When it comes to making things for new moms and their babies, we nearly always prefer making things by hand. Sure, there are plenty of absolutely stunning things you can purchase that will be useful, thoughtful, and greatly appreciated, but there’s just something a little extra magical when you give a handmade gift that you created all by yourself from scratch. We especially like making things by hand when we can use our very favourite of our DIY and crafting skills: knitting!
So, what’s our favourite thing to knit for newborns, you ask? We just can’t resist making everyone adorable little hats because they come in so many different styles, themes, colours, and patterns. Just in case you’re also in search of exciting newborn hat patterns to give as gifts, here’s a list of 15 of our favourite designs that we’ve actually knit and given as gifts in real life!
1. Little pumpkin hat
Are you looking for a simple design that will be quick and easy for you to knit but still have lots of character and an adorable design? We find that knitting for babies is an awesome opportunity to knit novelty shaped and styled hats that the older people in our lives wouldn’t wear, so things like this adorable little pumpkin hat are the perfect gift that we actually enjoy making. This pattern from Oma Socks is a simple stockinette design with a little stem that’s just as easy to make as the rest, letting you do it quickly.
2. Simple classic newborn cap
Are you looking for a simple hat that you can knit many of in one go because, rather than giving them as gifts to people you know, you actually plan on donating them to your local hospital for babies to wear in the NICU? Then you’re going to need a hat pattern that’s basic in terms of construction but still cute in whatever little bit of detail it does have! That’s why we used this adorable (and free) newborn toque pattern from The Blattcave! Two easy rows of garter stitch contrast ever so slightly with the stockinette body of the hat to make an easy little project that you’ll have done in no time at all.
3. Little criss-cross hat
Do you love the idea of a simple little toque with just a few variances in the stitching but you’d like something just ever so slightly more intricate than the one we just showed you above? Then check out this adorable little knitted toque that features a criss-crossing pattern. Mel’s Natty Knits shows you precisely where to knit and where to pearl to create a bubbly design above some easy, comfortable ribbing.
4. Single knotted newborn hat
Sometimes keeping the body of a newborn’s hat very simple and smooth is the best plan because that makes them easier to knit and babies grow out of their hat so fast, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add just a touch of flare near the top when you’re all finished actually constructing the hat! We love the way Knit Kingdom added a small knitted tassel and knitted it once, making it look like the kind of hat a little garden sprite might wear.
5. Double knotted newborn hat
Do you love the idea we just showed you above, but you’re still kind of thinking about the idea of making funny styled hats for babies because they look so adorable when the hat is just slightly silly? In that case, try following All Free Knitting‘s lead and adding two little knitted tassels instead of just one! We love making this style of hat for new babies because when you knot the strings, they look like adorable little bunny ears.
6. Swirling newborn beanie
Just in case you’re still looking for a simple hat design but you’d like something a little less busy looking than the criss-crossed design we showed you above, here’s a pattern that helps you create a slight swirl close to the top with a complementing wave near the brim. The overall effect reminds us of a perfectly swirled ice cream cone! See how it’s stitched in more detail on Heaven to Seven.
7. Very Violet hat
Perhaps you’ve always preferred to keep the basic construction of the hats you make very basic because you like the simple, uniform look of stockinette stitch, but you still like to embellish your baby projects in some way since they’re such a great opportunity to make cute things that you wouldn’t normally make for yourself? In that case, adding things like knitted flower appliques after the fact is the best idea for you! Fibre Flux guides you through the process of both knitting a little spiralled blossom and also attaching it just above the ribbed brim so it doesn’t get in Baby’s eyes.
8. Bumpy baby bonnet
Perhaps you’re more of an experienced knitter and you’d like to make Baby something a little more special in design and style? We quite like knitting old fashioned style toques because they aren’t often found in stores anymore, so the piece you create is truly unique and they’re often kept as family heirlooms that might be passed down in the future. Our favourite bonnet recipe is this one from Sew in Love that’s made from a slightly altered seed stitch pattern that creates an almost bubbly effect when it’s all finished. Sew a button on the strap and voila!
9. Strawberries and cream hat
Did you love the very first idea we showed you of knitting an adorable little hat with a “stem” on the top that made it look like a pumpkin, but you’re not sure you want to make it orange and green because those just aren’t your favourite colours? Perhaps you’d rather choose a different combination because the pumpkin idea reminds you too much of fall and the baby will be born in a different season, but you still like the idea of adding a cuff and stem. In that case, try making this adorable pattern from Mel’s Natty Knits instead! It’s almost the same in construction but with a more pronounced rolling cuff and they make lots of different colour suggestions to help you choose an alternative combination you really like.
10. Textured hat with a top curl
Are you feeling torn between the adorable textured patterns we’ve shown you so far and the stemmed hats with cute little embellishments coming from the top? Well, who said you have to choose between the two? Instead, try making a hat that has some simple knit and purl stitching detail and a cute stem on top, just like this one from Via’s Patterns! The part of this pattern that we really like best is the fact that this little stem is knit so it curls around itself rather than needing to be tied in a knot.
11. Swung stitches beanies
If you’ve never worked with swing stitches before than we have news for you! Besides being way too fun to keeping missing out on, they’re actually a surprisingly simple technique to learn and you can master them at just about any skill level as long as you know how to knit and purl! We love the way The Blattcave used swing stitches to create a delicate border around the brim of an otherwise simple newborn’s hat to give it just a little bit of detail.
12. Little polka dot beanie
Do you love the idea of adding just a little bit of detail to your baby hat but your best knitting skills actually lie in colour work rather than intricate stitching patterns? In that case, perhaps you’ve prefer creating this dual coloured polka dot hat from Smooth Fox Lover instead! This project is quick and easy which makes it fun for colour work lovers of any skill level, but it’s also basic enough to understand that it doubles as a great learning piece if it’s your first time trying your hand at creating shapes with two differently coloured yarns.
13. Triple rolled brim at a little flower
Sometimes the best hats we’ve ever knit are stitched quite simply but have some slight variance in their construction that keeps them from being too plain. This lovely little three cuffed hat from Craftsy is the perfect example of what we mean! The fabric of the hat itself is created in simple stockinette with a few purl rows to make the ridges, but the pattern also shows you how to taper and decrease in certain spots to get that pinched effect. We love the way they covered that spot with a beaded flower!
14. Lace brim with a bow
Are you still very much into the idea of knitting something a lot more intricate because you have the time and skill and you’d really prefer to make something rather unique if you’re going to go to the lengths of gifting something handmade? In that case, we suggest this adorably feminine bow clad toque from Cotton Pickings! Besides having extra style thanks to the lovely big bow on the side, we’re basically obsessed with how this hat achieves an almost vintage look thanks to the way the lace weaves around at the brim, especially in old fashioned colours like the ones in the photo. We still think, though, that this design would be completely adorable in just about any colour combination you can think of!
15. Pea pod and matching hat
Are you still thinking about how adorable the classic stem hat design is for a newborn baby and you’re rather into the idea of creating a themed or novelty version as well, but neither the pumpkin nor the strawberries and cream design quite hold your full attention? In that case, here’s another heartwarming food themed pattern for your consideration! The Creative Imperative shows you how to make the simple hat with the rolled cuff and stemmed top but they suggest you do so in a deep green because on top of giving you hat instructions, they also teach you how to knit yourself a baby body snuggly that, in combination with your finished stem hat, looks just like a pod of peas. Snuggle Baby warmly inside and voila! Cute peas in a cozy handmade pod.