If you’re ready to try knitting for charity or crochet to help others, find out where to donate baby hats to charity, how to make sure your hats for charity will be accepted and how to get started!
So many of my lovely readers email me and tell me that they love to use my baby hat knitting patterns to knit for charity both during the holidays and all year round. This makes me so so happy to hear. If that’s you, thank you for contributing your time, and energy and craft to making the world a better place. Using creativity to spread kindness is such a wonderful thing.
I thought today, that some of you might also wish you could start knitting for charity or doing crochet for charity. But maybe you don’t know where to start? Maybe you don’t know where to donate baby hats to charity?
I know, it’s so overwhelming! So I’ve done some research and I’m ready to get you all started crocheting or knitting baby hats for hospitals and other charities. And don’t worry, my list of groups that accept hats for charity includes the US, Canada, the UK and Australia!
What to know before you start making baby hats for charity…
When you’re crocheting or knitting for charity, it might be tempting to just knit or crochet whatever you want and send it off. But I discovered that many places that accept baby hat donations actually have fairly specific requirements that must be followed for your donated baby hats to be accepted.
As always, check with the specific charity or hospital that you choose to work with, but here are some common requirements and guidelines:
Common Handmade Baby Hat Donation Guidelines
General guidelines for charity knitting or crochet
- Donated handmade crochet or knit baby hats should be from smoke free homes.
- Pet free homes are sometimes required, if not and you do have a pet, be sure to wash your baby hat before donating
- If you pre-wash your baby hat, wash with unscented detergent and do not use fabric softener
Material and yarn guidelines when making baby hats for charity
- No wool yarns!
- Stick to super soft yarns made from acrylic, cotton and bamboo. Alpaca, which is hypoallergenic, is sometimes allowed.
- Yarn MUST be machine washable
- Avoid novelty yarns including eyelash yarn and yarns with sequins or glitter or anything that might be scratchy or shed
- Avoid vintage yarn which can become brittle with age
- Choose a worsted weight or lighter yarn (especially for preemies), bulky, heavy yarns can make hats that are too warm for tiny babies
- Some charities have specific yarn color requests and some do not, so make sure to check before you start, many times you do not have to limit yourself to typical baby pastels!
- Consider choosing a gender neutral color so anyone can use it
Some of my favorite yarns for baby hats are:
- Vanna’s Choice
- Paintbox Simply Aran
- Paintbox Baby DK
- Bernat Softee
- Caron Simply Soft
- Lion Brand Baby Soft
- Red Heart Soft
- Loops & Threads Impeccable
- CoBoo Cotton/Bamboo Blend
Construction guidelines for donating baby hats
- No pom poms, buttons, bows or other embellishments that could come off and become choking hazards
- Be sure to securely weave in all ends
- Avoid bulky seams on the inside that can irritate super sensitive baby skin
- Avoid lace and eyelet patterns for infants because their tiny fingers can get stuck in the holes
- Make sure that your gauge is correct and your baby hat is correctly sized for the needs of the charity you choose. This is especially important if you choose to knit or crochet preemie hats
Where can I find good baby hat knitting patterns for charity?
A great place to start is my Back to Basics series of patterns which all have a free version. These simple patterns can be customized in tons of different ways and are great for knitting for charity! If you want holiday hats for the Christmas season, browse here!
Where should I send my baby hats for charity?
Now that you know what kinds of baby hats to knit or crochet for charity, let’s talk about WHERE to donate baby hats. I know for me, this was the most daunting part of wanting to start knitting for charity.
For many people, the easiest place to donate baby hats is your local hospital. But be sure to call first and ask if they accept baby hat donations and what their needs are.
If you can’t find a hospital in your community that accepts baby hat donations, then I’ve got you covered! Here’s a list of charities that will love your handmade baby hats!
(Please note that while there are tons of other knit and crochet charities out there, this list is specific to those who accept hats for babies and small children. Also, while some of these charities are local, most accept donations by mail so you can help out from anywhere!)
Little Hats, Big Hearts (discontinued)
If you find anywhere else with clear baby hat donation guidelines, please let me know and I’ll add it to the list!
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