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27 Free Knitting Patterns for Premature Babies

Use these adorable, tiny knitting patterns to welcome an early baby into the world!

By: Kristina Kittelson, Editor, AllFreeKnitting.com
Updated May 16, 2018
Free Knitting Patterns for Premature Babies

If a precious baby in your life has arrived a little early, mama might have a lot of things on her mind. She might be wondering what kinds of special care her little one will need, how many new bills she'll have to take care of, and most importantly, how healthy her little one is. Maybe you're the mother and, right now, it feels like your knitting needles are the only tools that can help you through this. These free knitting patterns for premature babies should help bring both mommy and the little one some comfort.

The birth of a child should be a cause for excitement no matter what the circumstances, so it's time to treat it like one! There's always going to be plenty to stress about, but there's so much more to celebrate. In this case, we're lucky to live in a day and age where free knitting patterns for tiny babies are abounds, and they're cuter than ever. From free preemie hat patterns to preemie baby booties, there's so much you can do to keep your hands and needles busy as the little one adjusts to his or her bright, new world.

The best part about these patterns is that you can make premature baby sets out of them; any one of these hats, sweaters, booties and blankets can be mixed-and-matched to create the most adorable little gift set, which will be a welcome happiness for a stressed mom in the first few weeks of her preemie's life. Click around and find your favorites, or patterns that best match the nursery, to make the perfect premature baby sets.

Preemie Caps

My favorite free patterns for premature babies are easily the hats. They're just so tiny and cute, and they're done in no time flat! These free preemie hat patterns are the best way to distract yourself for a little while or comfort a stressing mother. Since they're all so quick, you could easily knit up a bunch of them in just a couple of nights to give away to a new mom, or even charity.

  • Steelers-Inspired Knit Baby Hat

    This one's for the Steelers fans! This baby hat is specifically designed as a slightly oversized preemie hat, so it will grow with the little one as he or she grows older. Fathers especially will love this preemie hat!

  • Hummingbird Hat

    If you tell me you've seen a cuter little baby hat, you're lying. The simple Hummingbird Hat is perfect for donating to Knots of Love, or even just giving away to a mother of a little preemie. Knit her a matching hat for the fun of it!

  • Basic Preemie Hat

    This is a perfect no-frills preemie hat that will suit any premature baby sets. You can whip these up in no time, so it's worth it to make a few in multiple colors to match any of the little one's outfits. This pattern is great for a knitting mother looking for a way to keep her mind busy!

  • Wild Flower Preemie Hat

    If you're as much of a seed stitch junkie as I am, this baby hat is for you. The colors in the variegated yarn are shown beautifully through the seed stitch pattern, and the bright colors will be a great source of joy for both the preemie baby and the mama.

  • Baby Bear Newborn or Preemie Hat

    Mama bear will love this one! There is little that's cuter in this world than baby hats that look like animals (except maybe baby hats that look like food). If the preemie's mama is more of a polar bear or black bear fan, you can even knit this simple hat in white or black.

  • Basic Preemie Baby Hat

    This basic preemie hat is perfect for customization. Since the end result is so simple, we love this hat as a canvas for buttons or embroidery. Imagine embroidering the little one's name or initials on this adorable hat! You can even leave it plan for a sleek, minimalist look.

  • Shetland Baby Knit Hat

    If you're in the dead of winter and want to make sure the baby is extra warm and cozy, this baby hat is perfect for the preemie in your life. I actually designed this hat, and made a size for a regular newborn, as well, so you can knit it in two sizes for when the baby gets bigger!

Preemie Sweater Patterns

While we often think of sweaters as some of the most laborious knitting patterns, knit baby sweaters are considerably quicker and easier, and preemie sweaters even moreso! While they do typically use finer yarn than adult sweaters, they're still so much simpler and quicker to knit up. Since you can knit at least a couple of sweaters a week, they're a great option for donation to your local charity organization.

  • Adorable Easy Knit Baby Sweater

    Baby sweaters don't have to be just one color or stitch pattern to be quick and easy! These baby sweaters, available in preemie sizes as well as other baby sizes, have clean and uncomplicated designs that still help them stand out from the bunch.

  • Contrast Trim Preemie Baby Cardigan

    Perhaps the preemie's birthday is smack dab in the middle of the spring or summer. If that's the case, this Contrast Trim Preemie Baby Cardigan is an absolute must-make, with its lightweight construction and short sleeves. The two-color design is perfect for adding to a set!

  • Preemie Baby Cardigans

    Two more great warm weather options are these Preemie Baby Cardigans. Since the design is so simple, they can be knit for either boys or girls, and knit in blue or pink, respectively. We also love these sweaters knit in white for a more gender-neutral appeal.

  • Little Surprise Knit Sweater Pattern

    The preemie in your life was a little surprise, and what a happy one! That makes this cardigan just perfect for him or her. Since there are only two buttons at the top of this cardigan, it makes for quick dressing and undressing, which a busy mom is sure to appreciate.

