Knitting for Charity: 5 Free Baby Hospital Hat Knitting Patterns!

Knitted hospital hats for newborns are great ways to give back to the community. Many hospitals, birthing clinics, and charities are always looking for kind-hearted knitters like you to create cute, warm hats for little ones in need.

Luckily, knitting for charity is quite easy! All you need is a few free baby hospital hat knitting patterns and some baby skin-friendly yarns!

Knitting for charity: Free baby hospital hat knitting patterns

Delicate babies need help to stay cozy even in warm rooms. Adorable little beanies can help a great deal with that! Today we’re going to talk about hat patterns that are specifically designed to work with the different requirements of charity knitting. Let’s make a few cute ones, shall we?

Don’t worry, we’ve added all the information you need to help keep little noggins safe and warm. Keep on reading!

Best Yarn Fibers for Sensitive Baby Skin

Babies have sensitive skin. Certain yarn fibers can cause allergies or irritation and we want to avoid that at all costs. Before you start buying yarn for your baby hospital hat knitting patterns, I’m here to give you a quick list of the best fibers for newborns!

Image of yarn used for in knitting for charity!

1. Cotton Yarn/ Cotton Blend Yarn for Baby Knitting Projects

Cotton yarn is gentle and safe for newborn baby’s skin.

Cotton yarn pros: It’s light, breathable, and has lower chances of pilling which makes it the perfect choice for warmer weather knits! Cotton yarns can also be machine washed which is extremely important when it comes to anything made for a baby.

Cotton yarn cons: 100% cotton can shrink if you chuck it in the dryer. It might also stretch from frequent use. 

One way to get the best of cotton fibers and avoid the cons is to choose cotton blends! By combining cotton with other fibers you can get a yarn that’s more durable and has better elasticity!

Trusted cotton yarn brands:

2. Bamboo Yarn for Baby Knits

Bamboo yarns are super soft, silky, and are a great choice for baby knits! We especially love bamboo blended with another yarn. A popular choice is a bamboo/cotton fiber blend which gives you the strength from cotton and the softness from bamboo.

Bamboo Yarn Pros: Soft, warm, lightweight, and breathable, bamboo yarns are another favorite for those making baby hospital hat knitting patterns. It is also considered hypoallergenic. Perfect for newborn bundles of joy!

Bamboo Yarn Cons: That said, bamboo yarn isn’t very elastic so we recommend finding a yarn that blends bamboo with another plant fiber.

Trusted bamboo yarn brands:

3. Merino Wool Yarn for Baby Projects

Some babies can be sensitive to animal fibers so this recommendation comes with that complication in mind. If you know the baby you’re knitting for is ok with animal fibers then go for Merino wool!

Merino Wool Pros: Merino wool is gentle, warm, and the softest of all the wool fibers. Wool naturally holds heat next to skin, perfect for chilly rooms and climates. It’s also breathable too!

Merino Wool Cons: Regular Merino wool cannot be machine washed. However! You can get merino yarns labeled as ‘superwash’ which means it’s been treated to resist felting and can be machine-washed safely.

Trusted Merino wool yarn brands:

4. “Can’t I just use acrylic yarn?”

Yes, you can! There are some acrylic yarn brands that cater to babies and they’re great to work with. But acrylic yarn isn’t very environmentally friendly and is made using a lot of chemicals that might not be best for a brand new baby. Baby skin might also have adverse reactions to acrylic yarn as they tend to be on the “scratchier” side. So I highly suggest you stick with more natural fibers like cotton and bamboo!

Organizations Looking for Cozy Baby Hats

So you want to donate a few knitted baby hats. Where do you start? Which organizations are accepting these types of donations? I have all the answers! Let’s take a look at some of the most popular organizations that take knitting hat donations for newborn babies!

Disclaimer: This article contains links to external unaffiliated websites.

1. Madhatter Knits

Madhatter knits homepage
© madhatterknits.org

Madhatter Knits is an organization determined to help critically ill infants and their families by providing these little bundles of joy warm, knitted clothing made with love! Their website has a free pattern for a loom knit preemie beanie. A perfect chance for loom knitters of all skill levels to participate in!

They are a global community focused on reaching as many hearts-in-need as they can. Ready to join the movement?

