There are so many things to consider when making crocheted blankets for babies. Yarn, hook, pattern to use, size to make, etc. It’s enough to make your head spin!
Today we are going to break down some of the common questions you may have about how to craft a perfect crochet baby blanket. At the end, I’ll share with you my favorite FREE patterns for crocheted baby blankets that I have designed.
My goal is to share helpful information that will help you to create a beautiful heirloom-quality blanket that you will be proud to gift or to keep for your own little one (or grandkiddo!).
Let’s dive in. But, before we get to the knitty gritty of your baby blanket questions, let’s answer a very pressing question first.
The American Academy of Pediatrics warns not to put anything soft in a babies crib, so like any other blanket, a crochet baby blanket needs to be used with parental supervision. Treat a crochet blanket the same you would any other blanket with a baby.
Using a crochet baby blanket for a car seat, stroller, or swing (or whenever a caregiver is present) is perfectly fine. I would caution against using one in a crib with a small baby, especially if the baby is left alone to sleep.
Once the child gets a little older you might find that a crocheted baby blanket is perfect because it has small gaps in the yarn for breathability but still provides warmth and comfort.
So, would I personally use a crochet blanket for my baby? Yes, when I am there!
Now that we have the safety issue addressed, let’s move on!
Baby blankets are easy to crochet and all you need are the basics: yarn, hook and a quality crochet pattern (that doesn’t mean you have to pay for it!). Be sure to check the pattern for any other supplies that may be needed, such as a yarn needle or stitch markers.
We will discuss yarn farther down, but let’s take a minute to talk about hooks.
I get a lot of questions about the hook size in my blanket patterns. I often use a hook 2-3 sizes larger than the ball band calls for. I find this gives the fabric a lot more drape, which is definitely desirable for a blanket. Using a hook that is too small will make the blanket stiff and the yarn won’t be as soft as it could be.
So always check the written instructions for a blanket and use the hook size the designer has written in the pattern, not what the yarn itself calls for (if you want it to turn out like the blanket in the pattern!).
Choose yarns that are easy to care for, soft against a baby’s skin and will hold up to wear and tear. You want a yarn that will keep its shape once it’s been washed (babies are messy!), doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and feels great to the touch.
I am not going to recommend specific yarns, just the types of yarns that will do well. If you want a few specifics, this article discusses their favorites. There are typically two camps: acrylic/polyester lovers and cotton lovers.
Acrylic & Polyester: These yarns are great when it comes to easy care. Most are machine washable, hold up well (although some may pill so be careful!) and a lot of them have a good feel, although some may be scratchy, so be sure to test them out.
You can see from the free patterns below that I do use these types of yarns for some of my blankets. What I would caution you about, though, is that if you plan on machine washing it you make a swatch and run it through a wash and dry cycle. This will let you know how it will look after washing.
We were gifted a beautiful crochet blanket for our last child (we have 4 boys!) and the first time we washed it the yarn shrank up and it looked nothing like the original blanket, nor did it have the same feel. So please test it out if you are giving it so this doesn’t happen. Your recipient will thank you!
Cotton Yarns: I do love cotton yarn. Most of them are cool and crisp and would be a good choice if you are worried about a baby overheating. They are also easy to care for and are durable. Again, I would make a swatch and wash it, just to be sure.
Depending upon the size you are making, a typical baby blanket takes between 700 to 1500 yards of yarn (assuming a worsted weight blanket), so a typical 3.5 oz skein that has 220 yards will take 3-7 skeins to crochet a baby blanket. Some larger skeins will take less.
Common baby blanket sizes are:
Receiving Blanket: 18-36″ square
Swaddle Blanket: 48″ x 48″ or 40″ x 40″
Stroller/Car Seat Blanket: 30-40″ rectangular (can be various sizes)
Crib Blanket: 40″ x 60″
There are many wonderful crochet stitches that make great baby blankets. Some of my favorites are:
1. The basic sc, hdc or dc
2. Duchess Lace Stitch (see below!)
3. Sedge Stitch (also see below!)
4. Waffle Stitch
5. C2C (corner to corner)
6. Basket Weave Stitch
7. Chevron Stitch
8. Blanket Stitch
9. Moss Stitch
10. Mini Bean Stitch
My Favorite FREE Baby Blanket Patterns
By far the most popular pattern on my site, this blanket has been made many times with gorgeous results. Full video tutorial, too!
This free crochet pattern uses two Caron Cotton Cakes to create a striped blanket with a shell border. This pattern also includes a video tutorial and was features on Hookin’ on Hump day from Moogly Blog!
Lion Brand Yarn’s Feels Like Butta is wonderful in this striped blanket with a lacy border. Grab the bonus bundle skeins from Michael’s stores and make this blanket with 2 skeins!
One skein Red Heart Super Saver Ombre and one solid skein for the border will allow you to crochet this easy blanket. The yarn does the color work for you! Also check out the Elegant Ombre Baby Blanket. Both of these blankets also come with video tutorials!
If you are interested in seeing more, be sure to check out all of my free crochet patterns here!