Some Tips on Knitting Hats and Caps for Preemies
1. Hat sizes are approximate. Head sizes for premature infants range from the size of a lime, to an orange, to a grapefruit. X-Large, Large and Medium preemie sizes are usually the most needed. Your gauge does not have to be perfect. The hospitals will find babies to fit all size hats.
2. Use machine-washable yarn (not wool) in fingering, baby, or sport weight .
3. Use double-pointed needles to avoid seams that could irritate delicate skin.
4. Follow a pattern or knit in a gauge that gives you the right dimensions (see below).
5. Avoid very lacey patterns that could catch tubes and lines monitoring the baby.
6. Use the same size needles for ribbing and hat, to avoid tightness around baby’s head.
7. Use a mild detergent recommended for babies if you wish to wash hats before donating them. Do not use fabric softeners, perfumes, or sachet.
8. Package hats in plastic bags or tissue paper to protect them from soil. Several hats can be placed in one bag.
9. Include care instructions (just a note – “Machine-washable”).
General Dimensions for Preemie Hats
Size Circumference Length
X-Large preemie 10.5 - 11 inches 5 – 6 inches
Large preemie 9.5 – 10.5 inches 4.5 – 5 inches
Medium preemie 8 – 9 inches 4 – 4.5 inches
Small preemie 7 – 8 inches 3.5 - 4 inches
X-Small preemie 5.5 – 7 inches 3.5 inches