Preemie Clothes to Make at Home

Handmade gifts that even novice crafters can make

Making knitted or crocheted gifts can be a wonderful way to show your love for the preemies in your life. It is not only thoughtful, but the diminutive size also makes them relatively easy to create.

Depending on the complexity of the pattern, preemie clothes can often be created in one night. Hats and booties are especially marvelous gifts that the new mom can use right away. Blankets are also great, typically made in larger sizes so they can be used as the baby grows.

Whichever project you choose, be sure to select an extra soft yarn that will be gentle on the baby's skin.

These same projects can be a lifesaver for a mother who has experienced a miscarriage and wants to channel her grief into something positive. Neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) warmly welcome donations of these gifts, the effort of which may help a grieving mother work through her loss a loving way.

Preemie Hats

A newborn infant girl (age 3 weeks) wearing a homemade knitted hat, while being held by her mother.

Daniel MacDonald / Moment / Getty Images

All preemies, even the smallest ones, can use a soft hat to keep their heads warm when needed. Knit and crochet baby hats are some of the quickest and easiest projects for even those new to crafting. You may want to make a set in different sizes so that the preemie has a supply ready as he or she grows.

Patterns for preemie hats are available from the non-profit Preemie Project. The invaluable, community-based charity was founded in 2005 to create knitted clothing and other soft products for premature babies in NICUs in Iowa. Among some of the more popular patterns:

Baby Blankets to Knit, Crochet, or Sew

Knitting blanket on bed

hannahwinge / Twenty20

Baby blankets are a must for all babies and especially for preemies in both the NICU and at home. 

In the hospital, the isolettes of the smallest preemies are typically covered with baby blankets and quilts to individualize them and provide a dark and quiet environment. Crib sheets are also warmly received by NICUs as they are both practical and easily personalized.

Once home, parents will need blankets to help keep their preemie warm, especially during the transition from a heated isolette to an open crib.

The great thing about blankets and sheets is that they are relatively easy to make even for the novice crafter. Among some of the more popular blanket patterns offered by the Preemie Project:

Baby Booties

Warm Ruffle Baby Booties Free Crochet Pattern
Drunken Crochet

Baby booties are not only practical, they are highly adorable. Even the most simple patterns are real showstoppers and can usually be crafted in the span of a few hours.

If you are a more skilled knitter, you can turn a pair of booties into a veritable tour de force, proving once again that the best gifts come in the smallest packages.

Here some of the bootie patterns that the Preemie Project recommends:

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