  • Cute and Cozy Preemie Cardigan

    This delicate little premature baby cardigan is ideal for little ladies, especially during the springtime. The precious little rose brooch will look just lovely on the baby when the flowers bloom in the spring. This sweater is sure to be one that the mom will keep as a treasured heirloom throughout the years.

Premature Baby Socks

Okay, I lied. Preemie baby booties are my favorite. Maybe they're all my favorite. It's hard to believe that a person's feet were once this little and cute, but it's true! Like hats, these baby booties are incredibly versatile and can be knit up in just about any color or style to fit your ideal premature baby sets. If you want to go the extra mile, knit the mom a matching pair of socks to commemorate the occasion!

  • Buttons and Bows Baby Booties Pattern

    Maybe you need to knit those baby booties fast for the quickly-arrived kiddo, but that doesn't mean they have to be boring! This Buttons and Bows Baby Booties Pattern encourages embellishments and contrast trims that both baby and his or her parents will adore.

  • Ribbon Baby Booties

    We love these baby booties for both on-time newborns and premature babies, so luckily, it's available in both sizes! For an especially thoughtful gift, you can knit the baby a pair in both sizes so he or she can continue to look adorable through their growth.

  • Knockoff Baby Uggs

    If mama loves her uggs, she'll really get a kick out of these baby booties! You can even knit them in the same color as her favorite pair so the two can match. Since this pattern is so true to the original boot, you can add it to any little newborn outfit to look more stylish.

  • Tiny Striped Moccasins

    If you love the look of moccasins but haven't had any luck finding any that fit a premature baby, this is your pattern! You can include the striped design or leave it out, but either way, this precious pattern is a great set of baby booties for the little one.

  • Baby Mary Janes

    Mary Janes are especially for the little ladies, and boy, will she look cute with them. These simple-to-knit booties will give the baby the adorable schoolgirl look that just looks lovely on girls of all ages.

Preemie Blankets

The best part about baby blankets is that you can really use whatever pattern you want for the little one and it will fit perfectly. Blankets are perfect and cozy even if they are a bit too big, and the patterns are usually easy enough to alter by knitting fewer repeats to make them the correct size. I think any of our baby blanket patterns will be perfect for a preemie, but these are some of my favorites.

  • One Hour Knit Stroller Blanket

    Knit on enormous needles and jumbo yarn, you can literally whip this blanket up in one hour! While it's perfect for laying over the baby in a stroller, its plush design is also great for laying a premature baby on to keep him or her cozy while they're getting changed or checked up on.

  • Waterfall Baby Blanket

    I can't get over the design of this baby blanket. The subtle cabling and variegation of the yarn are just so classic, and the lightweight design of this baby blanket is great for not overheating a premature baby or being too heavy for them.

  • Melika Baby Blanket

    Babies love texture because their little fingers are always searching and touching to learn about the world around them! That makes the lovely, texutred Melika Baby Blanket perfect for babies of any size and age. We love the minty color as a gender-neutral color!

  • Elephant Lovie Blanket

    If you're worried about knitting a baby blanket too big or heavy for a premature baby, a lovie is a perfect option. Not only does the bit of blanket help keep baby warm, but the precious elephant will be his or her favorite new toy throughout their entire childhood.

  • Strawberry Ferry Baby Blanket

    This is the perfect blanket to grow with the premature baby. While they may be tiny now, they won't always be that way! That is why bigger, yet lightweight blankets are sometimes better—they won't be too cloying for the little one, but they won't be something they have to throw away in a few months when they're bigger.

  • Sunshine Day Baby Throw

    This baby blanket is really the perfect size for both a premature baby and an on-time newborn. For a preemie, this will be a nice, big, roomy blanket, which will still be a good size for swaddling when he or she gets bigger. The bright and cheery colors are perfect for the little one!

Premature Baby Sets

If you can't be bothered with putting together a set for yourself and want to make sure that all of the free knitting patterns for premature babies are perfectly coordinated, this is the list for you. These sets were curated just for premature babies and are destined to look adorable on the new arrival.

  • Premature Baby Sets

    For your choice in traditional colors for either a boy or a girl, check out these Precious Premature Baby Sets! These are especially adorable for twins, and the mother will be delighted as the adorable textured borders.

  • Lace Knit Premature Baby Set

    For a more delicate sort of baby set, you might prefer this Lace Knit Premature Baby Set. The delicate little bows and eyelet designs are especially cute for premature baby girls, but we think it would look precious on a boy, too.

  • Preemie Cardi and Matching Hat

    The springtime is a strange season because babies will be overheated by too much coverage, but cold in too little. Premature babies are especially susceptible to these kinds of sensitivities. We love the idea of matching a short-sleeved cardigan with a hat to help keep baby at the ideal temperature in the spring!

  • Just Ducky Hat & Socks

    Quack quack! If you're rolling your eyes at all of these classic baby sets and want to bring some cheer and laughter into the parents' lives, this spectacular premature baby set is just what you're looking for. You can even switch out some of the colors to look more like a goose than a duck!

Are you knitting premature baby sets for a new loved one or for charity?

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I've knitted many hats for preemies, and it's so rewarding. Love having even more options to choose from now!

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