Start knitting for charity! >

Recommended Patterns:

2. Knots of Love

Knots of Love website homepage
© knotsoflove.org

Knots of Love focuses on helping individuals going through chemotherapy and babies needing NICU incubation. They accept hand-knitted beanies and blankets to show and express support to those in need!

They have crochet and knitting patterns for sale in their shop. 100% of the proceeds from pattern sales are used to create more hats and blankets for patients going through chemo and babies confined in the NICU.

Start knitting for charity! >

Recommended Patterns:

3. Warm Up America

Warm Up America website homepage
© warmupamerica.org

Founded in 1991 by Evie Rosen, Warm Up America is an organization motivated to train volunteers to knit and crochet warm items for people in need. You can donate full knitted or crocheted blankets or donate smaller 7″ x 9″ squares of any color as long as they are knitted or crocheted. Don’t forget to weave in the yarn ends!

They also accept other warm items such as mittens, hats, and scarves. Ready to warm the hearts of the needy?

Start knitting for charity! >

4. Knitting for Charity

Knitting for charity website homepage
© knittingforcharity.com

Work with others who love reaching out a helping hand! Knitting for Charity encourages crafty knitters like you to help make the world a better place with your knitted masterpieces. Do you have tons of projects you want to try out but nowhere to put them? Well, there are plenty of people who will LOVE your knitted goodies all over the country!

Start knitting for charity! >

Recommended Patterns:

Knitting for Charity: 5 Free Baby Hospital Hat Knitting Patterns!

Now that you know where to donate your knitted baby hats and what yarn fibers to use, let’s have a look at the top 5 best baby hospital hat knitting patterns. Want to see even more baby knitting hats? We’ve got a whole pattern round up for you too!

Disclaimer: This article contains links to external unaffiliated websites.

Stay Warm Baby Hat
© Yarnspirations Design Studio

1. Stay Warm Baby Hat

By: Yarnspirations Design Studio


SIZE: Preemie – 24 months

Autumn and winter can be particularly chilly months for newborns. Keep your little one warm and cozy with this adorable baby hat knitting pattern!

This easy pattern uses simple ribbed stitches to give them extra stretchiness for a snug fit.

Get the pattern >

Preemie Hat (Knit)
© Bernat

2. Preemie Hat (Knit)

By: Bernat Design Studio


SIZE: Preemie

Our beloved little preemies need a bit more help in keeping their noggins warm.

This Preemie Hat pattern by Bernat Design Studio can surely help with that! This hat is knit with simple stockinette stitches which makes it fast. Rather than decreases at the top to finish the hat, this pattern uses a quick folded seam.

PS: this pattern has a crochet option too!

Get the pattern >

Snow Bunny Pom Hat
© melodysmakings

3. Snow Bunny Pom Hat

By: Melody Rogers

YARN: Super Bulky

SIZE: Preemie – 10 years old

Even hats designed to be super warm can also be over-the-top adorable too!

This Snow Bunny Pom Hat has huge pompoms at the top, perfect for your newest little “mini me”. Making pompoms is even easier if you have a pom pom maker!

See the pattern >

IONA Baby Hat
© marianna mel

4. IONA Baby Hat

By: marianna mel


SIZE: Preemie – 9 Months

This IONA Baby Hat combines cables with basic knit stitches to create preciously intricate baby caps! Even though the stitch pattern is a little more complicated than the simpler designs above, it’s still a great beginner-friendly knitting pattern. It’s also a great time to practice simple cable patterns!

Get the pattern >

NOAH Baby Hat
© marianna mel

5. NOAH Baby Hat

By: marianna mel


SIZE: Preemie – 3 Months

Texture is always a nice little detail to add to your baby’s beanie. The NOAH Baby Hat pattern adds a few rows of purl stitches that serve as interesting stripes without making adding anything complicated to this quick project.

Get the pattern >

Giving Back to the Community by Knitting for Charity

Big changes happen when people cooperate and work on the same goal. Hundreds of premature babies are born every year. Something seemingly as small as knitting a beanie can increase a NICU baby’s chances at life. It keeps them warm, helping their little bodies regulate their temperatures — which is a CRUCIAL part of their survival!

Looking for more free knitting and crochet patterns perfect to make and donate? Check these out:

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