How to Crochet Baby Hats (Free Tutorial)

Free Crochet Pattern Recipe for Making a Baby Hat

Crochet Baby Hat
Kelly Sillaste, Getty Images

There are ​so many patterns for crochet baby hats available that you could make a new one each day for years and never run out of patterns to follow. However, you don't really need a crochet pattern to be able to make a baby hat. All that you need is a simple tutorial or recipe, something that gives you a basic hat design for you to constantly modify and adapt to your own design needs.

The design for a crochet baby hat can be as easy as a rectangle that is sewn (or crocheted) together along the sides.

This square top baby hat style is within the reach of even the newest crocheter. That's what you will learn how to do when you work through the steps of this tutorial. Once you learn how to do it, you won't ever have to rely on a pattern again to make a baby hat!

Step 1: Choose Your Materials

Yarn:
Use you can your choice of yarn for this tutorial. The whole point of a crochet recipe like this is that it is completely adaptable to what materials you might have on hand~ Use the list below as a guide for approximately how much yarn you’ll need for each size hat, but remember that this can vary a lot depending on yarn weight, hook size, crochet tension, etc. This is just a good starting guide if you're shopping for yarn.

  • Preemie Hat: 35 to 40 grams
  • Newborn Hat: 40 to 45 grams
  • 3 to 6 Months Hat: 45 to 50 grams
  • Baby Hat: 50 to 60 grams
  • Toddler Hat: 60 to 70 grams

As you can see, you will generally need one ball of yarn or less for making hats for small babies and possibly two balls of certain yarn types for hats for larger babies.

If you’ve never crocheted for babies before then you may wish to read the article Yarn for Baby Hats for advice on choosing the best materials. There are some choices that are better than others when making crochet baby accessories.

Crochet Hook:
Select a crochet hook that works with your yarn. If you’re unsure then check your yarn’s label.

Most manufacturers will print a recommended hook size near the care instructions. If you find that you aren't getting the size of hat that you want with the crochet hook then switch to a smaller or larger crochet hook accordingly. As you work more and and more with this crochet baby hat recipe, you will naturally have a sense for the best yarn and hook to use each time that you make a new hat.

Extras:


Step 2: Find Your Gauge

 

  • With your chosen yarn and crochet hook, make a chain 10 to 20 stitches long and work a few rows in your desired stitch.
  • Measure your practice piece and take note of how many stitches you get per inch. You’ll use this information in the next step.

 

Step 3: Do the Math

 

In Step 2 you determined how many stitches per inch you get with your chosen materials. Now you’ll multiply that number (stitches per inch) by how many inches wide you want to make your hat. There are some common sizes below to get you going, however you can easily insert your own numbers for a custom fit. If you decide to do this then measure the head circumference of the hat recipient and divide it in half. Multiply that number by your stitches per inch.

Common sizes:

  • Preemie: 6.5” wide
  • Newborn: 7” wide
  • 3 to 6 Months: 7.5” wide
  • Baby: 8” wide
  • Toddler: 9” wide


Here is one example of the math for a newborn size hat:

From the list above you can see the baby size is 7” wide. To learn how many stitches wide the piece needs use this equation: 7 (hat width) x 2.5 (stitches per inch) = 17.5 stitches. Once you have your math, you might want to round up a little bit, since a larger hat is always a better decision where babies are concerned. They grow so fast!

Step 4: How to Crochet Baby Hats

 

Chain the correct amount for the number of stitches you need. If you’re working single crochets then make a chain 1 stitch longer than your calculation. For half double crochets add 2 sts. For double crochets add 3 stitches. (These extra stitches are for your turning chain.)

For example, using a single crochet stitch, you might chain 19 to get the 18 stitches needed plus 1 extra for the turning chain.



Foundation RowWork 1 stitch in every chain space across row, turn.

Row 1Chain 1, 2, or 3 (depending on your stitch - for example, 1 stitch for single crochet), work 1 stitch in every stitch across row.

Repeat Row 1 to work even in your pattern stitch until your piece is the desired length for hat. Use the numbers in the list below as a guide.

  • Preemie: 4.5” long
  • Newborn: 4.75 to 5” long
  • 3 to 6 Months: 5 to 5.5” long
  • Baby: 5.5” long
  • Toddler: 6 to 6.5” long


Cut yarn and fasten off.

Make a second piece exactly the same as the one you’ve just completed.

Finishing

You may choose to switch to a finishing color to accent your main color at this point. Alternatively, simply continue with your main color.

To finish the hat you can either sew or crochet together 3 edges of your piece. Hold the pieces you’ve crocheted on top of each other with both foundation chain edges at the top and ending rows at the bottom.

Using whipstitch or single crochet, work up one side of the hat securing the edges together, then across the foundation chains, and down the other side. Leave one edge open.

Embellish the hat however you’d like. Embroider on it, add tassels or pom poms to the top corners, sew on patches, bows, and crocheted flowers. Or, if you want to keep the hat simple, just leave it unadorned. The final choice is yours. Have fun making many of these crocheted baby hats!

Other Ways to Crochet Baby Hats

This crochet baby hat pattern is for a super simple rectangular hat. However, you may also want to learn how to crochet other hat shapes such as the crochet baby beanie. These simple crochet hats use the same stitch for each row but you can also make crochet baby hats with a variety of stitches in the pattern.

 

​This pattern was originally designed by Erica Jackofsky.