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22 Free Baby Hat Patterns for All Knitting Levels

Whether you’re a beginning knitter, an expert, or somewhere in between, you’ll find a baby hat you’ll love to knit in this collection of free patterns

“I need knitting patterns for baby items. Cardigans, hats, mitts, booties. PLEASE!!”

This plea came from a Knitting Nuggets Newsletter reader. Not surprising, really. If there’s anything many of us knitters could use, it’s more knitting patterns for babies!

Whether we need them for baby gifts (I feel like at least once a month, someone in my life gives birth!) or for charity projects, we can really never have enough knitting patterns for babies.

Give Me ALL the Baby Knitting Patterns!

In this collection, you’ll get nothing but adorable baby hat knitting patterns.

Baby hats… sigh. They’re so precious. Whenever I knit a baby hat, I feel the wonder of taking part in that baby’s first days or months.

My own children are well past the age of baby hats, so creating a tiny hat is the next best thing to having a tiny baby in my home again.

Some of these patterns will be quite simple. That is, they’re great for beginning knitters or for experienced knitters who want something to relax or watch TV with.

Other patterns will be more complex. These are perfect for those who want to challenge themselves or for knitters who get bored easily.

Easy Baby Hat Knitting Patterns

Basic Baby Hat: Baby hat knitting patterns don’t get any easier than this. It’s a simple stockinette pattern that ends with a little bit of ribbing at the bottom. Sizes are given from preemie to teenager, so you can whip up a bunch of these hats for charity, or make one for nearly any child in your life!

preemie hats for charity
Preemie Hats for Charity

Simple Baby Hat: A hat pattern very much like the preceding, only it makes a roll-brim design rather than a ribbed-brim. Sizes include preemie to toddler. (Please note: you’ll need to click “add to cart” and go through the checkout process, but rest assured that this pattern is entirely free.)

Preemie Hats for Charity: One pattern with five variations, including hearts, diamonds, eyelets, stripes, and ribs. This is a terrific stash-busting pattern as well.

Newborn and Preemie Hats for Charity
Newborn and Preemie Hats for Charity
Photo: Jaime of All Trades

Newborn and Preemie Hats for Charity: These are simpler baby hat knitting patterns with simple stockinette stitches and ribbed brims. What makes this pattern unique is its two variations. A beginning knitter who wants to knit for charity can knit it flat. A more advanced knitter who wants an easy pattern to whip off the needles quickly can knit it in the round.

Little Flower Hat: This is my go-to pattern for baby girls. It results in an adorable flower at the top of a ribbed-brim hat. It knits up very quickly and is much easier to knit than it looks.

Little Boy Blue Ribbed Hat: Just as the name suggests, this hat for babies has ribbing from top to bottom. Though it is made for newborns, the stretchy ribbing means it will continue to fit for months!

striped baby hat
Simple Striped Baby Hat
(My own photo – please don’t blame the designer for the silliness)

Eyelet Baby Hat: This precious little hat features a zig-zag eyelet pattern. It offers sizes from preemie to 12 months.

Simple Striped Baby Hat: Here’s an adorable little pattern that offers two variations, one with a top-knot, and the other without. (Don’t be put off by the Dutch at the top of the blog post. When you scroll down you’ll see English, and the pattern PDF linked there is in English.)

Fayerye by Berroco
Photo: Berroco

Tri-Peak Baby Hat: Here’s a hat pattern that creates adorable little peaks at the top. 

Fayerye: I had to include this pattern because I knitted it once myself, for a friend’s one-month-old baby boy. It was so much fun to knit, and so quick, too! I love the little earflaps and the “stem” at the top. I think this will now be my go-to pattern for baby boys. (The pattern actually includes a little flower design on each of the ear flaps, but you can leave those off if you wish.)

Oisin Hat

Challenging Baby Hat Knitting Patterns

Oisín Hat: Here’s a fun pattern with stranded colorwork that’s a little more interesting (and a little trickier) than just a striped beanie.

Cabled Baby Hats: Both of these gorgeous hat patterns feature cables that extend all the way around and across the hat.

Green Cabled Baby Hat - Kate S of Needle & Spatula
Green Cabled Baby Hat
Photo: Kate S. of Needle and Spatula

Green Cabled Baby Hat: Another pattern with cables all around the hat. These cables resemble swirls of soft-serve ice cream. So cute!

Striped Baby Beanie: The vertical chunks of color make this striped beanie a little bit more challenging than the typical striped baby hat.

Bunnies & Carrots hat
Bunnies & Carrots
Photo: Marji LaFreniere

Bunnies & Carrots: This eye-popping colorwork pattern features a series of white bunnies and orange carrots. Too cute! (Scroll down a little for a link to the PDF pattern.)

Checkered Band Hat: Here’s a hat with an adorable colorwork checkered band. You can make this hat with either a rolled brim or a ribbed grim.

Train Track Baby Hat: Just as the name suggests, this cute pattern features a train track image toward the top. It requires a little colorwork, but the effort is worth it!

Free Smoothfox’s Got Milk? Knit Pattern: You want cute? This hat is ridiculously cute, with its “Got Milk?” message embedded into the hat.

Baby Bows Cap: This hat isn’t terribly difficult, but a little trickier than most. The pattern creates adorable little gathered bows in the body of the hat. You can knit this pattern either flat or in the round.

Grace Beanie: This precious cap pattern features hearts that circle around the hat. You can leave the eyelet designs as is, or for added flair, you can thread contrasting yarn through the eyelets.

snowflake preemie hat
Snowflake Preemie Baby Hat
Photo: Stepheny White

Angel Lace Baby Cap: Here’s a breathtaking pattern that produces tiny lace angels all around the cap.

Snowflake Baby Preemie Hat: I’m really proud to offer this pattern, because the person who designed it is the reason I am a knitter today. It’s a beautiful pattern that features a gorgeous snowflake motif.

Bonus Baby Hats

These two hat patterns are no longer free, but they’re so adorable and such fun to knit that I couldn’t resist including them!

Vintage Pique Rib Hat
Vintage Pique Rib Hat
Photo: Simply Notable

Vintage Pique Rib Hat: This is a pretty, fun pattern that looks more complex than it is. It’s a variation of a simple ribbing that creates an interesting nubby texture.

Swirl Hat
Swirl Hat
Photo: Mandie Harrington

Swirl Hat: This is one of Ravelry’s most popular hat knitting patterns! For good reason, too: it’s easy, adorable, and can be knit for absolutely anyone, from preemie to adult.

Thanks to this collection, you may never run out of beautiful baby hats for the next baby shower invitation you recieve!

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  1. Can’t find the pattern for the pic – blue & white with stem or slight point on top? Name of pattern?

    1. N, that photo didn’t come from one of the patterns — that’s just a photo I found to illustrate the article. However, you could easily make a hat like that with one of these two patterns: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/two-by-two-basic-beanie (just use a regular stockinette edge rather than the ribbing, to make it roll at the brim) or http://www.simplynotable.com/2015/super-stretchy-baby-hat/# (same, and at the top, instead of knitting 20 rounds after decreasing down to 6 stitches, just knit maybe 2 or 3 rounds to create that tip). Hope this helps!