We did some research and were really surprised to discover just how many of you like to knit! Whenever I speak to new people a question that regularly crops up is – do we have access to any premature baby knitting patterns? Normally our answer would be a no. Then we spoke to a few people about knitting patterns and came across quite a few free ones hidden across the world wide web.

We thought that putting this blog together might help a few of you who want to make a preemie incubator blanket, a little hat or even a little outfit. So, if you learnt to knit during lockdown and want to carry on during this winter here are some knitting patterns you might like

Blue knitted baby booties. Photography credit: Elsa Lilja
Blue knitted baby booties. Photography credit: Elsa Lilja

Knitted squares

These are probably the easiest and something a beginner could do. They are used by neonatal units as scent patches. Mum has a knitted square that she tucks into her bra strap and wears it all day. The patch then goes in the incubator with baby. This is so that the familiar scent of mum can give them some comfort. Here is a link to a knitted square.

If crochet is more your thing then this link has a step by step guide to do a crochet granny square.

Knitted incubator blankets

Babies struggle to regulate their temperatures and this is even more true of premature babies. Incubators usually have a function to be heated and a lot of cots have heated mattresses. Not only that when your walk onto a neonatal unit the heat will hit you. Whether it is summer or winter the heating will be on full. Walking through the NICU doors can sometimes feel the same as when you walk off a plane to start your hot sunny holiday.

Incubator blankets are only small. You could use the patterns above and make several squares that you then sew together. Or you could look up a dolls blanket like this one. This might actually be too big still. You’re looking to make it about the size of a tea towel (absolutely no bigger).

Again if crochet is more your thing then this You Tube tutorial for a dolls blanket might be worth a watch.

Knitted premature baby clothing

Clothing for a premature baby can be hard to find. Most shops stock tiny baby and you might be under the impression that as suggested these clothes would be tiny enough. They still look huge on a premature baby though! Some keen knitters can make some beautiful outfits that will mean your teeny tiny preemie can be dressed in clothes that are just right for them, providing yet another experience that has parents feeling ‘normal’. This is a link to 27 patterns – all are premature baby knitting patterns.

Navy blue and white crocheted baby hat and mittens. Photography credit: Annisa Ica
Navy blue and white crocheted baby hat and mittens. Photography credit: Annisa Ica

Here’s a link to some free crochet patterns for premature baby clothes

Bliss also have a page of premature baby kitting patterns and crochet patterns including the much loved preemie octopuses. There are strict guidelines around these so the Bliss pattern is the one we recommend you follow.

Did you see…

Our recent blog on our NICU Diaries?

Our NICU diaries are now available on Amazon! There are 5 diaries to choose from:

Green diary with duckling, dinosaur and giraffe
White diary with duckling, dinosaur and giraffe
Duckling diary
Dinosaur diary
Giraffe diary