Baby cocoons are the perfect gift or charity knitting project – find free patterns here!
When I hear that a friend or one of my husband’s coworkers is having a baby, my heart skips a beat. I love babies! And I especially love knitting for babies! I’ll bet that’s true of you, too. Is there anything more precious than a little baby knitting project? Aside from a baby itself, I think not.
Do you have a go-to knitting project for babies? Personally, my go-to tends to be hats. They’re quick, they’re cute, and new moms love them. Sometimes I’ll pair the hat with a bib or booties to make the gift more complete.
I know many knitters whose go-to projects are baby blankets. I absolutely love knitting baby blankets, but my problem with them — and maybe this is your problem, too — is that they can be time-consuming to knit. They’re not very portable, either. Sure, baby blankets don’t take as long to knit as adult-sized blankets, but they’re not “whip it up and boom you’re done” like baby hats are.
I can’t argue with the practicality of a baby blanket, though! As much as I love knitting hats, I recognize that it won’t be long till those little noggins outgrow the hats I make for them. Blankets, on the other hand, can be used a lot longer. And of course they’re often used as loveys far after they’ve been outgrown.
What if you could knit a project that was somewhere between a hat and a blanket? Faster and more portable than a blanket, but a little longer of a lifespan than a hat?
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the baby cocoon.
What is a Baby Cocoon?
Perhaps you’ve never heard of a baby cocoon. I could describe one for you, or you could see a bunch of photos. Check out this site for many baby cocoon photos.
Basically, a baby cocoon kind of works like swaddling a baby. You’ve probably heard about the benefits of swaddling a baby if you’ve had a baby anytime in the last 20 years! Research suggests that wrapping a baby tightly in a blanket — aka swaddling — helps calm a baby and help it sleep.
Baby cocoons work much the same way; they enclose the baby in a sack (which is why you may hear cocoons called “sleep sacks”), promoting the cozy feeling that helps babies feel calmer and more relaxed. Baby cocoons can also help prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, sometimes referred to as “crib death”).
Sewing is one way to construct cocoons, as you saw in the website linked to earlier. You can also knit or crochet them. Cocoons can be an excellent way to use up leftover yarn, especially if the mama-to-be loves bright colors and stripes.
So if you’re looking for the perfect gift for a new baby, or if you’re looking for a way to knit for preemies, check out the patterns below!
Baby Cocoons – Free Knitting Patterns
Knit Baby Cocoon and Cap: You can’t get much more precious than this! It’s the perfect pattern for making a brightly colored and striped cocoon.
Baby Cuddle Sack: I love the roll-top of this pattern. It looks super soft for a baby; it won’t irritate his or her little face or neck.
Baby Cocoon: This one has a button at the top. With this option, you could make the cocoon more or less snug depending on how the baby likes it. If you live in warmer areas, you could unbutton the top to make it cooler for the baby.
Newborn Peapod Cocoon: Our friend Bev of Bev’s Country Cottage designed this cocoon. She said about it, “I saw a lady at Costco carrying her new little baby in a snuggly cozy ‘cocoon’ that her sister had loom knitted for her. I decided I wanted to hand knit one for my new grandson ‘Owen’, so here is the resulting pattern. These are wonderful for newborns to age 3 months or so and can be used instead of a blanket.” This pattern offers a total of four versions, 2 each knit and crochet. (The photos shown here are all of one of these versions.)
Knit Baby Cocoon: This is probably the easiest pattern of the bunch. Not only are there no purls, but it’s knitted flat. I also like the way it has what looks like a collar at the top.
Baby Cocoons that Include Preemie Sizes
Petite Pep Squad Cocoon: Ugh, how adorable is the photo in this pattern? Too cute. The designer intended the stripes to represent a favorite sports team, so it’s perfect for a diehard sports fan. Of course, it’s also perfect for someone who loves stripes!
Hearts of Gold Preemie Baby Bunting: This hooded and sleeved cocoon buttons down the front for easy access, perfect for middle-of-the-night diaper changes.
Zodiac: This lovely little cocoon also offers button access. It’s called “Zodiac” for the charted patterns for all the signs of the zodiac. It’s a fun way to personalize the cocoon, though it can be left off for a simpler look. (I also love that it has armholes but no sleeves.)
Knitting baby cocoons isn’t difficult! Whichever pattern you choose, friends and family are sure to appreciate one of these cocoons. Follow one of these free patterns and knit a baby cocoon today. Which is your favorite?
Interested in knitting baby cocoons for charity? Find out where to donate and make your knitting plan with Knitting for Charity, One Stitch at a Time, on sale now!