Like many knitters who take up knitting for NICUs or other charities, my first patterns came from the incredibly generous, talented, and inspiring Bev Qualheim of Bev's Country Cottage. My first teddy bears came from a pattern on her site: Bear Pair Teddy Bear. This pattern was donated by its designer for charity use only. Great for NICU's, police children's programs, Pediatric units, homeless shelters, and other wonderful charities. It's a quick work up and easily adapted in size by changing yarn ply and/or needle size. It can also be dressed up or down depending on the look desired or the age of the babies/children for whom it's being knitted.
Do check with your charity of choice prior to making them up so that you can fit your efforts to their needs. For example, as a novice, I made several bears up for our NICU and then found out that due to infection issues we are not allowed to keep any toys in their cribs/isolettes. But. The bears I made were given to siblings of our NICU babies. It was still a win-win. I just needed to make my efforts better coordinate with our NICU's needs and policies.
A huge THANK YOU to Bev andfor all that she does to promote charity knitting, crocheting, and sewing! http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/
Just a hint I've learned personally: don't forget the children and teenagers of your family! Last year I made these with size 8 needles and chunky yarn for each of the teenaged girls in my family, each in their favorite colors, and I think it was one of their favorite gifts. Since they don't chew buttons off like a toddler, I added googly eyes to their bears, as well as heart buttons on the left chest to remind them that Aunt Gonnie loves them. The bears were a huge hit. I think that's proof that you're never too old to enjoy a cuddly teddy bear.