warm. When can you make something both practical and sentimental? Now, that’s a good project!

Luckily, there are tons of free knitting patterns out there for knit baby hats. In this post, I’ll share my top tips for choosing the ideal yarn, along with a roundup of my favorite free knitting patterns.

And this list isn’t totally exclusive to babies, either. In many of the patterns, you’ll also find sizes for making matching hats for children and adults as well! Whether you’re an experienced knitter or just learning, you can find a design you’ll love. Have fun picking a pattern!

Can beginners knit a baby hat?

Yes! If you’re new to knitting, the key is to choose a beginner-friendly pattern. Basic skills like casting on, binding off, knit/purl stitches, ribbing, and decreases are what you’ll need to whip up a cute hat.

Within this list, you’ll find designs that range in skill level from beginner to intermediate. A few of the easiest patterns include Troll (#12) and Mount Ambler (#17). 

Supplies You’ll Need

Here are some supplies you’ll need to make your baby hat. Read through your pattern thoroughly to see if it requires any extra supplies.

What yarn is best for knitting baby hats?

For knitting baby hats, it’s essential to choose a yarn that’s soft and won’t irritate their sensitive skin. Other characteristics to look for include washability, breathability, and durability.

Washable. Superwash yarns or acrylic-wool blends are easy to care for. You can just toss these yarns in the washing machine – no handwashing required!

Breathable. Lightweight cottons or cotton blends are great for summer hats.

Acrylic yarn. While acrylic yarns are budget-friendly, they can also be pretty scratchy. So, if you’re going to go with this option, be sure to feel it yourself to make sure it’s soft enough for baby’s skin.

Popular Choices. Some of my favorite baby hat yarns include Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice, Lion Brand Baby Soft, Lion Brand Touch of Alpaca, and Lion Brand Coboo.

For each of the patterns listed, I’ve included the specific yarn used so you can get started on your knitting right away.

Techniques to Know for Knit Baby Hat Patterns

Read through your pattern and practice any new techniques before getting started. Techniques and stitches you might need to know for making your baby hat include:

25+ Free Knit Baby Hat Patterns

Take a look at these free knit baby hat patterns for your next work in progress. Happy knitting!

Tips and Tricks for Knit Baby Hat Patterns

Choose the right yarn.

When it comes to choosing yarn, the two most important factors are softness and washability. Look for fibers like cotton, merino wool, alpaca, and bamboo blends that are breathable and won’t irritate baby’s sensitive skin. (Remember – babies can’t necessarily pull a hat off if it’s too scratchy or hot.)

And, of course, washability is important, too – we all know how messy babies can be! Superwash and blended yarns are a must for easy care. Some popular choices include Lion Brand Baby Soft, Lion Brand Touch of Alpaca, and Lion Brand Coboo. Or check out the suggested yarn choices for each pattern below!

Measure if you can! 

If possible, measure baby’s head before getting started. That way, you can choose a size that will fit.

If you’re not able to measure – or you’re between two sizes – I suggest going for the larger one. It’s okay if your hat turns out a bit big. Babies grow so very quickly!

Gauge matters

I totally understand wanting to jump right into your project, but don’t skip making a gauge swatch! Even though it feels tedious, it is really important to get the right fit. A little error could mean your hat doesn’t fit the baby at all. Let’s not let that happen!

More Knitting Ideas

If you like to knit, you may be interested in these related posts.

photo collage of a child wearing a blue knit hat, a child wearing a red striped knit hat with outdoor background, a child wearing a blue knit hat, and four knit hats with pom poms. against dark background. Text overlay reads, "25+ Free Baby Hat Knitting Patterns"

What’s Next?

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