Scaling down hat to fit small baby head

i found a hat pattern that I’d like to make for a friend that is having a baby. Unfortunately, that pattern is for a 9-12 month old baby, and I’d like it for a 0-3, or even 3-6 month old sized head. The pattern calls for a brin cast on of 72 stitches, but I have no idea what would be an appropriate amount of stitches to decrease the cast on to to fit a smaller size head. Any suggestions?

Here is a link to the pattern if that helps:


You could try a lighter weight yarn (around 20sts/4" instead of 18sts/4" called for in the pattern) and smaller size needles with the same instructions given in the pattern. That’ll make a smaller hat. It doesn’t have to be too much smaller as you can see from this chart.
Even if you use the yarn weight called for, do a gauge swatch with your yarn and needles and you’ll be able to calculate the number of sts to cast on for the hat size you need. Remember to knit the hat slightly smaller than the actual head size so that it isn’t too loose but fits comfortably.

There’s really not a lot of difference in head size between a newborn and a 9 mo old. Maybe a couple inches or so. So using a thinner yarn and smaller needles may work but check your sts per inch divided into the 72 sts to make sure that won’t be too small. The hat uses a pretty small needle for aran and probably isn’t any larger than 14" as written; using a worsted weight and size 7 would probably make it about 13" around which shouldn’t be too large.

If your project comes up bigger than you want it to the baby will grow into it.

I often think that when a baby is born people give lots of clothes for the new born which they quickly grow out of and I wonder if the mother would be grateful to get clothes for later on as well.

Just a thought.

How set are you on that particular pattern? If you do this in a rib stitch, it will stretch to accommodate baby for quite a few months. That’s the great hint I got from Bev’s website. In the Winter tab, she’s got great baby hat patterns that are ribbed. She also has size charts that will give you the proper circumference and hat height.

If you aren’t looking to do anything fancy Ann Norling has a pattern with all the yarn types and needle sizes, as well as all the different sizes from infant to adult. There are several different versions included as well. Pattern is Ann Norling Head Huggers Pattern #55. I also downloaded and printed a freebie that has preemie and newborn hats. It came from Called Textured Baby Hats. Preemie is 10" circumference and Newborn is 12". It has 3 different pattern stitches you can use.