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Just found this on Pinterest, very useful as our knitting group is about to embark on knitting for our local premature baby unit. Thank you for the tips most helpful.


Thank you for this information. Some of it I was aware of, some not. Good to know all of this.

Leanna Rogers

My Twins were NICU babies for 5 weeks. Thank you for posting this. As part of my give back I am hoping to learn these patterns in order to make some hats four local NICU's.

Tabetha Schott

I crochet, but your info is great for me just as well. I recently made hats, booties and thumbless mittens for the hospital my youngest son goes to for growth hormone treatment. He spent time in a NICU and I wanted to do something for others as well. I used the soft caron yarn in light and dark blue, orange, red, yellow, and a rose pink. Thank you for sharing your info.

carol mauriello

On October 4th,2013 -My BFF's daughter just gave birth to Identical boy triplets-1 lb each- I'm a spinner,I'm happy to know I can use alpaca.Thank you for this information.Keep these babies in your thoughts.


Thanks for these tips. I have been torn about the washing vs softness issue so have not taken any of my hats to the NICU yet. Bamboo and alpaca it is! I find most cotton and acrylic to be not so soft. And I just made some bright yellow hats and wool hats. Doll clothes anyone?


Thanks for all the wonderful feedback! I'm happy to be able to guide everyone a little--I know I felt lost when I first started doing it but had the help of my fabulous nurses to say "yes, no, maybe a little differently..."

Becky--don't throw away your yellow hats yet. While the consensus in MY NICU is we don't use yellow in our NICU because we think it makes premature skin look awful... I will also say that I have recently been talking to other NICU knitters on Ravelry and some of them send yellow to their NICUs and the nurses have no problem. We decided it's all about the ruling opinion of whos' in charge. You might give your NICU a quick call and check, and if not, email me privately (there's a link on the blog side) or message me on Facebook and I'll hook you up with a NICU that accepts yellow.

Thanks to all of you for all the knitting and crocheting you do on the part of all of our little Littles!

Debbie Canales

When crocheting hats for a NICU, include larger size hats too. Not all of the babies are premature. Our daughter was 7 lbs and was in the NICU because of serious heart defects. I make hundreds of hats for a NICU every year and I make a variety of sizes.


I know this is a very old post, but it was brought to my attention recently and I'm so glad it was! I write a newsletter and website for charity knitters, and this will be great information to pass along. It's great for me as well, because I've been knitting a ton of preemie hats recently. Quick question: do you think sock yarn is a good choice for preemie hats? I've knitted several hats using leftover sock yarn, but I know it is partially wool. Is that a no-no? Should I perhaps pass those along to different types of charities instead? Thanks for any insight you might have.


Debbie--Absolutely! That's a very good point. There are also term babies who need to go to the NICU for various reasons so not all the items need to be super tiny!

Renee Bolt

My twins were born 12 weeks premature, baby girl A was 2lbs 8ozs, and baby girl B was 2lbs 2ozs. They are 19 years old now and show no signs of their birth issues. I now knithats and booties for the NICU that saved their lives. When I first started, it was extremely difficult to find patterns and tips for preemies. Thank you for this article.


My sweet grandson is in the nicu... So first I wanna say thank you ladies for what you do... It does matter and I have personally been touched. When I saw him in the tiny yellow hat I imagined the maker praying over it as they worked. 😂 so sweet to me and encouraging. Also wanted to say he is tiny born weighing 2 lbs 9 ounces but his completion is very red and his first little hat was soft stretchy yellow.. It looked so sweet on him. There may also be darker skinned babies that could wear the yellow. I may have missed it but you might want to add that stretch it a good thing. The nurses tried another hat for him but it didn't stretch around the opening so he couldn't wear it.

Side note he is doing amazingly well now... He's a fighter and hopefully will go home in a few weeks.

Rachel (Ravelry ID Rachel1989)

I just want to thank you for your nice article! I love the photos of your hats too, very inspiring.

Oh, and I'm a former NICU baby. ;-) I was 8 lbs 15 oz and was in the NICU for almost 2 weeks due to meconium aspiration.

Bev Qualheim

Hi, I appreciate your linking to my website (bevscountrycottage) but did you know that none of the links you have are clickable. They all go to your website and then have our page URLs after them, but they don't work that way. Wasn't sure if you knew. Anyhow, thanks for thinking of my site. :)


Thanks for letting me know, Bev. The links are all fixed!


Hi there, this is a great initiative! But...can you ask more specifically for ECO or BIO materials for these vulnerable little babies?? Because everything that comes on our skin, we absorbe it.
So, the best is not good enough for them.
And yes, I know it is more expensive, and sometimes not easy to get, but you donot need much for these tiny patterns and it IS worth it!
Thank you and carry on! I love this.

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