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How to Knit a Basic Baby Hat: Free (and Easy!) Pattern With Step-by-Step Videos

I'm a knitter, mother, sister, and friend who likes to write cute and simple knitting patterns for babies.

Every baby looks adorable in a knit hat!

Every baby looks adorable in a knit hat!

Easy Knit-in-the-Round Baby Hat Pattern

There are a lot of reasons to love knitting baby hats. First of all, babies need them in all seasons to cover their small and delicate heads. Not only that, every baby looks adorable in a knit hat, and they are a sweet gift that you can give to friends and family, or to your favorite charity.

This is a great small-scale project for new knitters who want to learn how to knit in the round. Knitters can use either double-pointed needles or circular needle. For beginners, I added a video to show how to use double-pointed needles.

Materials You Will Need

  • Four US #6 (4 mm) double-pointed needles or a circular needle
  • Yarn needle
  • Category 4 medium worsted weight yarn with a total length of approximately 50 to 100 yards: Color A (white) approx. 42 to 86 yards and Color B (yellow) 8 to 14 yards
  • Stitch marker for a circular needle user

Be Sure to Use Soft Baby Yarn

There are many kinds of yarn, and baby yarn is one of the softest for knitting. Choose a soft one for your little angel.

Baby yarn is one of the softest yarns available for knitting.

Baby yarn is one of the softest yarns available for knitting.

Hat Sizes

Age (in Months)Actual Head CircumferenceHat CircumferenceHat Height

0 to 3

13” to 14”



3 to 6

14” to 17”



6 to 12

16” to 19”



How to Choose a Size

Babies are all different. When you choose to knit a hat, do not rely on age alone—measure the baby's head first.


22 sts x 30 rows = 4” x 4” in stocking sts

Measure the baby's head to determine the right size hat.

Measure the baby's head to determine the right size hat.

Abbreviations and Explanations

  • K = Knit
  • P = Purl
  • K2tog = Knit two stitches together

Pattern Instructions

  • With Color A, cast on (64, 80, 96) stitches evenly on three US #6 (4 mm) double-pointed needles. Make sure not to twist and join to knit in the round.


  • Cast on (64, 80, 96) stitches with a US #6 (4 mm) circular needle by using yarn Color A. Make sure not to twist and join to knit in the round. Place a marker to remember the starting stitch.

Rounds 1-4: (K1, P1) around.

Scroll to Continue

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Round 5: Change Color B and (K1, P1) around.

Rounds 6 to 8: (K1, P1) around.

Round 9: Change Color A and (K1, P1) around.

Round 10: (K1, P1) around.

Round 11: K around.

Repeat Round 11 to reach Round (26, 34, 42) OR the hat measures approx. (3.25”, 3.75”, 5.25”) from the cast on edge.

Start to shape top.

Round 1: (K6, K2tog) around. (56, 70, 84) sts

Round 2: K around.

Round 3: (K5, K2tog) around. (48, 60, 72) sts

Round 4: K around.

Round 5: (K4, K2tog) around. (40, 50, 60) sts

Round 6: K around.

Round 7: (K3, K2tog) around. (32, 40, 48) sts

Round 8: K around.

Round 9: (K2, K2tog) around. (24, 30, 36) sts

Round 10: K around.

Round 11: (K1, K2tog) around. (16, 20, 24) sts

Round 12: K around.

Round 13: (K2tog) around. (8, 10, 12) sts

Cut the yarn about 10 inches to work with. With a yarn needle, pull the yarn through all the remaining loops, draw up firmly, fasten securely, and weave in the wrong side of work. Weave in the other ends too.

Have fun!

Note: This pattern is not for commercial use. Please do not resell, distribute or reprint this pattern unless expressly for your own use and convenience.

I made this video for beginners. It shows how to knit a hat for a baby that's 0-to-3-months-old. Hats for 3-to-6-month-olds and 6-to-12-month-olds are described in parentheses. I am using four double-pointed needles in the video. You can also use five double-pointed needles if you want.

Crochet Flower Decoration

For baby girls, you can decorate the hat with a beautiful crochet flower, as seen in the examples below. Just imagine how beautiful your baby will be with one!

The video below shows how to crochet a flower to decorate your hat. This is a cute and fun way to decorate them. It is beautiful but not difficult.

Pom Pom Decorations for Knit Hats

Pom poms work with hats for either boys or girls. Take a look at this video, below, which shows how to make a pom pom for a hat.

Questions & Answers

Question: For the knitted baby's hat, didn't you knit a row, purl, a row?

Answer: For the hat, knit a row.

Question: Can I use straight needles for the hat?

Answer: You can't use straight needles. Please use either a set of DPNs or a circular needle.

Question: How many stitches do you add if you want to make it larger?

Answer: You can add multiple of 8 stitches if you want to make larger.

© 2013 Christy Hills


Simone on November 19, 2019:

Your hats are beautiful! Thank you so much for the video and the pattern instructions. They are very clear and helpful. I will use them as a base for other hats.

Thank you again for your time to share, and may I wish you all the blessings from above!

Claudette Hackworth on December 15, 2018:

We need it bigger please. I want to make it for a child (3 yrs).

Farah on July 01, 2018:

I like your baby hat pattern .i want to knit a baby hat With 64 stitch in seed stitch but I don’t know how to make crown and decrease.please give me your suggestions.thanks

Marilyn on March 09, 2018:

Enjoy your pattern for making charity baby hats but using the Magic Loop method. I’m not a fan of dpn or straight needles.

Joan Avery on December 06, 2017:

made your hat size 14-17 and it turned out great. (never made a baby's hat before). Is it possible to make this pattern in a size 21 circumference for big sister?

Yolanda Newsome on October 05, 2017:

Your hats are beautiful and easy, but can you design knitted fruity baby hats with leaves knitted together with different stiches and easy to follow the instructions? I have some but no one has been able to help me to interpret the written instructions.

Julia on May 08, 2016:

T Chandler, yes, that's what I usually do! For this project, it does not matter so much how many stitches are on each individual needle, so long as they are pretty equal.

T Chandler on May 05, 2016:

Ok, I've been wanting to expand my knit and try dpk. So that means I have to divide the 64 amongst 3 needles? so two get 31 and one gets 32?

Irene on January 04, 2016:

I loved this pattern. After watching the video I was able to successfully make this cute hat on DP needles. It was a real step ahead for me in my knitting adventure. I was sure I couldn't use DP needles but now I will be using them more often. Thank you Christy Hill.

Alisson on December 15, 2015:

I love this! But I screwed up, I need to go back but don't know how to un-do/un-knit - what do I do? Thanks for your help :)

Lisa on June 04, 2015:

I used 9" circular needles and it was a bit tight at the end after decreasing, but it's manageable.

Newbie on February 02, 2015:

Forgive me typo... The word should be try!

Newbie on February 02, 2015:

As simple as this pattern is, you should explain to novice knitters who trimy it that it cannot be completed in circular needles unless they are using the magic loop or then must switch to double pointed needle once they start to decrease. The decreased number of stitched will be too tight to fit "16 circular needle after a few rows of decreasing

Christy Hills (author) on November 10, 2014:

Hi Roseann, Some people likes row by row instructions but I should put the measurements too. Thanks for asking.

Roseann on November 06, 2014:

Instead of counting rows by any chance did you just measure up from the bottom for sizing?

Christy Hills (author) on September 11, 2013:

Thank you for comment :)

Donna Herron from USA on September 11, 2013:

This is a sup cute pattern. I love how fun, quick, and adorable baby patterns are! Voted up and thanks for sharing!!